You get a chill that runs up your arm. You are inspired to workout and challenge yourself after hearing about someone who has to break through extreme physical boundaries. The words in a speech or talk leave you pondering your life and what changes you can make. What do they each have in common? Greatness that moves you to be, do, and live better.
I love the idea of greatness. Whatever part of our life where we can encourage, demand, and honor greatness. It is something I look for in others. What are they doing in their life to raise their game? What are they doing to raise the game of others? A second day in a row I am sharing a Daily Om that made me think about life. This particular email titled “The Greatness in Others” made me think about how often we forget that it is already within us:
“We are all moved by greatness when we see it, and although the experience is to some degree subjective, we know the feeling of it. When we encounter it, it is as if something in us stirs, awakens, and comes forth to meet what was inside us all along.”
I want to always be awake and aware for those moments when I find greatness deep inside. The question is, what do we do when we find it? How do we bring it out in others? I hope to always be around people who inspire greatness in themselves and those that they are around. It keeps life real, interesting, and allows us to grow.
Do you crave pleasing others? Do you care what others think? Or are you out for your own success? It all depends on what drives you. Sometimes I think we get a bit conflicted as to who we make our decisions for, many times bending over backwards to make someone happy. Do we do it for them? Do we do it to impress someone else? Or, do we do it for ourselves?
I am someone who craves excellence. I have extremely high expectations and think there is always room for improvement. Do I do it for others? Not really. I want it to be the best because I see the vision of where it can go. So often I think individuals get lazy, quit, or just decide that something is not important. Not me. I want to evolve things so life can be better for me and everyone else. Many call me relentless and it is true. I am relentless. I recently came across this quote:
“When you work to please others you can’t succeed, but the things you do to satisfy yourself stand a chance of catching someone’s interest.”
-Marcel Proust, Pastiches Et Melanges
I thought this quote was interesting. How often do we try to please others? How often do we realize that we are never going to make others happy? I love thinking of the idea that if I am satisfying myself, then that is actually when I am interesting. It is true. We are most fascinating and most interesting when we are living for ourselves and no one else. It is a hard dilemma. How often we make decisions because we are making someone else happy, than doing something because it makes ourselves happy.
Are you the person in the room that is interesting or the person that is interested? I just finished a book called: “Just Listen: Discover the Secret to Getting Through to Absolutely Anyone” by Mark Goulston. I encourage you to read the book, for a number of reasons. One: it will make you think differently about your employees, team, and co-workers. Two: it will make you think differently in your personal life. Three: it will remind you that we rarely listen. All three combined, if we only listened more our work and personal lives would be transformed.
I will give you an example that is shared in Goulston’s book. Do you know at Christmas time when you send out your Christmas cards? Are you the one that writes a long rant about all that you have done that year? All the promotions you received, possessions you gained, and trips you have gone on? Do you ask the recipient of the card how they are doing? Do you do anything to remind them how much you care about them, or want to connect with them, or is it all about you? Goulston talks about how much we are interested in ourselves, or how interesting we are, then in being interested in others. He writes:
“If you want to have an interesting dinner conversation, be interested. If you want to have interesting things to write, be interested. If you want to meet interesting people, be interested in the people you meet—their lives, their history, their story. Where are they from? How did they get here? What have they learned? By practicing the art of being interested, the majority of people can become fascinating teachers; nearly everyone has an interesting story to tell.” Page 56
I love, love, love this. If we all spent more time being inquisitive and interested, we all might also feel more listened to and heard. We all have our own story to tell, but so does everyone else. Like the vastness and uniqueness of a snowflake, so are each of our lives. What if we could be students to all the teachers in our lives? I know I have work to do. While I am an information nut, love learning new things, am constantly researching anything and everything, and love finding solutions — I could be more interested in others.