These are ten choices you make to honor your greatness. Perhaps some of them you already are making. Perhaps not. What is essential is that you realize that, regardless of the choices you have made in the past, you are always—I repeat, always—able to begin making new choices that will not only honor you but take you in a new, more meaningful direction in life.
1. Choosing to Take Responsibility
While you can’t always control your circumstances you can always choose how you respond to them. No matter what the challenge, you have the power to choose whether to let the world affect you or to go out and affect the world. Resist the impulse to blame your woes on others. Instead, make the decision to own your life and own it fully. Only by taking full and complete responsibility can you ever create a life that you truly love living.
2. Choosing to Live With Integrity
Integrity is the only path in life upon which you never get lost. Placing integrity at the cornerstone of every decision requires a willingness to do what is right above what is convenient or politically expedient. At times this means veering off the safe and comfortable path onto one less traveled, where the risk of failure or disapproval may run high. At other times it calls for you to forge your own path. At its core, integrity is about wholeness and alignment between your deepest values – what you are doing and who you are. And while you may be able to achieve a measure of success without integrity, you will never be able to enjoy the peace of mind and true contentment you seek unless you have restored integrity to every aspect of your life. Will that cost you? Quite possibly. But the cost of not doing so is much steeper.
3. Choosing to Dream Bigger for Yourself and Your Life
You will never be able to have your dream job or live your dream life if you don’t first know what it is. Dare to create a vision for yourself and your life that is bigger, much bigger, than the one you’ve had until now. Embrace possibility in the areas of your life where you feel resignation and demand more from life and yourself. Connect with what truly inspires you and bring a deeper sense of meaning and fulfillment to your relationships, your career and your life in general. Don’t be afraid of dreaming too big. The greater danger is not that your dreams are too lofty and you’ll fail to reach them but that they are too small and you will. Your life will be as big as you dare to dream it!
4. Choosing to Be Who You Are
In a world that presses for conformity, it takes courage to be who you are. So express yourself fully and authentically in every relationship and in every encounter you have with others. Give up pretending to be more or less or different from who you are. When you fail to be authentic, you keep from others that which makes you most attractive. When you conform, all that you have to offer others is your conformity. Own those “shadow” aspects of who you are that you wish you didn’t have and relinquish the need to prove yourself to anyone—most of all yourself. Be genuine, humble and unpretentious. But most of all, just be yourself. There is nothing more valuable or attractive.
5. Choosing to Speak Up
Dare to speak up and engage in conversations in which you have been reluctant to before. Don’t choose the certainty of never addressing an issue or fulfilling your need over the possibility that you may have an awkward conversation or have your request declined. What isn’t talked out ends up being acted out and diminishes the quality of your relationships. Speaking up in a way that honors your dignity and the dignity of others builds bridges, enhances trust and deepens the quality of your relationships.
6. Choosing to Take New Actions
Nothing changes if nothing changes. Have the guts to step boldly from your comfort zone to make the changes and take the chances that call you forward to fulfilling your potential. Trade procrastination and excuses for a commitment to being a person who is willing to do what it takes to live the life to which she aspires. Whatever the risks you face in your endeavor, the greatest risk is to take none at all. Fear regret more than failure. Life rewards action.
7. Choosing to Persevere in Adversity
Overcoming the setbacks and failures on the way to your goals is what brings the greatest sense of achievement. Imagine the adversity and setbacks Mother Theresa and other extraordinary women like her must have faced during their lives. Giving in to despair and resignation was not an option they chose. Face your challenges with a deep determination to stay the course. Resist succumbing to resignation in the face of adversity for any goal worth pursuing will require its share of determination and perseverance. Connect with that which makes your spirit soar and remember that it matters not that you reach the summit but that you had the guts to try. It is through perseverance in the face of adversity that the ordinary become extra-ordinary.
8. Choosing to Say No
In the short term, it’s generally easier to say yes than to say no, because yes generally pleases others, giving you an instant hit of immediate gratification. However, in the big picture of life, we must sometimes say no to the good to make room for the great. Finding the guts to say no requires first being clear about what you most want to say yes to. Doing so will help you to set boundaries in the midst of being pulled in many directions at once and teach people what you will and will not tolerate. Saying no may never be easy, but the price you pay for not doing so far exceeds any momentary discomfort.
9. Choosing to Open Your Heart Fully
Life’s richest fulfillment comes from being as open to experiencing life’s pain as deeply as its joy. Opening your heart fully to the depths of emotion that a life well lived calls for takes great courage, but it is the only life worth living. By letting down your defenses and making yourself vulnerable to the anguish that life can sometimes bring, you can experience the joy that comes from connecting with others openly, intimately and compassionately. Drop the barriers that create distance and isolate you from others; reveal your humanity and make yourself available for others to know, to love, to care for and to connect with. Nothing is more nurturing to the spirit.
10. Choosing to Let Go
As ordinary as you may think you are, you possess a unique set of gifts, which you can, if you choose, use to do wonderful things in your life. If you don’t do those things, then who will? And if now is not the time to begin, then when? Just imagine the ways you might touch, enrich and inspire the lives of others by honoring your own greatness from this day on. The possibilities are endless!
Like this article? Read about How You Can Look at A Glass Half-Full!
Written for w2wlink.