“Embrace the courage to make your mark.”
Might sound huge.
But that’s what we were created to do. And it should be natural and normal and celebrated.
When we are born…we are wide-eyed and excited! We are curious and courageous! We explore our world as though everything is possible and nothing is impossible. Our imagination is seemingly endless and life is ours to live!
Somewhere down the line we shrink. We learn to play it safe. We develop fears. We take on other people’s fears. Our “image”-ination becomes distorted. Ultimately we get to a place where it might feel like this is as good as it gets. So why bother.
And you don’t have to be living paycheck to paycheck to have these thoughts or experience these feelings.
I know what that’s like.
From the outside looking in I had what some call a dream life. But I yearned for more. Something greater was calling me. Was it passion? Was it purpose?
I believe it was fulfillment, self-realization and self-actualization.
I needed, and wanted, to make an impact on the world…and didn’t know what that would look like, or what to do with the responsibility of it all.
So I suppressed it with dream vacations. I quieted it with expensive purses and shoes. I hushed it with spa days, and luxury cars and a lot of other stuff and things that most of us work for.
When it was all said and done the troublesome twins were still there. I wondered…”Is this all there is?”…”Is there more?”
Don’t get me wrong, I KNOW all of that was a blessing and to this day I have the highest level of thanks and gratitude to God.
That’s also where the guilt came in and even feelings of unworthiness. Did I deserve all of this? What more could I want? What more could I need? Who did I think I was? After all, look where you came from…and where you are now!
Ralph Waldo Emerson said “To be yourself in a world that is constantly trying to make you something else is the greatest accomplishment.”
I needed the greatest accomplishment.
I needed to be myself.
And not in a selfish way.
I had become who I thought I should be based on all of the norms around me. I had everything I thought I should have. I defined myself from the outside in, not the inside out.
And the sad thing is, portions of that definition were not even normal for me. And I KNEW IT…on the inside.
While I was MORE than satisfied…I was not fulfilled.
I had a higher calling on my life…a mark to make…and I knew I was stopping short of it.
Not making my mark was defying the way I was created to live, so it became very uncomfortable. I wasn’t created to “fit in”, but to stand out. And so were you.
Are you like I was a few years ago, looking outside yourself for fulfillment, seeking to discover your purpose externally?
Until you discover your mark and how to make it, “Is there more?” will always be a continuous nagging, question in your mind. “Is this all there is?” will hound you like a 2-year-old asking for more Cheerios.
How can you stop the nagging and hounding? Here are the 3 beginning steps (ABCs) I took…
- Acknowledge that a life of fulfillment is possible and that YOU deserve it.
- Be courageous. Pursuing fulfillment and significance requires courage because you are bucking the norm. Most people live the life they are expected to live, not the one they want to live.
- Commit to achieving fulfillment. While you deserve fulfillment it will take work. It’s work that’s worth it.
You don’t have to know what, how or when to follow these 3 beginning steps. They are the ABCs that can help you to get on the path to fulfillment. Your acknowledgement, being courageous & your commitment will set things in motion.
And while the questions will still be there, they’ll fell less like nagging and hounding…and more like motivation, inspiration and guidance.
You have a mark to make. I believe you have the courage to do it. You don’t need to “get more.”
It’s about using the courage you already have. Embrace it and exercise it, so you can make your mark.