Friday, August 10, 2012

Mandela's quote on hidden greatness

Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate.
Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure.
It is our light, not our darkness that most frightens us.
We ask ourselves, Who
am I to be brilliant, gorgeous, talented, fabulous?
Actually, who are you not to be?
You are a child of God.
Your playing small does not serve the world.
There is nothing enlightened about shrinking so that other people won't feel insecure around you.
We are all meant to shine, as children do.
We were born to make manifest the glory of God that is within us.
It is not just in some of us; it is in everyone.
And as we let our own light shine, we unconsciously
give other people permission to do the same.
As we are liberated from our own fear,
our presence automatically liberates others.

Nelson Mandela, 1994 Inaugural Speech

Who do you want to be that it terrifies you? Too often people say, “I know I have greatness in me. If I show people that side of me, they will expect it everyday. But, what happens if I am not great one day? Then I look like I failed. That’s too much pressure. So it’s best if I take a low profile. I’ll do something great when it’s required.”

If people understood that others planted the seed of inability in their minds, maybe they would take a step in liberating themselves. Who are you to not show the greatness you possess inside? What right do you have to cheat yourself and others of your brilliance? 

Our lives are tainted by the thoughts of others. We allow those thoughts to control us and we live as though they were reality. In the words of George Eliot, “It’s never too late to be what you might have been.”

We live in a world where we are trained to be great lawyers, doctors, accountants, engineers, etc. Nonetheless, there is really no training to be your greatest self. Instead of teaching one another to be great, we pass down myths and fairy tales from generation to generation.

Some of the myths we are given are: I’m only human. It’s a man’s world. If you are born poor, you will die poor. You are not pretty enough. You are too smart. You are too short. You don’t belong here.

These myths are as true as the world is flat. Yet, people believe them and shape their existence around them like an operating system in a computer. All of our thoughts and actions are filtered through these stories. They cause us to withhold our greatness and then declare this is who I am.

As a result, we are incomplete. We become people that the world has allowed us to be, rather than the people we want to be.  

Unfortunately, we have all been given myths from childhood. As adults, we have a choice to live beyond the seeds of destruction, the destruction of the greatness to which Mandela refers. 

Share with me the myths you are willing to let go of to be your greatness.


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