Have you ever felt like life is thrust upon you sometimes? If it weren't for life, you'd be this great awesome, perfect testament to humankind! Right?!
But life gets in the way....
"Some are born great, others achieve greatness, and some have greatness thrust upon them"
The other night I was watching a movie called Night at The Museum with my kids. One character, played by Ben Stiller, is a night guard at a very "lively" museum. He's this type of guy with greatness on his mind. Before begrudgingly taking on a night guard position, he was a wannabe entrepreneur and inventor.
Life had other plans.
Along comes a talking wax replica of Theodore Roosevelt played by Robin Williams. He sees this man's tendency to run from problems- the most immediate one being pissed on by a stuffed monkey in the museum...
Teddy Roosevelt wisely proclaims; "Some people are born great, others have greatness thrust upon them".
And I thought, maybe there's a Ben Stiller night guard in all of us. Looking for our greatness in great things, but hey, it could very well resemble a monkey peeing on us.
Change is rarely noticed as an “Aha!” moment.
We can have several aha! moments, but never actually change as a result.
When it comes to positive change, it is unlikely you will experience some kind of eureka or euphoric experience without some grunt work or the full-force thrust of life upon us.
Change is more often something that happens without us really noticing; when we're not given the tools, but rather given the experience.
The process of ideal or desirable change is never as glamorous as we might imagine so we abandon it before it has a chance to transform us...before we ACHIEVE GREATNESS.
On the other hand, the fortunate few can go many years believing they have grabbed life by the horns, but the reality of personal growth looks like a river of unfortunate circumstances.
Your idea of greatness may not be doused in monkey urine, but greatness is essentially growth. And growth isn't a realm of enchantment. Growth can literally be one undesirable thing occurring to help you deal with the next one. This still classifies as growth.
The good news? We always have opportunities for growth!
We can take our own opportunities, and be equipped to handle what life hands us.
The real Teddy Roosevelt began life as a sickly child afflicted with asthma and a weak body. As he got older, he decided that he would "make his body." He got involved in gymnastics, boxing, weightlifting, and bear hunting. He made up his mind to develop himself, and even so he was thrust into precarious events; when his mother and wife died within hours of each other.
Nobody asks for the greatness that disguises itself as difficulties. But this is the greatness that grows us!
Roosevelt was a lifelong champion of the "strenuous life," from pioneering to becoming the youngest president, by default (greatness being thrust upon him).
My "moment" of greatness began with a chronic illness thrust upon me. Eventually, it led me to rearrange my life so that my demanding career didn't kill me first, and I could spend more time at home being a mommy (ironically, getting peed on).
Mommy (and part-time writer) is hardly the picture of greatness for many people, but easily the greatest thing to happen to me.
Recognize the opportunities that are not dressed up in pretty packages.
The original quote I began this post with was preceded by one more line: "Be not afraid of greatness."
Why would we fear greatness? Because we walk away from the difficult monkey moments with a piss-poor attitude instead of recognizing a prime opportunity for growth and change.
I'm passionate about no-nonsense self-improvement. Too many of us are plagued by faulty thought patterns- I aim to change that!