Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Greatness - How to Be Great

Are you striving for greatness? Are you choosing to live a life that matters or are you just waiting for something big to happen in your life? Do you know that all of the great men and women in history became great because they made a choice to follow the call on their lives? Every single great man and woman from Moses, Jesus, Esther, Mary Mcleod Bethune, George Washington, Abraham Lincoln, Thomas Edison, Booker T. Washington, Martin Luther King, Mother Theresa and any other man and woman you can think of only became great because they CHOSE to accept the call on their lives. They did not worry about what other people would think of them. They even knew that they would even face death; however, their desire to make an impact on the world and affect change was so strong that they became the embodiment of a great person.

Everyone of us have the call to make a difference in this world. Paula Dean and Rachel Ray have chosen to step out of their comfort zone and teach people how to cook up delicious meals.

Bill Gates created a computer that would be affordable for the average household thus making people's lives more efficient.

Mohammed Yunus started giving micro loans to the poorest people in Bangladesh enabling so many people to be able to start their own businesses and feed their family. He did this even when the banks and the government did not believe that this would be a good idea and told him that the poor people would never pay him back. He proved them wrong and started the Grameen Bank. He started by loaning less than $100 to a village. It was under $30 to be exact.

Accepting your call does not necessarily mean that you have to set out to create a spaceship or build a school. Those are both great things but accepting a calling just means that you want to share your knowledge and talent for the betterment of humankind.

The person who invented door latches has made a significant contribution to the world. The person who invented the coat hanger has made a positive impact on mankind.

Just start doing something that you are good at and figure out how it can improve another person's life. Don't even focus on a whole society if that is too big for you. Just focus on one person. That person may very well be you. Think of all of the ways your talent makes your life richer and more alive. Share that passion with others and show them how to do it. It has been proven that the best learners are the best teachers. People who teach others actually gain a deeper understanding of their craft. But it's not just enough to learn it and teach it, you have to actually be doing it. Knowledge without action is not real knowledge.

I enjoy learning how to gain appreciation for the life that God has given me. I love knowing that I don't have to be the prettiest, smartest, wisest or the most outgoing. All I have to do is learn from life's lessons and see the positive side of everything. As I learn, I write about it and therefore I gain an even deeper understanding than what I would understand if I were not writing about it because I actually impress it upon my subconscious.

As I learn and write about it, I put myself in front of the world and subject myself to possible ridicule. I don't focus on that. What I focus on is the ONE person I may be encouraging who is going through a similar situation and feels comforted knowing that they are not doing it alone. And in all honesty, most people are not really thinking about you; they are just thinking about themselves so you don't have to really feel self-conscious about it. Let that give you some comfort.

People want to be inspired. I've been reading Stephen Covey's book The Eighth Habit, and he talks about being an inspiration to others. It does not matter how big or small your inspiration is; if someone else is encouraged, it is always big.

Think of ways that you can be used to enrich someone else's life. There will be those who will criticize and judge you for it; WHO CARES. You have your life to live and you only have one. Most of the time you will find that the people who are judging and criticizing you are really envious because they do not have the guts to put themselves in front of the world.

I can guarantee you that there are people who want to be inspired by you. Go to the google free keyword tool and put in some keywords regarding your topic of interest or expertise. You will usually find that their are many people looking to get information. Here's a tip: if you want to get your message out there even quicker, do a search and than focus on the "long tail keywords" that have around 2500 people searching in a month. That will put you in a niche market.  (Long tail keywords are 3 or more words that specifically describes what a person is searching for. So instead of "airplanes" a more specific keyword search would be "privately owned airplanes.")

Don't worry about getting people to see your vision or pay attention to you. Just be the best that you can be and the right people will be attracted to you. Focus on making a difference in someone's life and then inspire others to go out and do the same. Take it one day at a time and give the glory to God when you become successful and thanked for your contribution.

Word to the wise: Success is a state of mind. Leadership is a state of mind. Position, status, money or titles do not give people success or leadership. What determines a leader is their ability to embody all of the traits that real leaders possess. So therefore, ANYONE can be a leader. If you don't already know how, LEARN how to lead. Read books and practice. Study others who you consider to be leaders and pay attention to what they do. Don't copy them because that will not be authentic to you. Simply work on your inside and your outside actions will follow. The books that I have been suggesting throughout my previous blogs offer great leadership advice and techniques. At the end of this blog I will list 2 more.

To be an effective leader it is imperative that you have a positive mentality and the desire to serve. If you are looking for leadership as a way of gaining respect, you will not get it. No one can give you respect. You have to already know that you have it and the respect starts in your mind.

Here is a tip that is very useful and in fact I do it all of the time. If you feel that you are lacking something, give it away. You will find that it will return to you more than 10 fold. And the return will come from within and not from without. For example, if you are feeling insecure about your appearance, start seeing the beauty in other people. As you recognize other people's beauty you will start to recognize your own. Before long, you will start acting and doing things that will cause you to be more beautiful to yourself and to other people. It's the law of reciprocity commonly called sowing and reaping.

I do not want to continue rambling on however I will recommend 2 books that every leader could benefit from. My class was assigned to read the first one when I attended the Institute for Family Studies back in 1997. I wish I had paid more attention to the first one back then. I hang onto every word now. Stephen Covey's 7 Habits of Highly Effective People  and The 8th Habit: From Effectiveness to Greatness.

Thank you so much for reading this blog. I feel so honored that you have taken the time and I do not take you for granted.

For more inspiration and to join my mailing list, go to http://happykindalista.com.

To your continued success,

Alisani Brazil, The Happy Kindalista