That about says it all, doesn’t it? How many people have you dealt with that just want to gripe, yet when you get to the bottom of it, they seem content to wallow in it. What it boils down to is they really don’t want to change bad enough. Change only happens when the pain or the gain outweighs staying the same. Think about it. You have to have a significant reward or penalty to motivate yourself to change.
This week I was coaching a manager who needed to change some behaviors for the sake of his career and for his own peace of mind. I pointed out one thing to him and he said, “Yeah, I have heard that before.” I said something else he could work on and he said, “Yeah, I have heard that too.” I said one last thing and he said, “People of told me that as well.” I said, “Buddy, do you see a pattern here?”
It was pretty funny and we both laughed at the revelation, but prior to that moment he was blind to his behaviors that were unhealthy. My advice to him was this, “If one person says you need to change something, listen to them, and consider if it has any truth in it. If two people say you need to change something, take it more seriously, and evaluate it more closely. Think of it as a flashing yellow light on the highway. If three or more people tell you that you need to change something, you probably need to change that! That would be the red light telling you to stop.” Pretty simple don’t you think? Yet how many people do you know that just don’t want to change bad enough? They are content to wallow in it, or too stubborn to admit they have a problem.
To find the greatness within yourself and others:
- Know yourself first and foremost. If you don’t have a healthy self-awareness you will never have a healthy social awareness.
- Listen to what other people tell you. If they are not forthcoming with feedback, ask them. You may have to give them permission to be truthful if you are weak on the social skills, as they may be afraid of your reaction. Feedback is only relevant if it is truthful, so be open to hearing the good and the bad and give them permission to be honest with you. When they give you feedback, don’t argue or get defensive, just thank them. Allow yourself to process what you heard. Every criticism typically has an ounce of truth. That is what you are looking for.
- Look for greatness in yourself, and encourage it in others. It is wonderful to have high standards for yourself, but nobody is perfect. Only one person in history was perfect, and it is not you, me, or anyone walking on the planet now. Encourage others to excellence by identifying good things in them that they don’t see in themselves. Encourage them to get out of the comfort zone. Nothing great was ever accomplished in the comfort zone. We have to stretch if we want to grow. That goes for you too.
- Don’t let fear hold you back from achieving greatness. Just because you have never done it before should not hold you back, even if you have failed multiple times before. If it is a dream within you, don’t let it die. Keep working towards it. Keep stretching yourself. The breakthrough is often within reach. You just have to know which direction to go. Keep knocking, the door will eventually open.
I believe that every one of us is born with greatness inside. It is not about self-glory. It is about realizing your purpose and coming alive. We can choose to exist or to really live. Living is vital and fluid. Existing is boring, unsatisfying, and stagnant. I don’t know about you, but I want to LIVE.
This is a new day for each of us. I hope you find the seed of greatness in yourself and others, and water it.