To truly reach our greatness and our maximum potential as a human being, we must always be willing to grow, try new activities/tasks, and learn from the experiences we encounter, including the mistakes we make.
Risk taking as personal growth
Just doing the same mundane, usual tasks we always do will limit our potential and greatness as an individual, as we’ll never know whether we were capable of doing another task or occupation better, making better contributions to the world, and receiving the richest fulfillment from our work.
What is an expert?
It is said in Malcolm Gladwell’s book Outliers that to become an expert at something, you need to spend a minimum of 10,000 hours (i.e. 1,250 days over a period of 10 years) of focus and practice on that topic.
By that definition, very few people will reach that status, which is another reason why you should not allow the criticism of a few people to deter you from trying something new. Odds are that those people are not “experts” themselves. In fact, most of the potential audience you would be reaching, especially when starting out, are beginners, not experts. Even knowing one extra step more than someone else, some piece of knowledge, some tip, some experience, can make you an expert to someone completely new.
Additionally, even “experts” by that definition do not know everything, as they can always learn something new about their field of study as well, something that you might know! So these facts should reassure you in your effort to try new challenges and activities in an effort to expand your skill set, increase your knowledge of yourself and your abilities, and find the greatness within you.
By trying new activities and tasks, you should get a better understanding of who you are as a person and what drives or inspires you to increase your effort to do the very best work that you can do.
- First, you should learn your strengths and weaknesses, what you do well and what you struggle with. This will give you a better indication of what you want to do to achieve your inner greatness.
- Second, you want to dig deep and uncover more about what inspires you to achieve greatness. What causes or goals do you want to achieve with your skill set that will drive you to go those extra steps to achieve them? This will also lead you to find out what you should be doing to achieve your inner greatness that will lead to a more fulfilling life and lead to greater contributions to the world.
- Third, you can deal with adversity and setbacks by trying new activities and challenges. Life is full of them. By taking on a new challenge or activity, you will learn the skills and attributes needed to handle the most challenging setbacks in life, such as those related to loss (the people we love, a job, or a home as we’ve seen so much of in recent tragedies and distruction caused by hurricanes and flooding).
A shortcut to leadership?
When you’re willing put yourself out there to try to do something new and don’t do it very well, you have to deal with the unfamiliar and uncomfortable situation of not doing something well when you normally do your usual tasks well.
This says much about your character and your willingness to improve your skill set and your effort to find your inner greatness, what you were truly meant to do to make the greatest positive contributions to this world. That is the kind of character that inspires others.
How greatness is cultivated (hint: it’s not from birth)
Also keep in mind that no one is born great; they have to work at it in order to bring out that greatness within them. While some people figure out what they are most capable of doing and like doing at a young age, many people don’t really figure out what they are best at and most like doing until they are older.
This is why many of us in our 40s, 50s, and even 60s change professions and embark on a new “path” in life, looking to find a happier, more satisfying way of life that brings more positive contributions to their world.
This is why it’s important to always expand your horizons and take on new tasks and activities, as you never know when one such project will open up your eyes to a new path in your life that can lead to greater sense of purpose for you as well as lead to you making greater contributions to the world. It can lead to you finding your true inner greatness that is within you, just waiting to be discovered and utilized to the fullest extent possible.
How not to let fear get in the way: Stop focusing on yourself
Most people have the potential for greatness, but it is often difficult to find out what that greatness is and how it will manifest itself to where it makes the greatest contributions to our world. Often, this is due to limitations put on us by society or ourselves.
The banality of fear
It’s also due to our own fear of trying new activities and tasks, partly because we don’t like to do something unfamiliar to us out of fear of embarrassment of not doing it well, plus the fear of being ridiculed by others because we didn’t do that new task well.
In truth, when we allow ourselves to be bound to our lives out of fear and avoid trying new tasks/challenges, we are limiting our own greatness because we’ll never know where our true talents lie and where our greatest passions and interests are.
Sure, you may do your current job well enough to get a paycheck, support your family (just barely), and put a roof over your heads, but that job might not give you the emotional and mental satisfaction you really want out of life, plus it may not give you the opportunity to show the greatness you truly have within you, including the opportunity to make a change in someone else’s life.