I once asked Nobel Peace Prize winner Jody Williams what separates an ordinary woman from an extraordinary woman.
“The belief that she is ordinary,” she said.
Simply profound and profoundly simple. The only thing that limits you – is you. Think you are average? You’ll be average. Think you can do anything? You can.
Last night, I met a 22-year-old singer/musician who blew me and about 100 other people away with her voice. Afterwards, I asked her what her plan was for becoming famous.
“Oh, I don’t want to be famous,” she said. “I just want to be able to make a living doing this.”
“Shoot for the middle and that is where you will wind up,” I told her.
People who don’t shoot for the top – the very top – often limit themselves because they fear making an enormous emotional and personal commitment, and ultimately falling short. Well, so what if you do? So what if you have big dreams and accomplish only 70 or 80 percent of what you’d hoped? You’ll still be far ahead of where you will be if you just aim for the middle and stay there. And, your experience will be so much more interesting.
Achievement comes in trying what you are afraid to try. Achievement is not the ultimate success or failure of any attempt. It’s getting out there, getting dirty, trying your hardest and enjoying every aspect of the challenge. It’s expecting obstacles and conquering them. It’s recognizing and treasuring the support you get from people who love you and believe in you. Achievement is the knowledge that you are defining who you are every day, rather than letting the circumstances of life define that for you. The reward in all of this is that you are living your life and choosing extraordinary. risperdal weight gain space cowboys download free
Fawn Germer is the best-selling author of four books and speaks to corporations and organizations about courages and creative leadership strategies.
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Don’t be afraid to take risks. If there was ever a point in time that I said, “No, I don’t know enough, I’m not ready, I can’t,” I would have missed out on the next experience. It is all about the chain of experiences. Each one has enabled the next one. In totality, they have given me such a rich grouping of skills that I draw from every day. You can learn whatever it is you have to learn. You find the experts and the people who are going to support you.
Never give up. In those times I’ve had where I think, “There is no way that I can do this,” I step back and find the people who have lived through valuable experiences and I get the answers.
You can get past whatever barrier you have in your mind. Just step back and get the big picture to find the answers. The answers always come.
I have always had to know how to adapt to change. It starts with you. You can’t find the answers on the outside. You have to know yourself, take care of yourself and find ways to validate what you do. When you start looking for validation of who you are or of your accomplishments from people on the outside, you will always be searching for something you will never find.
I have a lot of humility in my life. A lot of things have brought me to my knees. When those things happen, I realize how much I should give back to those who have given me so much. I think how much I owe to the ones who are coming up behind me. There is accountability and responsibility with what I have today. There is a purpose, and that purpose is to give back.
I learned to set boundaries. Boundaries are really about making it clear to people that there are things that are really important to you personally—and not being afraid to say it. It is not about the quantity of hours you work, but the quality of hours you put in. It is okay to say, “I can’t do this unless we trade this out or move the deadline on this.” I used to take it all on. I used to work really late and start really early, but I
don’t think that was the most effective use of my time. I would have gotten a lot more done by setting boundaries and limits. An example is that I play tennis on Monday and Wednesday nights, and I have to be gone from the office by six-thirty—period. That is a simple example of setting limits that define a capacity for doing quality work. I am open to others doing that because of my own experience with it.
Another thing I learned is, the last 3 percent is not worth it. I used to believe that, unless something was perfect, it was flawed. That is not true. What is important is sifting through the garbage, identifying the most important elements and delivering those. Anyone who operates as if the last 3 percent matters will 100 percent fail today. The speed of decision-making and the quantity of decisions that have to be made are so vast now. There is no room for overdeliberation. Identify the most relevant actions and do them very well. Have the ability to triage a business problem. Forget about the wasteful 20 percent and go after that core 80 percent that matters the most.
As women, we are gatherers. Men are hunters. But we gather it all, we pull it all together. We spot every detail and men go for the kill. Frankly, I think we can all go for the kill instead of doing too much gathering. We can get lost looking for the herbs when we don’t have a steak to put them on.
I read somewhere that the happiest people are those who can appreciate things around them. I now appreciate my health and my friends and family and getting up every day. I have a heightened sense of why those things are important in my life. I still work hard. I thrive on working hard. But I am working a whole lot smarter and am really balancing it with a lot of fun.
It all comes down to forgiveness — forgiving others and forgiving yourself. That’s where a true reset occurs. Because once you let go, you grow.
“Forgiveness is a gift you give to yourself.” I heard that quote years ago, and now everyone from Suzanne Somers to Tony Robbins is claiming it. Since everyone is claiming the words, you might as well do it, too. Hang onto them, because they so succinctly sum up the “why” of forgiveness. It isn’t about the other person. It’s about you. Every anger, misgiving, or resentment you cling to hurts you, not the person who wronged you.
Once you let go of it for yourself, you can often take the step of forgiving in total. You can then forgive the other person for his or her sake.
My ex-husband and I talk almost every week, and we’ve been divorced for more than twenty years. There were some deep hurts that led to our split, but if I’d hung onto them, I would have completely lost someone I loved. My life would be emptier without him. So he has my complete forgiveness — and believe me, I’m sure he has had to do some forgiving, too.
Why choose animosity and resentment when you can let go, move on, and rebuild something new and different?
You can forgive someone that you never want to see again. I’ve done that. It comes down to a question of how much you want to let that person re-victimize you in absentia. Do you think that client’s former boss would have felt bad about having scarred that woman for so many years? Pretty doubtful. So who was she punishing?
Have you been punishing yourself by getting stuck in the past? Let go. Move on.
C. S. Lewis summed it up best: “Getting over a painful experience is much like crossing monkey bars. You have to let go at some point in order to move forward.”