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Crave greatness

Growing up I was surrounded by amazing people and I still am. These people are my parents, siblings, cousins and friends. They just have this amazing ability to make mistakes and allow me to learn from them (advantages of being the last born). They also seem to harness tenacity even after many, many tumbles and failures.

The impact of the people that surrounded me only became evident when I had to start making life changing decisions such as, choosing a career path to follow and fully embarking on this journey called life. Being surrounded by dream chasers, doers and go getters gave me a different perspective on how and what kind of person I wanted to be. I wanted to be great.

What these people had in common is that they were exceptional at what they did, they seemed to get very little sleep, they had a passion and they allowed their passion to drive them. So, watching them I knew I wanted to great too, at something. I was craving to be the best at something. Little did I realize that first I needed to find a purpose then find a passion in that a purpose then try to be great.

To be great at something, you need to have a something and that something is the passion that you find in your purpose. You need to have the kind of passion that rattles your soul and the kind of purpose that you look at and say, “I can’t be average at this, I can’t be average at something I claim to be passionate about”. Your sweat and blood need to show in your purpose. Your passion needs to overflow from your whole being and touch others.

The passion from these not so perfect people created a craving, an addiction to wanting to be great and not just average. It was the craving for greatness that got them through the night when the future seemed a bit dimer than hoped for. It is this craving that has me wanting to be better than I was yesterday. It is this craving that should help you get through the trials that come with following your passion.

But, the secret to all this is to see yourself as your own competition and bench mark and not to compare yourself to others although it may be difficult. Let the people that surround you be your inspiration and not your competition.

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Self-validation leads to happiness

The realization about seeking validation from family, friends and the internet came about when I moved 18 hours away from home. Moving away and being a teenager, you would swear that I required validation in the things I did or wanted to do. I thought I did too.

Earlier this year I was forced to deal with life plans not going according to the way I had intended, as usual. I was sent down an emotional roller-coaster, I was confused, angry and uncertain about many things, but regardless of everything I decided to keep going.

Even though I understood the decision I made not to linger on the disappointment, I still went searching validation from friends and family. This lead me back to the confused state from before, I just could not understand why people didn’t agree and misunderstood my actions.

When the solution to get validation for my decision turned out not be a solution at all. I was forced to sit down and analyse MY process of decision making. This lead to the understanding that I didn’t need to explain my decisions every time I made them. 99% when I sought validation I already knew what was best for me, but required confirmation that I was doing the right thing. When I didn’t get confirmation, I would either discard the advice or question myself.

Going through the process made me understand what my moral compass was and how I used it to make decisions and judgments for certain situations. Through everything I started doubting myself less and this boosted my self-esteem.

The process of self-validation takes time, patience and meditation. It’s a way of connecting with your inner self. It’s not the shortest or easiest of processes to go through, but it has the power to make you acknowledge that you are your own key to happiness and reduce the stress that comes from requiring validation from others.

I am not saying that we should not seek validation because at some point we all do, but what I am trying to address is the issue of feeling the need to be validated for almost all the decisions you make and self doubt. We live in a world where we constantly have to question ourselves,but we need to be to trust ourselves.