Whatever floats your boat...
I had a discussion recently with a client about greatness. Popularity is probably a more accurate description. It’s funny what people will tell you when you lay your hands on them. They seem to forget they are in a public place, surrounded by other people. They get in my chair and once we’ve talked business, they spill their dreams or their fears or their guts. I don’t really understand it.
Anyway, my client mentioned out of the blue that she regretted that she had never done anything or become anything special. I asked her what she meant by special, envisioning a short school bus but knowing that isn’t what she meant.
“You know, I’ll never be famous. I can’t sing, I can’t dance, I’m not funny, I’ve never been on t.v…Have you ever been on t.v.?
“Yes”, I answered I went home from work after moving around a half dozen appointments because my son had a fever. By the time I got there, he didn’t have a fever, so we went to my daughter’s school carnival. I was stuffing my pie hole with a chili dog and ended up on the local news where every one of my clients I had canceled saw me. It didn’t make me famous.”
“SEE??? Even YOU have been on t.v.!” I wasn’t sure how to take that so we moved on.
She explained that her entire life had been a dull, dreary story that she couldn’t even keep a journal about. My immediate reaction, which I managed to keep to myself, was…so?
It occurred to me that she just needed a change of perspective. We were giving her a new color and cut that day so we had enough time for me to share my perspective.
Here’s my take on greatness. Greatness is a personal thing. And it is achieved on a personal level. It is not determined by the number of friends we have, the neighborhood or size of our homes. It is not measured by our stature, career, bank account or spouse.
Greatness, like respect, generosity, integrity, leadership, comes from within. It is revealed to us at the end of the day when we look ourselves in the mirror and know we spent our day well. It is reflected in the faces of our children. Greatness is purity of heart; follow through on intention, ingenuity. We achieve greatness daily by putting one foot in front of the other when every fiber screams “LAY DOWN”; when we live one day at a time with gratitude; when we remember that someone in the world loves us, when we end the day weary of a hard day’s work.
Greatness is not an empty vessel to be filled with the adulation of thousands of strangers who only want to be around us in the hopes that we can do something for them; it is not shallow like outer beauty; it is not vengeful, selfish, or brutish. To achieve greatness we must be the vessel.
No, we achieve personal greatness every day that we survive, that we choose good over evil, that we do some selfless act. We need not desire the approbation of the masses. We need only to accept and love ourselves in order to love and accept others. We need only to live gratefully, contribute productively, and remember that we never know who is watching, listening and learning from us.
During my musings with this client, I reminded her that she had two wonderful children, is a wonderful and supportive wife, an amazing and talented teacher, and a thoughtful and respectful friend. And if all those successes didn’t make her “great” I’d be willing to contribute and write a blog about her.
I finished her hair, which, if I do say so myself, looked stunning and handed her the mirror. She gazed at herself for only a moment before exclaiming. “OMG! I’m gorgeous!!!” loud enough to draw chuckles from more than a few sitting in earshot.
“See? Now, your outsides reflect your insides. And you said you weren’t special.”
She left with a smile on her face. My job was done. :c )