Meant For Greatness, Not Mediocrity
Meant for Greatness.
Ya know how sometimes you find yourself in situations where you are just crawling out of your skin, wishing you were 10 million other places, but you already committed, RSVP’d, cancelled other things to be there and so you go. All day you are dreading it, or at the very list begrudgingly going. You get there, and are immediately disinterested or struggling to stay engaged. Then WHAM! The universe slaps you upside the head and says, “Hey, bonehead, wake up and pay attention, there is a lesson to be learned here. Why else do you think you would be sitting here. No one MADE you come, you are meant to be here”. This happened to me last night.
From the time I started playing T-Ball at the age of 5, I was taught that when you commit to something, you stick with it until the end. There is no quitting in the middle of the season, no backing out on your responsibilities to yourself, and in most cases the team/class/group to whom you have committed. This last year has been a time of change and transition for me. A back surgery, dealing with some personal health issues, publishing a book, getting a divorce, totaling my car, launching my own business and brand. As I move into new and intimidating waters, the thing that has always kept me grounded is the process of learning, and engaging in my own path. This led me to Pathway’s Lending and the Women’s Business Center here in Nashville. They offer an amazing line up of classes, and support for business owners…financial support, mentorship, business development/planning and advice for growth potential. I enrolled in a 7-week course, which just ended. The class met from 6-8pm on Tuesday nights. I get up at 415am every morning. I hit the gym at 5, in the office by 630, clients from 7-11am, lunch, work and social media from 2-4pm, across town to my other office location from 4-530pm, and then to class. It sucked. There were many nights I wanted to take the quick detour onto Interstate 440 back home…dinner calling, bed and crossword in my future. But I had committed. Not to mention, not one was making me take this class. I would only be cheating myself out of this opportunity, and the knowledge and growth that would come. And so I was there, every week, prepared, sometimes giving into a diet soda to keep my eyes open…but I did it.
Some weeks I questioned if there was a better use of my time. But, it was on the last night was when I realized why I had enrolled in the course, and what the lesson was that I was meant to learn. We had a brilliant and inspiring speaker wrap things up for us last night, Mignon Francois, CEO and Founder of The Cupcake Collection. She is an African American, Nashville via New Orleans, self-made, no nonsense, diva of faith who knows how to speak truth and light a fire under anyone who will listen. She shared her stories of suffering through the 2007 real estate and financial downturn, the struggles of being a single mom, building a business from nothing, saving and budgeting, turning hard work into great fortune and freedom. I took so much away from her authentic raw storytelling. There were no tales of freebies or handouts, no name-dropping, who you know, leverage your connections advice because she had none. Here is what I will carry with me as I embark on the next stage of what and who I am supposed to be.
- Mediocrity is dishonoring the One who put us here to thrive.
- Open your palms and receive. This is how we grow and learn.
It is so easy to get complacent. Whether we get comfortable in relationships that are taking us no where…friendships that are unhealthy, marriages that are broken, family drama that leaves us drained and unfulfilled. Or jobs that create stress, anxiety, financial burden, unhealthy behaviors only to bring home a paycheck. Lifestyle patterns such as exercise routines, eating patterns, substance use, sleeping habits that we continue to adhere to even if they are not serving us well. This is being content with mediocrity…and we were meant for greatness. No matter what your religion, or spiritual belief system, you were created because someone or something believes that you have a mission and a purpose to achieve. You have been bestowed with amazing, unique and incomparable gifts. NO ONE can do what you can do, if you allow yourself to walk blindly with faith and follow the path that has been laid before you. Sometimes it is rocky as shit, sometime there are roots and walls to hurdle, there are detours and blind alleys that seem terrifying. We cannot question the path, we cannot turn back out of fear or arrogance that we know a better way. All the setback, all the failures, they are feedback, they are meant to be. Without them, you would not be on the path that was destined for you. When I had my back surgery, I cursed the universe. Why Me? My one passion, running, has been taken away. When I was faced with a failing marriage, I was convinced my life was over…a broken, nearly 40 year old divorcee with no kids, no pets, a half empty house, and starting my own business for the first time in my life…the thought of dating again made me nauseous. Afterall, I hated it when I was 20, not to mention 10 years out of practice. You get the idea. Change makes us question our worth, our purpose, our confidence to be and do. But, all these experiences reveal who we are, who we can be, who we would not be had these experiences not happened. There are still days when my back hurts. I have probably gone back to the doctor a half dozen times convinced I re-injured myself. There are days when I cry, regret or question what I did or did not do to save my marriage. Was it my fault? What did I do wrong? But I have to look forward. Live in the NOW, it is in the NOW that we OWN our future. Among the many nuggets of knowledge Ms. Francois shared last night was this…
Speak What You Seek Until You See What You Said.
This is about faith and passion. About knowing what you want, and putting 100% of your mind and motivation behind it. Not settling for less that your ultimate potential. But moreover, being patient and resilient. A stick-to-it-ness
Too often, too many of us want everything yesterday. We want to be guided on this well-lit, unimpeded path to our greatest potential. We want a cheering committee, we want a support network, accolades and compensation. More often than not the fruits of our labor remain hidden longer than we would like. We are given more than we can handle alone, but HE/SHE/IT is always there watching how we respond. It is like an elite athlete at a showcase event…the coaches who are grading and evaluating are not always looking for the player who performs the skills at the highest level, they are looking for how each player responds to mistakes, how they interact with team mates and receive coach feedback. It is these intangibles, and teachable moments that they seek. The fundamentals can be taught. Opening yourself to scrutiny…being real and vulnerable, also opens your heart to acceptance, love and learning. When you are willing to receive feedback, you will walk into every situation with a willingness to gain. It is not about opening your palm to receive a handout, or the cliff’s notes version of how to succeed. It is about opening your hands and heart to take the direction of what is meant for you. You will drop things, lose a grip on some of the tools and advice you are given, you will be overwhelmed. But just think, if you keep a tight fist, are closed off and skeptical you will receive nothing, and you will get nowhere.
What does this all mean, my ramblings, spiritual and philosophical rhetoric…it boils down to two things.
- Don’t Settle for Mediocre when You are Meant for Greatness
- Be Vulnerable. Open Hands and Heart will both Bestow and Allow You to Bestow Upon Others that which you were meant to achieve.