Do you have it within you to be great? For what it’s worth, I think that everyone has the capacity to become great, right where they are. Through the course of a couple of conversations this week (both online and off), the topic of accountability and responsibility as they relate to greatness were brought into my consciousness.
Do we all have to be leading the charge in order to be great? No. The janitor and the CEO both have the capacity to be great. What we need in order to be great is to be responsible.
“The price of greatness is responsibility.”Â ~ Winston Churchill
A few things came to mind when I saw this quote earlier in the week – surfacing in my socnets. I’ve made reference in earlier posts about the Jiminy CricketÂ nature of having thousands of your voices in my head all day long, and the combined/cumulative effect that has in my thought processes.
My first thought was of the women we serve through Women With Drive Foundation. The very first time I read through an application from a possible participant, the understanding that another person was putting her trust in me to help her and her children landed squarely in my solar plexus. I was, in part, responsible for her future. It was a sobering thought, but one that I accepted as a personal challenge.Â When we put ourselves out there, we must be prepared to follow through. It’s the price of admission for a life fully lived.
The second thing that went through my head was that the acceptance of responsibility has as its reward, greatness. Yes, duh. I get it ~ I understand that I’m restating the obvious. But more than that – until we are ready to step into our own power, we transfer a portion of our energies to those who are willing to absorb the mantle of responsibility in exchange. To a certain extent, we surrender a portion of our choices to those who step forward (and there is nothing wrong with that, per se).
We don’t all need to be leaders and/because true, seismic change on a grand scale happens when The Middle is galvanized and acts in concert with each other to reach a common goal. That said, each of us can be great within our own framework, within our own lives. The key is to understand mindfulness and acceptance of the consequences of one’s own actions.
“A man sooner or later discovers that he is the master-gardener of his soul, the director of his life.” Â ~James Allen
‘Tend your own garden,’ was a phrase I heard ad nauseum as a child. Whether I was counseling my mother as to the best way to raise my brothers, indignant over the way classmates conducted their lives or miffed about various injustices I presumed that I suffered due to the failures of others, the stock answer from my elders was to tend my own garden.
Everyone has his own cross to bear and everyone has her own lessons to learn. Including me. Including you. My job is to distill my own lessons, take ownership of them and to implement the changes that will bring about my own evolution.
“Responsibility: A detachable burden easily shifted to the shoulders of God, Fate, Fortune, Luck or one’s neighbor.Â In the days of astrology it was customary to unload it upon a star.”Â ~Ambrose Bierce, The Devil’s Dictionary, 1911
A previous installment of this series concerns the cynicism of a belief in luck. This is a biggie, because to restate the gist of the earlier post about believing in “luck,”Â jettisoning personal accountability to anything other than oneself is a lie. It’s the worst kind of lie, because it’s one we tell ourselves.
“Action springs not from thought, but from a readiness for responsibility.”Â ~ Dietrich Bonhoeffer
This is the fulcrum upon which real change happens. Action happens when we trust in our own abilities and our capacity to sustain the consequences of our choices. When I read this quote, I immediately thought of a wonderful post from Lisa Petrilli that addresses the qualities of leadership, titled “Leadership is a Gift: Four Signs You’re Worthy“. One of Lisa’s central points is understanding and embracing our worthiness in receiving, but the converse of receiving is giving.
More to the point, what do we do with the gifts we possess? What is our responsibility to use them? How do we use our gifts as a springboard for giving (and in so doing, expand them)?Â The answers to these questions provide the framework for your path to independence and greatness. Are you ready to claim them?
Molly Cantrell-Kraig is a woman with drive. Possessing an innate sense of purpose and a pragmatic, solution-based approach to empowering people, she fused these two traits in order to establish Women With Drive Foundation. Based upon its founder’s personal history, Women With Drive Foundation is a means through which Cantrell-Kraig may effect change on both a micro and macro level. By providing women with something as essential as personal transportation in order to transition them from poverty to prosperity, she, through Women With Drive Foundation, seeks to empower women to help them help themselves. Through this action, the individual applicant benefits, as does society as a whole. Follow Molly on twitter as @mckra1g or @WWDr1ve (Women With Drive)