Do you aspire to greatness?
My dad was a farmer, to support his family he worked the land, and raised cattle. One evening, when I was five, he came home from the fields and I declared to him, in my young enthusiasm, that I was going to be a vet. Twenty years later, after what felt like a marathon of study and learning, I achieved that goal. I fulfilled that aspiration, and then came to realise that the hard work had only just begun! I was fortunate to become a partner in a veterinary business fairly soon after qualifying and I thought I would stay there until retirement.
Contrary to my expectations (and dare I say ‘aspirations’), the Universe had other ideas for my life. After a series of challenging detours and roadblocks, my career took a very different path. Today I find myself in the field of small animal physical rehabilitation which is a new and exciting profession and filled with its own, unique set of aspirations.
This journey has caused me to ask a number of questions about the nature of success and achievement. What determines greatness? Does the deemed status of a chosen profession determine greatness? Or is greatness measured in the currency of wealth? Does the ability to affect another person’s life determine greatness? Is a medical doctor any greater than a personal assistant? Does the status and extent of one’s followers and fans determine greatness? Does the life of Bill Gates have more value than the one led by Mother Theresa?
We all have a deeply embedded set of personal values, and these differ from individual to individual. For me, greatness is defined by how much kindness, honesty, determination and generosity of spirit a person displays in his or her life.
For me greatness revolves around being the best version of me that I can be. Will I make mistakes during the process? Of course! Will I veer off in the wrong direction every so often? Most definitely! Will I hurt the people I share my life with? Most certainly but, hopefully, never intentionally. Will I steadfastly follow my calling? Absolutely! Will I be considerate and respectful to all living beings? With all of my heart.
Mindful, soulful, whole living.
Do you aspire to greatness? I do.