Emerson: “All the great speakers were bad speakers at first (page 43).”
Zen of Roger Shikan Hawkins Sensei: “When we allow ourselves to open deeply to our spirit of inquiry, we find the motivating force in our lives is the infinite spirit we all are, beyond the limits of what we can imagine (page xiii).”
Ptahhotep: “Teach the great what is useful to them (page 28).”
Greatness is in the eye of the beholder and can be something as simple as becoming a great mentor, friend, or parent and as mind blowing as being the person who invents the cure to a dangerous infectious disease saving millions of lives.
Making a difference in a positive way through your words and actions can make life altering changes in someone and you may not even know it. Did you help build someone’s self-esteem, knowledge, or talent today? Or did you say and do something that tore them down or belittled them? When you do the latter you are tearing down yourself as well. As I’ve said before life is a boomerang what you give out comes back to you quickly.
Be great even in small things. I love the quote from Emerson because every student who has been forced to take a class in speech knows exactly what he was referring to! The fear associated with making that first speech can be overwhelming and even cause a panic attack! But once the first speech is made each subsequent speech gets easier and easier! I share a 3 breath exercise with all of my students and just taking those three slow deep breaths before the talk can relax your body, send oxygen to your brain, and quiet down the monkey mind. When that happens you are ready to move ahead, make your speech, and do a darn good job at it!
Greatness comes one “baby step” at a time as the psychiatrist Dr. Leo Marvin (played by Richard Dreyfuss) told Bob (played by Bill Murray) in the great movie, “What About Bob?”.
Baby steps, baby steps! Being great in something small can help you discover the spirit within you…that sleeping giant as some say. And when it does all things are possible in your life. Sharing that compassion, understanding, talent, or knowledge with others will help them find the greatness within them.
Go beyond the limits of your imagination. Be the person your dog thinks you are! Try it I think you’ll like it!
 Hawkins, R. (2010) Great Doubt the Spirit of Self Inquiry Black Mountain NC: Cloud Cottage Editions
 Hilliard, A.G., Williams, L., Damali, N. Editors (1987) The Teachings of Ptahhotep The Oldest Book in the World. Blackwood Press