500+ for 50 – day 27: the lonely road to the top
As human beings we all have a desire to be liked; to be a part of a family and a community that shares in our vision. We crave companionship and the type of support network that will console us in our defeats and celebrate with us in our victories. Our minds are wired from birth to seek recognition and acknowledgment. That’s why we tend to respond so well to positive affirmation. We when we speak, we intend to be heard. When we take action, we expect that our efforts will be encouraged. We are motivated to fit in and meet the expectations of others. Unfortunately, so much of what we do or don’t do in this life can often be attributed to the types of networks that we choose to surround ourselves with. With very unfortunate frequency we evolve into people that most accurately portray the images of success that have been defined by our closest networks rather than the models of excellence that we see within ourselves.
It’s very difficult not to become a product of your environment. You need to be very secure within yourself to remain true to your own personal values and not allow the network surrounding you to influence your decision making and behaviors. As I mentioned previously, we are all programmed to seek acknowledgment. And when we decide to go against the wisdom of others and trust our own instincts and beliefs, we will often find ourselves the targets of criticism and judgment. That definitely stings. No one likes to feel like they are out on an island all alone. And so that’s where most of us sound the horn and exit the personal development train. For the individuals racing off when the doors open, the pressure to conform is far too great. They would rather let their dreams dissipate than stand out from the crowd. After all, there’s safety in numbers, right?
Perhaps there is comfort to be gained in limiting one’s thinking and course of action to the standards of others. But comfort never developed a cure for cancer. Comfort never won a Nobel Prize. Comfort never started a revolutionary business, nor did it ever inspire a non-profit to empower the lives of those in need. What’s comfortable is not always what’s best for you. Your God given purpose in life was developed by a limitless Creator who cares nothing about conforming to the standards of the world or to your specific network of support. God may have a plan for you that will reach well beyond the comprehension of those around you. And you may have an idea of what that plan is and what types of steps that you must take in order to see it come to fruition. But it’s critical that you recognize that others might not be able to see that picture as clearly as you. They may only be comfortable accepting what is “realistic” within the framework of their minds. Forget your need to seek approval and move forward anyway. If God has given you the nod, then you are cleared for takeoff.
There are all of these interesting statistics out there from data gathered on how much time we spend sleeping, eating, watching TV, working our 9 to 5, etc. Wouldn’t it be intriguing to compile research on the number of hours spent in an average person’s lifetime seeking the approval of others? We often waste so much time trying to fit in that we never explore who it is that we are meant to be. And as a result our true life’s purpose lies dormant within us forever. And the world misses out on a really great success story that could have served to enrich and empower the lives of others.
The road to success can be a very lonely one. I’ve learned this harsh reality myself. When you make a commitment to believe BIG and dream BIG, people are going to have a hard time sharing your limitless mindset. After all, they’ve been trained by the masses to think in terms of what the world deems possible. But isn’t it true that you desire something more than what’s ordinary? You’re after EXTRAordinary success. So forgive those around you for thinking small, and instead of concerning yourself with winning their approval, lead them to greener pastures through your actions taken in unwavering faith.
Learn to ignore the emptiness that beckons from deep inside when you encounter rejection from others. You will not win the approval of everyone, and that’s okay. God provided you His endorsement when He offered you the vision of your future. You need not seek further affirmation. You need only act. And very soon that emptiness will vanish as the fulfillment of your purpose serves to fill the void within. True happiness is found in answering your calling from above, not in listening to the voices of the world.
May God Bless!