Hello, dear friends. I have missed you. I have been engulfed for the past 4 months in massively downsizing and simplifying my life. In this process I have been inspired by the lessons of the CHPC™ Declarations Course and living my Personal Virtues for Greatness. It feels wonderful to reconnect.
This is the 3nd Blog in a 3-Part series featuring excerpts from my Certified High Performance Coaching™ Program, The Declarations Course, which is loosely based on Brendon Burchard's The Motivation Manifesto: 9 Declarations to Claim Your Personal Power. These are three of my favorite Declarations:
In my personal life philosophy there is a seed pod of greatness in each and every one of us. This quote by Wilma Rudolf captures this idea beautifully:
"Never underestimate the power of dreams and the influence of the human spirit.
We are all of the same notion: The potential for greatness lives within each of us."
Wilma Rudolph is a shining example of the human spirit -- she overcame polio paralysis, scarlet fever, double pneumonia and only regained the ability to walk again when she was 12 years old. She went on to become an Olympic champion. At just 16 years of age, she was a member of the American 4x100m relay team that won bronze medal at the 1956 Summer Olympics. Four years later, Wilma Rudolph went on to win 3 gold medals in the 100m, 200m and 4x100m relay, breaking 3 world records in the process.
Let's now explore what greatness means to us. We may all have different definitions. What does greatness mean to you?
For me, greatness is defined by how we show up to serve -- to serve ourselves and to serve others. Here is an inspirational quote on this point by Martin Luther King:
"Not everyone can be famous but everyone can be great, because
greatness is determined by service."
I remember watching a video with 1,000 colleagues and Robin Sharma on stage at a High Performance Coaching seminar hosted by Brendon Burchard. In the video, Robin was in Johannesburg interviewing the janitor of the men's washroom at the airport. This man calls the washroom he cleans his "office" and he aspires to give every one a wonderfully clean and pristine experience on their pit stops. He serves with pride, excellence, and enthusiasm. I would say, he serves with Greatness. Robin calls him a VSH, Very Special Human.
We each have unique gifts -- and it is our challenge to recognize our gifts, grow into a life of service, and to continue to elevate these gifts to serve at even higher levels and inspire even more people.
There are 2 more inspirational quotes which follow to reveal the relationship between greatness, service, joy, and purpose. Then we will get into the really challenging life work questions we ask in the Declarations Course.
First, Rabindranath Tagore, the 1952 Nobel Laureate in Literature, inspires us with the link between joy and service:
"I slept and dreamt that life was joy. I awoke and saw that life was service.
I acted and behold, service was my joy."
Next is the lead in quote by Albert Schweitzer to the chapter in The Motivation Manifesto, We Shall Inspire Greatness:
"I don't know what your destiny will be, but one thing I know:
the only ones among you who will be really happy are those who
those who will have sought and found how to serve."
The key phrase, to me, is "those who have sought and found how to serve." This is our Purpose Statement. Most clients who take the Declarations Course have worked with me through the Certified High Performance Habits™ Course where, in Lesson 11, you create your unique Purpose Statement. I love the heart, the simplicity, the eloquence in every Purpose Statement from every client. Our Purpose Statement answers the big question of "Why am I here. " Our Purpose Statement is our call to service and our unique answer to how we will serve.
Now we come the challenging questions we ask in the Declarations Course. I invite you to take out your journal and reflect on the following questions:
1. What would the person closest to you in your life say makes you great?
2. How will you inspire greatness in someone in your life who seems to be stuck or struggling right now?
3. What are the 2 or 3 most important teachable lessons you are Role Modeling right now, either at home or in the office?
Great questions, right?! There are no 'right' or 'wrong' answers -- just write your truth. Own your greatness.
Please keep your journal out, because we are going even deeper to explore the virtues that are the cornerstone to Inspiring Greatness.
In The Motivation Manifesto, Brendon Burchard writes at length on The Nine Virtues of Greatness. Brendon researched and distilled the virtues that philosophers and historians claim have helped notable figures achieve greatness. The Life Work/Worksheet for this lesson is a call to action. What actions will you take in the next 30-60 days to level up in each of these virtues to better serve yourself and others?
Stop, right now and ask yourself: What are Your Nine Virtues of Greatness? No peeking at Brendon's list which follows. Lol. What are the core Virtues you live by -- that you aspire to exemplify in your life and in your leadership? It is your decision whether there are 5 or 7 or 9 Virtues on your personal list. The most important thing is that it is your list and it is a short list.
The Nine Virtue of Greatness from the Motivation Manifesto are: Honesty. Responsibility. Intelligence. Excellence. Courage. Respect. Vigilance. Service. Unity. I think most of us intuitively understand why these virtues are foundational to Inspiring Greatness in ourselves and others. There is a good explanation of the underlying rationale for each virtue in the book, if you are looking for more detail.
How does this list resonate with you? On reflection, would you modify your Personal List of Virtues of Greatness?
There is also a wealth of research from Positive Psychology which found 6 core virtues to be ubiquitous across cultures. The initial research is credited to Dr. Christopher Peterson and Dr. Martin Seligman. Subsequent research and applications have evolved, so you will find slight differences in wording.
Positive Psychology's Six Virtues and the 24 character strengths are:
1. Wisdom & Knowledge: creativity, curiosity, open-mindedness, love of learning, and perspective;
2. Humanity: love, kindness, and social intelligence;
3. Justice: teamwork, fairness, and leadership;
4. Courage: bravery, perseverance, integrity, and zest.
5. Temperance: forgiveness, humility, prudence, and self-regulation.
6. Transcendence: appreciation of beauty, excellence, purpose, gratitude, hope, humor, and spirituality.
I add this research to provide more food for thought. Honing in on each of our Personal List of Virtues of Greatness is hard work -- and it is an inside job. Choose your words carefully and authentically. Personally, I do not get caught up in the research schematics of whether something is a virtue or a character strength. I am drawn to the words that resonate for me, in my life. Again what is most important, in my opinion, is that you own your list and that the list is short.
Thank you and congratulations for all your hard work!
Once people have done the work for themselves, I am always open and willing to share the work that I have done for myself in this area.
Alison Lanza Falls' Virtues of Greatness: Gratitude. Respect. Integrity. Wisdom, Self-Control. Courage. Love. Service.
Now let us answer the call to action and address how we intend to level up on each of our core virtues to better serve ourselves and others.
I hope you will let yourself be amazed by the human spirit and inspired by your Personal List of Virtues of Greatness!
Till next time, with deep respect and gratitude.
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