The greatness question

by Kim on July 6, 2011 · 29 comments

The Greatness Question

Baby Kim.  I’ve still got that appetite, by the way. 

I’m going to risk sounding like a pint-sized egomaniac and tell you that when I was a young child, perhaps four or five years old, I knew without a doubt that I was destined to do amazing things.  My belief was never well-defined, I didn’t know specifically what sort of greatness I was destined for, but I carried that belief with me throughout my childhood and into my early teenage years.  At some point the certainty of my greatness fizzled away.  I didn’t think of it again for many years. 

I don’t know if this early confidence in my own potential was a result of parenting, books I read, or shows I watched on TV.  I don’t know if it was because of the self esteem movement that peaked during my developmental years or that if, maybe, it’s a belief that we are all born with because it is the truth. 

I’ve been thinking about it lately, my early confidence in my own greatness, wondering what the source was.  Was it ego?  Youth? God?  Was it artificial or spiritual?  Self-created or something more?

I’ve got a question for all of you, because I’m trying to get at the core of this little mystery.  Did you believe as a child that you were born to do something amazing? 

Has your adult life lived up to what you believed you would be when you were young? 

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{ 27 comments… read them below or add one }

Sunee July 6, 2011 at 11:33 pm

I still believe I’m supposed to do something amazing :)

Which is why I sometimes find my job a little frustrating, because I’ve always thought I’d be responsible for some great scientific discovery or for writing a book that will bring happiness to the lives of many people. Not spend my days programming business processes that, let’s face it, make someone else’s admin easier.

But, c’est la vie. Sometimes greatness are the little things you do for your loved ones, things you don’t even realise make a difference in someone else’s life.

But I’m still working on my Nobel acceptance speech, just in case… ;)
Sunee recently posted..Hiking Towards Mushroom Rock

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Kim July 7, 2011 at 7:26 am

Hi Sunee!! I love hearing that you still believe that you are supposed to do something amazing… because I feel the same way too. I love the thought that our greatest deeds might be something that we do for others that we never quite see the impact of, I think it’s so true. However, like you, I’m still going to work on the next-great-novel/creative project/whatevericomeupwith.

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Odysseus Drifts July 6, 2011 at 11:52 pm

I struggle with having enough confidence, yet paradoxically, I’ve always felt that I am meant to do something special. And even though I haven’t done it yet, I feel like everything in my life is leading me closer to where I’m supposed to be.
Odysseus Drifts recently posted..Foreign Women for Sale

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Kim July 7, 2011 at 7:27 am

Hi Odysseus. Sometimes I think the biggest hump to get over is believing that we are worthy of our own greatness. I am cheering for you!

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Torre July 7, 2011 at 4:56 am

I always wanted to be ‘a fairy princess.’ (I don’t think I was the smartest child in the world.) I was happy with being ‘normal’, but it wasn’t until I started university (graphic design) that I learned my dad was disappointed, and thought I should be more like Scully from the X-files (medical doctor, detective, and supernatural expert). It made me think that maybe I wasn’t pushing myself hard enough. So I began to push harder and strive for big things. Has my adult life lived up to my childhood belief? Sure! I never thought I’d accomplish half the stuff I have. I still wake up every day and think: “I really did THAT?”
Torre recently posted..What happens when your once-in-a-lifetime adventure is over?

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Kim July 7, 2011 at 7:29 am

LOL, you crack me up Torre! How amazing that you have done bigger and better things than you dreamed! In some way, I can say that that is true of myself as well. Sometimes I think “wow, I can’t believe my life is like this!” You have done some amazing things and should be very proud :) I bet your dad is proud too.

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Andi July 7, 2011 at 5:24 am

When I was a kid, I always believed I would eventually be a star at whatever activity I was currently infatuated with, whether or not I was actually good at it. I think that comes from within, but in my case I suppose it was helped along by parents who assured me that I could do whatever I put my mind to.
And yeah, I’d say I still have the same basic belief, but now I realize that the fun is in the process, not in some mythical finish line where you’ve finally achieved, you know, ‘everything’.

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Kim July 7, 2011 at 7:31 am

So true. There is no joy in accomplishing anything that you haven’t worked hard for (the process). Andi, I’d say you’ve done a pretty great job at becoming a star in whatever you put your mind to.

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Carmel July 7, 2011 at 10:47 am

I don’t know if I ever really thought that far into the future when I was little. But I do know that I never let anything get in my way if I wanted to do something. It was a quality my parents both admired AND feared because I was a stubborn little thing. Somehow I let that notion slip my brain for awhile, but recently my cousin reminded me that I always get what I want. It was a good reminder that if I’m not getting something I think I want, it’s probably because I don’t want it. Does that make sense? And I try to remember that when I get upset about not having a fancy title…I never really wanted one. And if I did, I would probably have it by now. But I have more important things to do with my life than climb to the top of some ladder.

I have a feeling you’ll accomplish whatever great thing you have burning inside you. You don’t seem the type to stifle your own greatness.

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Kim July 7, 2011 at 9:10 pm

That makes total sense. I am also quite stubborn and it has served me well over the years.

Thanks for your kind words Carmel.

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Jennie Day-Burget July 7, 2011 at 11:21 am

I think it’s a combination of destiny and circumstance. When I think back on all of the choices I *could* have made, but didn’t… (thank god)… it occurs to me that my life could be insanely different.. even if I’d just made one different decision. And I like my life as is, so, it boils down to being born with the abilities/instincts to get me where i am + making the right decision at the right moment.

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Kim July 7, 2011 at 9:11 pm

Jennie, I for one believe that YOU are destined for greatness in your career. You are one of the most talented people I know :)

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Jennie July 8, 2011 at 10:34 pm

Aw. That made me blush! Thanks, lady. Miss you – we should get together soon!

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Tracy July 7, 2011 at 1:26 pm

When I was a wee one I definitely thought I was destined to change the world. I remember being around 5 or 6 years old and realizing that I was a little different from everyone else. I came to the realization that since I wasn’t ‘normal’ (you gotta admit I’m still a little odd) it could only mean that I was special and that I was meant to do something great. Thank god my parents raised me to think that different was good. I still think I may change the world one day.

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Kim July 7, 2011 at 9:12 pm

You are a little odd but that is why I love you (and it is what makes you you). I think you just may change the world too. One thing that I LOVE about being me is that I feel like I know an abnormal amount of amazing world-changers. XO

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Tyler July 7, 2011 at 6:38 pm

What a great question. Kinda goes with the whole “Nature vs. Nurture” thing or “product of our environment”.
We just tweeted it out and passed the article on. I believe that we all have greatness. We just have to use what is given to us. There is SOOO many ways that greatness can be defined by each of us…
I kinda thought that I would…it was just what was it?
Shoot, I never thought I would create a tech company and a web community! LOL!

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Kim July 7, 2011 at 9:13 pm

Hi Tyler, thanks for passing this along and sharing it!

I also believe we all have greatness. It sounds like your greatness exceeded your wildest dreams. I also never could have imagined that I would have done some of the things I have done in my life… and I think (hope!) that continues.

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Mack Reynolds August 19, 2011 at 8:50 am

i still think i’m destined for greatness, but i’m still working at it. i don’t know exactly what i’ll be doing but i feel like i’m learning and getting closer to whatever it is.

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Cara October 20, 2011 at 10:20 am

My personal opinion on the matter (which I reserve the right to revise at any moment;) is we are all destined to fulfill our own brand of truth, our personal legend or Big Story, and this is what we sense when we are young and so much closer to Source. I believe it’s the parenting, institutionalization, socialization, and society’s messaging that tells us we need to be different than we naturally are; to fit into other people’s ideas of success and having arrived; or to fit in at all. That greatness we feel is a gentle, and sometimes not so gentle, tug from what I call Source reminding us of our authenticity…the call to live our own Big Story. The authenticity may be nothing more than remembering there are roses in the world and how to smell them, and for some, to share the remembering. There is greatness in that.

I’m just now coming into my own “greatness” in this regard, so this suddenly feels clear to me. This too shall pass, as all things do, but for now I’m in complete awe of the journey. I wish you and others the time of your lives on yours!

Thank you for sharing yourself so candidly with us…

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Kim October 20, 2011 at 9:36 pm

Cara,

I just love this whole thing. First of all, Source is such a perfect word/name/description. Second of all, I just get what you are saying. I totally freaking get it. I am glad you are coming in to your own greatness. I feel like I am slowly coming in to mine as well and it is humbling and exciting and confusing and wonderful.

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Sarahsomewhere October 28, 2011 at 3:55 am

Hey Kim, just got this link on Twitter, yes TWITTER! And yes, I too feel like there is something ‘big’ for me to do, though a part of me is a bit scared that I’ll spend my life being just a little bit unfulfilled, unless I do that one big thing. And its definitely a creative thing! I guess all I can do is put in the action, make the tough decisions, and make a start at living the creative life I want. I feel like I am on the right path, and all the fear and grief involved with making a decision to live the life I actually want is teaching me more about myself and about life than I ever imagined! And it’s allowed me connect with awesome like minded people like yourself, for which I am eternally grateful.

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Kim October 28, 2011 at 4:18 pm

Look at you all grown up and using twitter!! Yes, I completely understand with what you are saying. I also worry that I will spend my life trying, but never accomplishing, that one big thing. I guess at least we are trying, right?

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Erin June 19, 2012 at 11:02 am

I have felt I was meant for something big for as long as I can remember. I still feel it now. My mother suffers from skitzophrenia and was and still is a heroin addict. I was taken from her custody and placed into foster care. Foster care offered mostly cruelty, in every form. I ran away at 15 and became addicted to heroin until I was 26. I’m 28 now and I’ve been off drugs for two and a half years and the feeling of being meant for something big has become more of a nagging. Something is begging to come out of me that will change so much. I don’t attend narcotics anonymous or any other type of support groups. I don’t attend church or believe in any specific religion. I only believe in life. I believe fro
The time I was born I have been taking part in amazing lessons that can not be tought or told by mouth. I learned that I can trust life, that no matter what happens to me I will be okay because none of it is real. Only the lessons I travel forward with, not the indecent itself. Now onto why I feel an immense energy inside my chest begging for an avenue to be released. When I was 8 I had for lack of a better name, outer body experiences. I never had them again until this past march. I was at work stacking newspapers when I suddenly had an amazing mental view of life. It wasn’t a visual view, but more of an understanding. I saw life and peace. I saw everything. EVERYTHING. I saw a glimpse of God is all I can really call it. A week later I hit the lottery for 10 thousand. Please stay with me. Money isn’t the point of my story. My biggest fear of that money was relapsing. But in the month that followed I found a very different kind of fear. I didn’t relapse. But I found myself isolated and paranoid thinking everyone only liked me for my money. I understand 10 grand isn’t a ton of money but for a poor kid it was a very new world. What that money did was magnify an array of deeply imbedded defects flaws and fears. The money was not my gift. The magnification was. I understand now that tangible things have little to no siggnifigents in life. There is an entire world that we can not see because we weren’t tought that it’s here. I have seen heaven and I have seen hell. They are both among us everyday. My purpose is the same as all of our purposes. To take our trials and tribulations and understand that they were gifts and lessons. Don’t feel bitter feel enlightened. They can not hurt us anymore but they can empower us. I very little education. I don’t have incredible social skills but I have an understanding of what life is in it’s most naked form. I currently work in a detox and still feel an immense tugging in my chest of a huge purpose. We are all on our way to our purpose. They only way we will reach it however is to acknowledge that we can trust life. No matter what. We will be okay. Be kind. Love. Forgive and understand as much as possible. Scream, hate, seek revenge, and indulge. It will all teach you what you need to learn. But learn.

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Kim June 19, 2012 at 8:10 pm

Erin, I think we are all here for a unique purpose and it sounds like you are well on your way to discovering what your unique person is. I wish you all the love and good vibes in the world. It sounds like you have come a long way- you are very wise and brave. XO

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Joe September 5, 2012 at 2:12 pm

I was looking for pictures of Great Kids for my presentation of the Nurtured Heart Approach, and I found you! Kim, what a great attitude you had and if I surmise your purpose in this blog correctly, you are right! We are ALL meant for greatness. It’s written in our DNA to do great things. These things may not seem great to so many people and so go by invisibly. The baby in that picture is a great eater!

Unfortunately, not everyone gets to experience or grow in their own greatness. Some of us have it sucked or even medicated out of us by well-meaning but accidentally problem-causing parents. Some of us had well meaning but negative teachers that told us we would never amount to much. Some of us have parents that never cared enough to stop abusing us or allow us to shine. The world needs parents and educators that will make every effort to confront their children with evidence of their greatness. This is because the reality we sell to our children is the reality they will buy. And why not sell your child the idea she is great? Why not help him to shine one bright idea and compliment at a time? It’s never too early or to late to begin building greatness. Thanks for this illuminating question.

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Ann February 7, 2013 at 11:47 am

I feel that I was born to make a difference. I feel strong about my beliefs & I have completed goals (perhaps in a small way)that I felt deserved attention. Perhaps I should have set my sights higher, but age has given me more courage.

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Kim February 7, 2013 at 7:47 pm

I think we were all born to make a difference. Keep on trucking- and perhaps you are making a change that you aren’t even aware of yet.

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