“Success like happiness, cannot be pursued; it must ensue, and it only does so as the unintended side effect of one’s personal dedication to a cause greater than oneself or as a byproduct of one’s surrender to a person other than oneself.”
- Viktor Frankl
We live in a world that over emphasizes the importance of status, being an expert, and achieving greatness. Within this insatiable drive to prove oneself and achieve, it can feel so damn hard to be accepting of our own limitations and imperfections. We overvalue our ego, how we appear to others and the achievement-based results of our efforts. Likewise, we minimize the importance of staying true to our values, maintaining integrity, and kindness.
Evolutionary psychology shows us that humans have an innate drive to chase status through acquiring resources. Likewise, we are driven to chase anything (such as greatness) that will improve our social status, since early in our evolution acquiring resources helped to protect our survival rates. However, in current times we need to ask ourselves what overvaluing greatness or chasing status is really costing us. When we sacrifice the most sacred aspects of who we are, the cost is often too high. The greatest parts of ourselves can be found when we give unmerited kindness. When we help an elderly person walk across the street, really thank those who have helped us, treat waiters and waitresses with generosity and volunteer our time with those in need, is when we really shine. Goodness is always the path to greatness.
Goodness is always the path to greatness.
True fulfillment is experienced when we truly access and share our humanity to benefit others. And we are rewarded when we share from a heartfelt place both emotionally and financially. Did you know that goodness and volunteering has extraordinary benefits on your emotional health? A recent study tracked 2000 people over a five-year period and found that Americans who described themselves as “very happy” volunteered at least 5.8 hours per month. Likewise, a great article in the Entrepreneur shares with us the indirect financial benefits we gain through making a commitment to philanthropy and altruism. Building our character through kindness and leadership can open up new doors in so many unexpected ways.
We live in a world where our goodness must precede our drive for greatness. It feels validating for our ego to share our successes, get a ton of social media likes, and chase adoration. However, we must remember that approval and self-esteem must be an internal job that goes much deeper than the gaining applause from our virtual and real life audience. Being good to each other, sharing our talents to contribute and avoiding the ‘me first mentality’ will make our world a better place. Are you curious on how you can commit to goodness, when living in a world overvaluing greatness? If, yes read my tips below!
Tips on More Goodness, Less Greatness
1. Practice anonymous acts of kindness.
Give for the sake of giving and expect NOTHING in return. Don’t post about it on social media and don’t tell your friend partner or colleague about your contribution. Give knowing your don’t need the applause or admiration to know you enriched the life of another.
2. Do a digital detox.
Our electronics make our life so much more accessible and give us a lot of valuable freedom. And they also keep us from being truly present and giving our attention fully to what we are doing at the moment. Practice taking a week and having a digital detox! I do this once a year on vacation and highly recommend it!
3. Practice gratitude.
We strive, are so goal oriented and often forget to really appreciate what we have now. Let’s really practice gratitude! I recommend keeping a gratitude journal and writing 3 things daily you are grateful for. As the saying goes, gratitude affects your attitude.
4. Stop the comparison trap.
We compare our lives to those we know and even to strangers! Stop it! Each of us are on our own unique journey. Instead of comparing let’s admire and appreciate our differences. Accordingly, let’s commit to growth, integrity, kindness and being someone we admire.
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Sending you peaceful thoughts and wishes for brighter days.