How many times have we missed chances for us to be great? Have we turned our backs and quietly told ourselves, “That’s not for me.” Does someone have to give us permission to be great in order for us to be? Nah…I don’t think that happens. Does it?
Up until recently, I really liked the word, “opportunity” — it left a lot open to interpretation and one man’s opportunity could be another man’s burden. Right? But, I recently finished a book where the author, Seth Godin, changed the word from opportunity to obligation. I was hooked with that. Enough said.
Opportunity vs. Obligation
Who hasn’t heard the phrase, “It’s a great opportunity?” Most of us have heard when something good comes along and we have to convince ourselves to take whatever is being presented. If it so great, then why do we haven’t we already jumped at it? I mean, our second thoughts are there for a reason. Something in our gut is telling us to “hold on and think about this for a minute.” Ever had this happen to you?
Almost 8 years ago, I was offered a full-time job — close to home, good benefits, decent pay, and vacation and sick time. Sounds great! But I was coming from a very flexible, part-time job and was unsure how our boys would handle my strict schedule. I wanted to learn something new and was excited about the challenge and it was a great opportunity. It provided me with lifelong friendships, challenges that occurred weekly, and a sense of accomplishment. (Side note: I loved that job for 8 years, but stopped growing, so I felt I needed to move on.)
When life hands you a chance to be great, it is not an opportunity, it is an OBLIGATION! It is required of you to step up your game and bring everything you have to this moment…this one. It will not come again. People are terrified of the obligation that presents itself and so they freeze and choke.
Hunter and Braden Gandee
Recently, there was an article in the paper about a 14-year-old boy, named Hunter Gandee and over two days, he carried his 7-year-old brother, Braden, 40 miles to bring awareness about cerebral palsy. 40 miles!!! Yes, you read that right! Hunter did this to help his brother, but he felt obligated to be great. About three years ago, a friend and I walked 25 miles in a day and were pretty sore when it was all said and done. But we didn’t quit. At mile 22, we promised ourselves to go three more miles. (And we did!)
What obligations have you shied away from? Where have you had moments to bring in those base runners to score the winning run in a baseball game? Had a chance to step up and do what’s right, not because you are looking for attention but because something fell on your shoulders? Guess what? Those moments will present themselves throughout your lifetime. They just will. And every promise that bestows itself upon you, will quietly whisper, “We could have been great together.” Don’t let that happen. Forget what people think. Stop second guessing and thinking too much.
Don’t tell me it can’t be done or it is not your job. You have a duty to be your best. I want to see you be great. So does everyone else. Get to it. Understand that is more than an opportunity. It is your obligation!
Michelle A. Homme 2014 ©