One Drop in a Limitless Ocean

If you’d like, you can sit back, relax, and LISTEN to this post, narrated by yours truly. Just click the PLAY button below.

Today I turn 27 years old. And, leave it to a birthday to have me thinking all introspectively and philosophically about my life, what’s gotten me here and where I see myself going (birthdays are good for putting it all into perspective, arent’ they?)

I’d like for you all to join me in taking a moment to address, to yourself, the following questions:

  • Am I happy?
  • What am I doing?
  • What do I want to be doing?
  • What’s standing in my way? (Finances? Lack of support? Fear of failing?)
  • What lasting impact do I want to have? How will I leave my mark?

It may seem like where you are and where you want to be are light-years apart. You may believe that your big dreams are just that, dreams that will never become reality.

It may all seem surreal and impossibly impossible, but at some point, if that dream, that idea, that thing is to become real – for it to become what you DO – you’ll have to take action.

Action is nothing without an idea. And an idea is nothing without action. It’s a vicious cycle that we so often find ourselves trapped within. We’re so damn afraid of our ideas. We discount them as “not good enough.” We’re quick to label them as impossible. But to quote David Mitchell’s Cloud Atlas:

“All revolutions are the sheerest fantasy until they happen; then the become historical inevitabilities.”

You know what I think we’re actually most afraid of? What I know is one of my greatest fears? It’s the fear that everything I do, all the work I put in, all the hustle and effort will amount to very little impact. That I won’t matter. That I won’t make a difference. That I won’t leave this life having done something great.

The problem is not in doing something great – but in defining what “great” really means – to me – to you – personally. Greatness is relative. It isn’t measured by a grand impact. It isn’t measured in quantity or reach. Extraordinary people are not extraordinary based on the size of their audience, but rather, their contribution. Extraordinary people play to the size of their heart, not the size of the crowd.

It’s easy to think what you’re doing couldn’t possibly matter, in the grand scheme of things. That you are but one drop in a limitless ocean. But to again quote David Mitchell,“What is any ocean, but a multitude of drops?”

As I’ve said before and as Seth Godin writes about today, there’s no better time than now – right now – to do something great. To be great:

“There’s never been a better opportunity to step up and make an impact, while we’ve got the chance. This generation, this decade, right now, there are more opportunities to connect and do art than ever before. Maybe even today.

It’s pretty easy to decide to roll with the punches, to look at the enormity of natural disaster and choose to hunker down and do less. It’s more important than ever, I think, to persist and make a dent in the universe instead.”

Fear is hands down the greatest adversary of greatness. Fear of acceptance. Fear of failure. Maybe fear of success. But I’ll close with a quote from Dale Carnegie which I hope you’ll take into account – that I know I will, and do, every single day:

“Inaction breeds doubt and fear. Actions breeds confidence and courage. If you want to conquer fear, don’t sit home and think about it. Go out and get busy.”

Today I turn 27 years old. Looking ahead, I know this will be the best year yet. Why? Because even though I may fail, I know that I’ll never stop trying to be great. I know I’ll push myself harder than ever to make my own dent in the universe.

Here’s to going out, getting busy, taking action – and turning our fantasies – our wildest dreams, into realities. Into historical inevitabilities.