Craving Greatness

Have you ever thought it possible that during those days, weeks, or months of feeling either down, out-of-it, demotivated, bored, (or all of the above) it actually doesn’t always mean that something is seriously wrong with you? Ever think that you just might simply be craving a little greatness?

Unfortunately, many can argue that there is a shortage of daily exposure to “greatness” when it comes to our work and family routines (even for those of us who consider work and family to be their own kind of great). It seems that even the greatest of things in our lives, when put on replay day in and day out, often begin to impact less on our feelings of expansion, fulfillment, and joy.

Similar to how an alcoholic begins to build a stronger and stronger tolerance to his or her drink of choice, no longer able to achieve the same perceived mental/physical benefits from it as a few months back, our human abilities to adapt quickly and successfully to most of our surroundings make variety and challenges that much more important to our enrichment.

Adaptation tends to be subtle and can often seem to happen overnight. One moment something is new to us and possibly a little scary and then the next moment we feel as though we’ve been doing it forever (and so much so that we often can’t even remember what life was like before it) ---we often hear new parents express their successful adaptation to parenthood this way. It is this quick and subconscious shift in our views/feelings throughout our experiences that often make feelings of boredom, demotivation, dissatisfaction, etc. so difficult to prepare for, pinpoint, or understand (especially for those who feel that their lives are otherwise good).

A craving for greatness does not have to be born from a place of “non-greatness.” As stated, we are all prone to such a craving whenever our routines and responsibilities (no matter how meaningful or enjoyable) get the best of our adaptation process. Our routines and responsibilities are not necessarily the problem in and of themselves, however it is the lack of mental, emotional, or physical stimulation we experience within our current lifestyles that is the true culprit. So what do we do? Do we quit our jobs and get new ones? Leave our families to try out different families? Make “now-or-never” impulsive decisions to fulfill all we think might possibly be lacking in our lives? Fortunately, the answer is much simpler.

Let’s consider today’s entertainment industry for a moment. This industry, whether it be music, dance, movies, art, or writing, is crucial for helping us to take a breath from everyday life and to escape to different thoughts, dreams, passions, etc. Unfortunately, our most basic exposure to this in daily life comes in the form of the same songs playing over and over again on the radio (as though there are only 4 that exist), reality TV shows dominating several channels (just what we need, more reality) and Hollywood continuously making 4 or 5 versions of the same movie…

No wonder we get so bored and demotivated! As much as there may be a place for some of these things in our lives and varying reasons why many can still find them fulfilling or enjoyable, it is only a matter of time before many others start feeling their adaptation on over-drive with all of it, ultimately leaving them with some serious cravings for evolution.

As long as these cravings are identified as this rather than prematurely labeled as symptoms of depression or the other issues mentioned previously, they are often easily satisfied. With methods as simple as revisiting some of the greatest classic movies that are likely to have more substance and more fulfilling messages than the 100th “Saw” movie, or even reading that intellectually stimulating book you’ve been meaning to buy will likely lead you to feelings of expansion and escape from the everyday. Reviewing (or viewing for the first time) the astounding talent of some of the greatest musical entertainers (Michael Jackson, Frank Sinatra, etc.) also has a tendency to light us up with inspiration. And what often comes from inspiration? Motivation. And from motivation? More great ideas and approaches to those great ideas. And with this? Purpose and fulfillment.

Greatness is contagious; the more we surround ourselves with it in any form the more likely we are to begin feeling/producing more of it ourselves---- discovering our own unrealized or forgotten talents for singing or painting, or our skills for inventing new products or starting businesses that can have a hugely beneficial impact on the world. No matter how big or small we choose to show it we all have the potential for greatness and it is much closer to our fingertips than we may ever acknowledge.

It is important to no longer rely on our daily routines to BRING us fulfillment and instead, for us to start seeking it out (even if it takes a little digging). Believe me, a good enough start can be as simple as refraining from plopping down on the couch after work and claiming to be too exhausted to change the channel from that “Keeping Up with the Kardashians” re-run on its 10th round of air-time.

We have so much greatness accessible to us if we are willing to take even the tiniest steps outside of our auto-pilot lifestyles and embrace it.