Monday, August 15, 2011

What’s it Like to Be You? - ACHTUNG!

The email read “What’s it like to be you? Do you ever have to pinch yourself because of the awesome accomplishments you have and continue to make?” 

Over the years I’ve received various emails, but this was one of those emails that stopped me in my tracks.  Initially a smile came across my face and as I contemplated my answer my smile was followed by a concerned feeling...

Image by reuters Fadi Al Assaad

The truth is I probably haven’t taken enough time to revel in my accomplishments, thus far.   And, yet shamefully, I’m probably more aware of my shortcomings along the way.  I am a high achiever and a perfectionist, which can be a double edged sword.  It can push me to dig deep and find a way in the face of impossibility, but it can also give way to frustration.  So, it is a balance I am constantly striking.      

Just as someone may work hard and be rewarded with a promotion, I see my athletic and academic achievements as the fruits of my labour. And just as it is for most people, it hasn’t been an easy ride.  There have been (and will probably continue to be) setbacks, tears and challenges along the way.  But, all of it only rebuffs, refines and reaffirms our commitment to the goal at hand. 
This was truly an endearing and complimenting question.  It made me smile and consider things pleasantly from a different perspective.  However, it’s important for me to impart that I believe every one of us have amazing life stories of achievements!  They may not come in the form of a medal or championship title, but they are achievements just the same.  And the truth is we are all capable of even greater things to come!
I look to people like Mother Theresa, Ghandi, Nelson Mandela, Helen Keller and Oprah has proof of what is possible for any of us to manifest in our lifetime on earth.  They were/are mere mortals… and aren’t we all just the same?  To leave this world better than how I’ve entered it and to be transformational in my efforts is a life I’d define as living. 

So, a big thanks to the person who sent me this email.... And no, I never pinch myself.  I do pat myself on the back for a job well done from time to time, but, ultimately, I think while my life experiences may be different from others I believe we all share the same emotions life has to offer.... and probably the real triumphants in life may not be seen on a podium.

No pinching,