Seize Your Personal Greatness!

Are you willing to stop playing small and get on with seizing your certain greatness?

“I’ve often said that the only thing standing between me and my greatness is me.” Woody Allen

Warning! At the end of this post is a somewhat brutal exercise designed to shock you into uncovering years of garbage so you can see your greatness. Do not read all the way to the end unless you are ready to courageously face what you’ll discover.

Have you always believed that you are destined for personal greatness?Eagle

Regardless of your answer. I’m asking you to go for your greatness without delay.

If you are not yet taking steps towards your greatness – what are you doing with your life? What’s the point in continuing to live safely in mediocrity, fear or confusion?

“People are where they are because that is exactly where they really want to be – whether they will admit that or not.” Earl Nightingale

Personal greatness is a choice – and we even get to choose what it means to us.

Greatness is found by walking down the corridor of your uniqueness; and to realize that greatness, it’s necessary to smash through the door of conformity. Standing at the threshold of that door is when you’ll feel your strongest fear.

Are you choosing your greatness, or are you afraid of it?

When you ponder the idea of personal greatness, what fears arise? Are they fears of success or of failure? Imagining these fears does not allow you to be powerfully present. These fears shackle you as the victim you’ve become, in a future that is yet to be.

“Great work is done by people who are not afraid to be great.” Fernando Flores

Consider this. If you aren’t deliberately working towards your greatness, then you are holding it away from you. There is no middle ground here. Your greatness is waiting for you to bring it forth. You either believe that it’s possible to be great in your chosen work or you do not.
You are either embracing your greatness or resisting it.

It’s astonishing that we all aren’t already on a definite path to greatness, because personal greatness is completely subjective. Whatever it means to you is the version of it you get to go for. You might covet the fame of celebrity, or a more personal excellence. Our uniqueness allows us to choose the version of greatness that brings us most alive.

Greatness is found by walking down the corridor of your uniqueness and to realize that greatness it’s necessary to smash through the door of conformity.

“Conformity is the jailer of freedom and the enemy of growth.” John F. Kennedy

It’s often our fear of standing out that keeps us from embracing our uniqueness and realizing our greatness. Conversely, the surest and swiftest route to greatness appears most readily to those who are comfortable flaunting their wildness. Not convinced? Then try making a case for being tame and appropriate. How has that served your deep delight and the world’s deep need?

In every aspect of living your greatness, you’d be aglow. You’d feel frequent flashes of personal magnificence while in the midst of your delightful work.

Friends, we all hold back – and as a result we end up far less than we might have been. I wanted to design an exercise that would shock me into rapidly shedding all the accumulated dross of life, so that I could see the gold buried beneath.

This exercise may seem unnecessarily brutal to some. That’s why I warned you. But its built-in urgency makes it highly effective. If you’re ready, you’ll need pencil, paper, a timer and 10 minutes to identify your buried greatness.

Imagine being locked in a room with 32-inch thick stonewalls and no way out other than a solid steel door. A ticking time bomb is set to explode within 10 minutes. It’s counting down giving you an alert every two minutes. There’s a laptop connected to the door lock and it will open if you answer correctly. You get five chances to walk out alive.

If your life depended on your ability to go within, ask for guidance and hold nothing back, what five answers would you write down to this question? Frame your responses to be about specific professions or businesses.  Dig deep for the most radically honest stuff because that’s the only way you’ll save you life!

What could I become or do that would sprout a definite seed to my certain greatness?

Go! Start the timer, pick up the pencil and write your five best guesses now. Then imagine entering them into the laptop to open the door to save your life.

Did you make it out alive? I got so viscerally absorbed in this experience that I hit a winning ticket on all five answers. I must confess that I was not taking action on any of them before this exercise. Three were old dreams and two were new realizations.

Now, what are you going to do with those answers? May I suggest that you select one and pledge to take action on it within the next 24 hours? Then take that action and you will be on the verge of seizing your greatness.

I’m challenging you to do the exercise and then comment on the accuracy of what you came up with. What did you realize as a result of being forced to save you own life?

Actually, by choosing your greatness – you truly will save your own life.


  1. Hey Folks,

    I want to share the gist of a couple of discussions I’ve had with folks since I put up this post. It seems like considering ones greatness is pretty scary for some of you. Let me assure you – you are not alone. I had to hit bottom in just about every major area of my life before I even considered the concept. Even after all that I still needed an exercise like this to shine the light on my true path. Everyone starts somewhere. I can’t imagine this not scaring you. Perhaps we need to be afraid for our authenticity to surface.

    One clarification. Your greatness is completely subjective. You even get to decide on the size of the arena you want to be great within. As a told one friend, if she wants to be the greatest Spanish teacher in Pittsburgh that’s more than okay. Please don’t let the immensity of the word scare you from discovering your true delightful work path.

    I’m with you.


  2. Tom,

    This is been much on my mind lately. I was just discussing it with Andrea Hess. I’ve been thinking a lot about the relationship between what I want (a word that implies lack) and my Commitment to Becoming Who I am on a greater scale.

    Andrea offered a similar “blurb” in our conversation about “Behaving like an adult” to describe a move into more grown-up, mindful power.

    Your post really echoes these thought. Thank you!

  3. Suzanne Bird-Harris says


    Just reading the exercise gave me the shivers, nevermind doing it! But what I found out, thanks to it, is while I have always known I have a very bright light, my fear has always been shining it fully in this life so as to not “scorch” the rest of you, so until a couple years ago, I played very small…very small, indeed. Even today though, I am aware of a nagging little fear of “what if I’m the only one like me? What if I throw the bushel off and shine my light, and I’m standing there alone?”

    Well, guess what… One of me may be all the world really needs, and thanks to this exercise, I’m ok with that. More than ok, actually, because I realize it’s true for all of us – there is only (and can only be) one of me. And that ‘me’ may be just what some of the rest of you out there need to experience to be ‘you’. So it’s high time I stop this selfish fearfulness and just be me, in all my greatness. That, as I see it, is what ‘doing my part’ really means.

    Thank you so much for this post.


  4. John Morlan says

    Very powerful exercise!
    I am picturing a beautiful pearl-white sandy beach, brilliant sunshine, crystal blue water and sky = my personal greatness. Problem .. I have yielded to the call of the group and instead of basking in the glow of my personal greatness, I am being sucked out to sea by the riptide of conformity.
    Realization – my personal greatness is alive and well. But, I must accept it and embrace it in the moment. Every moment. Stop obsessing over what the future might bring – live fully in the present moment. As T.J. Leonard said “See how perfect the present really is.”
    Also, stop worrying about what others might think. Instead, “affect them profoundly” by sharing my personal greatness. Thinking (and playing) small does not serve me or others. (Marianne Williamson).
    Five answers that I put into my laptop to successfully escape the prison of conformity: Create and enjoy meaningful connections. Live joyfully and with gratitude. Sing! Share! Love!

  5. Hi Tom,

    I love this exercise! There’s an urgency to it that’s very inspiring.

    To me, greatness is about total, utter authenticity. Of course, in my book, our most authentic Self is our Divine Self – so the fullest expression of our Divine Selves that we can make manifest into this physical lifetime.

    Yeah, I set the bar pretty high …. I’m very positive, though, that it can be done!


  6. Wow folks now we’re cookin with gas. I love your enthusiasm and belief.

    Slade … That’s a pretty powerful phrase, “Commitment to Becoming Who I am on a greater scale.” Yes it does take a commitment yet once we make it momentum really carries us forward.

    John … Thanks buddy, for sharing your wild and wonderful self, so openly and robustly. I enjoyed reading everything you shared. Now I’m encouraging and challenging you to act on one of those very specifically and very deliberately in the next 24 hours.

    Andrea … High bars are encouraged, endorsed and celebrated in this discussion. But I doubt you need the boost. I agree what could be more authentic than the fullest expression of the Divine individualized. I love it!

  7. Great question, hit my stomach hard as I read it. It isn’t every day that, as a professional provider of good questions 😉 one sees one such that I find demanding.
    As some other comments, this parallels some other conversations – about growing up and taking responsibility, no longer waiting for anybody else to create for me the life that I want (and have enjoyed, in bits, before).

    The answer came down to: recognizing my own authority. Thats an inner journey – not being afraid of my own ideas, nor of expressing them in my own way – partly an outer journey of taking that authority into the outer world and saying clearly that this is what I know – and this is what I want, and this is how I want to live.
    The interesting thing is that when the authority is coming from a real place then I find that it is openly accepted.
    The challenge is to sort the wheat from the chaff – the genuine from the ego, and from the false values that are still hanging around.
    I wanna be my own man.

  8. Tom,

    Thanks for the nudge! I just completed my 10 minute exercise and revealed to myself what I have suspected for a long time.

    It’s game time and I can hardly wait till 6:09 EST to share with the rest of your group.



  9. I wanted to share this quote by Marianne Williamson with which I’m sure most of your group is already familiar:

    “Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure. It is our Light, not our Darkness, that most frightens us.”

    Let us no longer be frightened by the light.

  10. I just completed the greatness exercise in 7 minutes. I love the way setting a timer creates room to get into the zone and get straight to the heart of things. This was my greatest realization: I am already great, no matter what I do or don’t accomplish. My doing is not my greatness; my Being is.

    When I take action inspired from that Being, I cannot help but focus on Love, and results like peace, prosperity and happiness start flowing easily into my life. When I choose Love as the focus, I naturally want to work on things I have a gift for, which ends up bringing things I wanted anyway. I’ll be working on a book, a music video and becoming more and more the same kind of Visionary Business Owner I love helping others become.

  11. I started to edit my answers for posting, and then realized I was – once again – standing in the way of my greatness. Well, when locked in that room, I had to come up with 5 things that I truly thought would get me out before the bomb went off. I did it, with just a moment to spare….but these answers definitely scare me:

    1. Stop wasting time and ask for the help I need to build the most important part of my business…recruiting.

    2. Stop allowing financial worry to control my actions and allow myself to pursue that of which I feel passionate…without hesitation, resistance, or delay.

    3. Dismiss the belief that “I have time,” and accept that every day wasted is one day later than it has ever been in my life.

    4. Stop worrying about what other people think, and take the step toward that which I feel will provide me with happiness and fulfillment. Swallow my pride, and go back to work for my father – if he is willing to allow me to assume the role that will fulfill me…managing the landfill and working toward a sale of the company.

    5. Resolve to stop trying to adhere to “general rules of conduct,” and follow my instincts and intuitions in all areas.

  12. Mike… Authority is such an accurate and strong word. Truly at its root it means to be the authors of our own lives. Thank you for reminding me how strong it is. Your point about expressing your ideas is the very place where many weaker souls stop. I also have found that by being totally who I am – the phone rings. People who want to support me for who I am flock to what I have to offer. Yes authenticity is not only accepted it this revered.

    Peter… quote is such a powerful addition to this post. It gives me goose bumps every time I imagine even approaching being powerful beyond measure.

    Kay… filtering everything through love is something that I’ve yet to employ. I can see how it would force you to focus on only doing what one really loved to do. Yet we have to talk more about this. I used to focus almost everything on being first and found that strategy to be lacking action. I’m fascinated to hear more if you can extend your actions from your state of being like God in the book “Conversations With God” advises.

    Suzanne… What if I’m the only one? What a great and powerful question that is. I think you are the only one and when you let it shine others will flock to support you because you’ll express as purely you. I’ve had very similar thoughts and I’m so happy to see another on the same trail.

    Clem…. Wow! I’m so proud of you for sharing your answers so nakedly before the world. Because I’ve coached you I know how brave you are to write them down. Now I wonder which did you select to follow through on?

  13. Tom – such a great exercise. By putting it the way you did, it made the importance much more real. When I wrote my 5 down, I wanted to be open and write whatever came to my mind. It revealed so much to me which otherwise I might have just excused away.

    My 5 are:

    1. Finish my books and publish them.
    2. Take some talk show hosting classes (not sure what they would be) in preparation for hosting a “kitchen table talk show” with Marianne Williamson, Dr. Wayne Dyer, and Deepak Chopra.
    3. Move more into spiritual work (hand, intuitiveness). Would love to take some of Alberto Villoldo’s training from “The Four Winds Society” on shamanism.
    4. Write more and find ways on the internet to get my name and what I do out there.
    5. Continue taking time to get quiet and meditate, reflect and practice on hearing my guidance and following it.

    Well, there it is – out there for the world to see.

    Thank you for such a wonderful post.

  14. Pat… this is very courageous of you. So far, like you, everyone who has actually completed the exercise has been struck by the openness that it inspired. I’ve asked others and I’m asking you.

    Which one of these did you select to take action on within the next 24 hours?

    You’ll find that the power you have to follow-through is remarkable.

  15. The one item I’ll be working on in the 24-hour period is my book.
    Thank you Tom.

  16. Kay Grace says

    Thanks for the comment. To clarify, I mean that making my greatness, visible in the world requires me to not only filter what I think, feel and do through love, it requires me to operate from the place where Love is the only thing. Without geting too esoteric, this means that when I take action, any action, I want that action to happen while I am operating out of Love. It is not that everything I do must be something I love to do, it’s that Love needs to be the “ground of my Being” from which everything comes. I also know that when I do operate from this center of Love, my actions, which are an equal part of the greatness equation, are inspired. As a result, more good things come into my life, such as goals being met and opportunities presenting themselves. I love this exercise – I keep taking it deeper with the help of all the replies and comments. Thank you to all.

  17. Tom –

    It took me a second to get past the “automatic TO DO list” that often pops into my head when I think about what I need to do in order to fully manifest my dreams– but I was able to unhook from those “pre-established shoulds”.

    (Side note: interestingly enough, I not so co-incidentally “lost” my project ideas notebook yesterday, which was filled with a lot of those “should do lists”.

    What I wrote highlighted how much influence my thoughts and beliefs about what’s possible, what I am capable of, and how I can live my life, have impacted my ability to embrace my greatness and to share that greatness with the wider world.

    Keys concepts that came up were:

    – Allowing (rather than attempting to control)
    – Removing ALL reminders of what I don’t want, focusing totally on what I do want
    – Giving myself permission to do, be, and have,
    – Letting go of/delegating any project responsibilities that I’m not passionate about or that don’t use my highest gifts, and
    – Acting As If…

    The action that I plan to take within the next 24 hours is devoting dedicated time to “be still, breathe, and listen” to receive further intuitive urgings about next steps.

    Thanks for the support,

  18. Tom,

    Your most recent post is amazing. I thought I’d just glide through the exercises, make the five comments and that would be it. The first hree responses were ones I’ve made many times in my personal pursuit of greatness: let people know what we do; do public speaking gigs; write more books. Then on number four it all began to come home. Without thinking, I wrote, “I have to find more energy and better health if I am to be all I can be.” I’m in fairly good shape but I realized with a start that the goals I have for my own greatness require an iron will and a strong, resilient body. I haven’t taken the extra steps to ensure that vibrancy of health. I must have that FIRST.

    My final thought was that I have to engage others to help me spread the word and through others, my thoughts on how to communicate better will move out beyond my own small circle and create an ever widening circle.

    Thank you, Tom. I don’t know where you found your own personal greatness, but thank you for sharing it.

  19. Ok Tom, I have to admit that I did this exercise twice (I hope that is acceptable), the reason for having done so is because after I had written my 5 responses, I read the powerful posts made by my fellow group members of which I am strongly beginning to believe are my kindred spiritis, and decided that I was only going to the “surface” to respond and that if that was all I could come up with then I wasn’t getting out of that room alive! I will not discuss the results of the first go around but I will share with you what I was able to come up with the second time around. Tom, I am certain beyond any doubt whatsoever, that I would not have come up with these answers had I not read the inspiring thoughts of those who posted before me. Please keep in mind, this is a first for me, to acknowledge “my personal greatness” in my own mind is a struggle but to do it on paper under the constraints of time (by the way, I took it right up to the buzzer), reflect a bit on the responses, and now to post them, WOW! This group and your direction, have managed to do something for me that has allowed me to perform something I would have refused to do as soon as a week ago, but now I am ready, so here goes (and I’m not even holding my breath):

    *I am going to continue to show people the “real” me! The “me” that has been silenced for so long is ready to do some talkin!
    *Focus and explore! I am greatly and most sincerely interested in people and their experiences. I love talking to, listen and learning from anyone. I have a strong belief that there is something to be discovered or revelead in every interaction I have with anyone at any given time. In the last 24 hours I have had two of these interactions with total strangers and the feelings that were generated as a result of these interactions only served to warm my heart, open my eyes and reassure me that things are happening!
    *Continue to spark more laughter in my day as well as the day of others I interact with. I love my rather odd and somewhat witty sense of humor and I want it back and I want it out there!
    *Accept the fact that it is just fine to be a kind, caring, encouraging person who genuinely enjoys helping anyone in anyway. I will no longer let the voices that have stifled my own voice with negative, harsh comments that have only served to hide “my greatness”, I accept that kindness, empathy, integrity, compassion, love and humor are all very much a part of my character and I am now going to embrace each one of these qualities, but I am going to fine tune them and let ’em loose!
    Wow, that felt good, thank you, all of you! Tom, for the direction, guidance and for providing a “safe” place so that we can truly reach within the depths of our souls, minds, hearts, closets, etc. and to my wonderful friends who shared “real” information that had such an impact, it allowed me to visit a place inside that I have not frequented in quite some time. I am extremely grateful.
    One other comment, or perhaps confession. I have never had a fear of failure, for if I am not failing, I am not learning. Nor have I ever had a fear of success, I crave and plead daily through conversations with God, Buddha, Ali, Jesus, anyone who is willing to put me on the path of greatness for I have traveled many others and this is one I am well prepared to travel. My greatest fear (I hope this comes off how it is intended), again, my greatest fear is the fear of being average! There is nothing wrong with being average, and in fact I accept the fact that I am not going to excel and demonstrate greatness in everything I do. For example, I like to run. My family and I participate in a few races together throughout the year. I am an “average” runner, and I accept that! But I will not accept being average where I am meant for greatness! Thanks for listening!

  20. Carrie,
    Just beautiful thoughts and totally real to me. Thank you for seeing your own truth. The fact that it took two turns to get there is fine with me. I think sometimes we do think right off the top of our heads and those thoughts are the ones that have been rehearsed over and over. Digging a bit deeper is what counts.

  21. Kay… Now I understand you, thanks for clarifying. Grounded in love, what a wonderful phrase. I’m please to see that clarity has arrived for you and such a strong version of it.

    Qaadira… Yes like Dorothy confirmed isn’t it interesting that often the first keys we try are old friends we haven’t used anyway. But when you found they didn’t unlock the door, like Carrie, you dug deeper and found the key to your freedom. Congrats, focusing totally on what YOU want is such a powerful stance.

    Dorothy… You are right; there is nothing casual or light about digging for our greatness but once uncovered life becomes more like a joyful glide. You’ve been blessed with some wonderful guidance. Act on it and everything else will become so much easier.

    Carrie… The most powerful thing you wrote was your newfound conviction to show the real you and to refuse to be silenced any longer. Yes! You are at choice about this and I’m encouraging you to “flaunt your wild self”. Forget all those you don’t flock to support. They are just afraid of their own uniqueness. Seize your greatenss now!

  22. Thank you all for shining your light so radiantly. I find myself smiling broadly as I read and reread each of your touching and sage comments on this wall of empowerment; truly heartwarming. I’m thrilled that several of us feel the kindred-spiritedness of our connection.

    If I have stumbled on anything during this exercise, it is the term ‘greatness’ and getting out of my left brain (current mantra).

    While I don’t necessarily relate to the word ‘greatness’ in this context, how I translate this does resonate deeply:

    Being true to my essence/inner calling

    Coming from a place of love and compassion

    Aligning my life with my soul’s mission

    Getting greater and greater clarity and putting this into action

    Transmuting fear into love

    Discovering joy in every fiber of life’s experience

    Assisting others on their path as I journey on my own

    Recognizing that there are no mistakes ~ only abundant gifts of learning and evolving

    Trumpeting the call of forgiveness ~ powerful avenue for healing and uplifting

    Being a magnet for miracles, and

    Swimming buoyantly in a sea of gratitude.

    At the core of each of my 5 life-giving answers was one of these powerful keys. Yes, we are beautiful mirrors for one another!

    I look forward with great delight to our next love fest tomorrow evening. May you have a wondrous day! Thank you for blessing mine, Lily

  23. To My Readers,

    Lily’s and many of the other comments on this post have begun supporting one another in an experiment called the Unconditional Support Experience. It’s a telephone group coaching experience designed to support folks as they rapidly move forward in a chosen delightful work objective. If you’d like to read more about it go to my coaching website:

    Lily… after reading your wonderful post above I can say that you indeed are great in spirit whether the word resonates with you or not.

    I knew when I chose that word that some would find it unappealing to an extent. One of the other synonyms like radiance or magnificence may be more to your liking. Being true to your inner calling certainly puts us on the same wonderful page. Thank you for playing so enthusiastically.

  24. I am my own worst enemy. I want greatness yet I’m afraid to test the waters because I’ve been disappointed so many times in my life by people that I’m afraid I’ll disappoint myself. I keep getting in my own way.

  25. What a cool fun way to have one think through what otherwise would be a heavy question… a question that most people wouldn’t finish answering let alone get 5 answers out. By doing this exercise, I have identified a few things that I NEED to take ACTION on. The first one I am taking action on is to immediately begin an intense focused job search for a position that may not be my end goal, but a position that I can be interested in, have fun with, and support my family with and put myself into position to build upon life’s experiences while I go after what I feel is my life’s calling. I haven’t been able to focus on going after my life’s calling because this job search was hanging over my head, but I realize now that a new job is not standing in my way… it is part of the path. I was letting the idea of finding this job become negative and in turn making me negative. I was undermining my own progress. This was a neat realization. Thanks, Tom!

    Best regards,

  26. This is a great exercise Tom! I often think of what I should be doing and what is my calling, but usually it stops there…due to I’m sure the reasons you listed in the article. I don’t have a sense of fulfillment in my full-time job, so I’m fairly certain this isn’t my path to greatness. I have more joy and fulfillment in my part-time job, which I would like to make my full-time job. It will allow me more flexibility, more income and most importantly, more time with my family and for myself. I just need to figure out a plan and be disciplined enough to follow through with everything to achieve that greatness. Thanks for the exercise!


  27. Lance… Your realization sounds clear and powerful. Now honor it with the frequent action that it deserves. Remember anything works if you believe it does. Just string together a number of days where you feel as inspired as you do now and you’ll have it made in the shade!

    Jan… I’m really curious. Did you actually do the exercise? Because what you shared would not open that door. Do it regardless of your fear and watch the magic happen.

    Sonya… Perhaps you don’t need a plan at all but instead inspired action, even if small steps on a daily basis? That’s the surest way to start. Give it a shot; you really have little to lose.

  28. Tom- This exercise confirmed that I am on the right path. I have just recently (in the last few months) discovered my calling after many years of searching for it and pondering it.

    Had I been asked that question a year ago, I would not have been able to make it out alive. But this time, I was able to make it out with 5 minutes to spare. As I was reading the article before the test, i commented on paper beside some of your questions or comments.

    Have you always believed you were destined for greatness? YES
    Personal greatness is a choice- I have chosen it!!
    Smashing through the door of conformity- I recently learned through a book called “How to find the work you love” Laurence G. Boldt.

    Thank You for the continued support!

  29. Kristy… I’m pleased to meet another person who has had that feeling about their pending greatness. It’s bold and wonderful of you to be able to admit that freely. I salute you and celebrate your path.

  30. Kristy… It’s so wonderful when we hit that vein of delightful work. I’m so pleased for you. You sound so aligned with your purpose.

    Keep coming back, I love writing for those who have known they were destined for greatness!

  31. Wow, I really loved reading this whole thread. Thank you all for sharing your experiences and your wisdom.

    I found it very difficult to do this and then after about 5 seconds of whining I just started writing…I’ve gotten so much better at turning off the whiner. The urgency part of it didn’t really motivate me, I live in sort of urgent mode so when I commit to do something I commit to doing it as quickly and efficiently as possible; it’s my idiom I guess.

    The exercise took only 2 minutes but I found so much more useful wisdom, as you recommended Tom, in the many posts by this great group.

    Here are my be’s and do’s:
    ~feel completely loved
    ~finish the book series
    ~walk on the Earth more
    ~become softer with myself
    ~act as if
    ~learn French
    ~hone and focus my actions
    ~discover my uniqueness
    ~connect with friends, make some deep friends
    ~travel to exotic locations
    ~attend more Art gallery events
    ~write more about Feng Shui/post to my blog
    ~create a corporate program
    ~create a program with my Astrology partner to hone our Astrology & Feng Shui workshops

    I think this is pretty much what I have already had on my list and there is so much more that I am doing…I cannot define ‘greatness’ and think I need to have assistance in making that less nebulous for me.

    Thank you so much, al of your wonderful GREAT people.



  32. Hey Tom,

    Thanks for the great reminder to continue living my dream.

    This is an excellent thought provoking post and a fun activity.

    Reinforcing my greatness is a lovely way to overcome the mental obstacles that sometimes create pause in my brilliance.

    I am in process of becoming …

    A person who is learning to live in the Present Moment
    Coaching Franchise Maven
    Life Balance Expert
    Certified Yoga Instructor
    Chinese Herbalist and Healer for my family
    New York Times Best Selling Author

    With the stacks of cash I attract, there will be plenty to share.

    I will become a philanthropist for single parents and children of alcohol abuse.

    I will be blogging about your post later this week.

    In Balance,


  33. This post, and all the comments, prove to be very deep and compelling. I did the exercise, and found my answers got shorter and more relevant as the time went on (having the time limit really helped me cut through the verbage to get to the message I needed to hear.).

    My 5 actions:
    1) Spend more time in the space of well-being, as I did over the weekend. Everything, even chores, felt blissful. All because I managed my energy first and found that alignment.
    2) I don’t have to improve on my greatness – I just need to offer it up on a daily basis – share my thoughts, ideas, inspiration, support, love every day – at home, in my business, in my volunteer work, my blog etc.
    3) Say what I want! Ask for it! [This is what I’m doing in the next 24 hrs.]
    4) Spend money on myself. Last week I got a manicure (my first in about a year), and it made me feel special. I want to do more of that kind of thing.
    5) Set up my life so that I deal with less trivia and time-wasters (both people and things) by creating boundaries around who and what get my time and attention.

    Thank you for coaching us in this exercise, Tom!

  34. @Fawn welcome and thank you for enriching our ongoing discussion of personal greatness. I’m sure you can and will realize all 14 seeds that you listed but I wonder? If your life depended on it which of 5 of the 14 would really open the door?

    Greatness is personal. What makes your heart sing the truest? What is your deepest gladness? That’s key to your individual greatness.

    @Shann what a refreshingly bold story you tell about yourself as you declare your greatness. It comes off as very matter-of-fact, as it should. I love it!

    @Deb welcome, I love your point about not needing to improve your greatness but just offering it up. You’re right; it’s there waiting for you to express it fully and gloriously. I endorse all of your answers they are dripping with self-care.

  35. Tom, thanks for this article. I just recently made the decision to “Seize” my greatness. A friend that I have known for maybe 8 years recently offered to become my mentor and teach me her methods of healing. We were sitting downstairs after church having coffee when she dropped this opportunity into my lap. Without my usual caution of taking the time to think it over, I said yes. Why, because my gut, my intuition, as Andrea calls it, and the shiver that went through my body as my friend was talking told me too. If I had taken the time to think about it, all of my fears of success and failure would have said, “You are crazy. This is too big, too scary for you to get in to.” I didn’t listen to those voices. I didn’t give them a chance to come in and make my decision for me. When the timing is right, the mentoring will begin.

    I was told, by my inner guides, about 5 years ago that this opportunity would happen. I didn’t know when or how or the who of it but I knew that I was going to be working with another woman doing some kind of healing work. The person that offered to mentor me already has a worldwide organization set up. What she wants is someone local to where she lives in the US to work with the women in our area—Hot Springs, Arkansas. 5 years ago, I was told to wait and to be patient and it would happen when the timing was right. I got impatient and tried to force another friend into the position of leader. It didn’t work. I had to be patient. I didn’t know as much as I thought I did. Every time that I pushed, a voice said, “Wait.” That voice isn’t saying that today.

    So, today and tomorrow and every day after, I am claiming my greatness.

  36. @Pat I celebrate your bold action in seizing your greatness. Sometimes it just takes accepting it when it presents itself. You have certainly done that in a big way. I bet it feels wonderful to acknowledge yourself as having chosen your greatness.

  37. Frank Butterfield says

    Tom —

    Thanks for sharing this very powerful exercise. At first, I was surprised at how almost mundane my 5 things were.

    Then it dawned on me…. I’m already being my greatness and doing my greatness. These are fine-tuning steps. Four of them are inner disciplines and one has to do with how I interact with other people.

    I’ve written more about it on my blog, but I really wanted to directly say to you: this is very, very powerful.

    Thank you very much!

  38. Frank Butterfield says

    Hi Tom —

    I just received an email from someone who saw the post on my blog about this exercise. He sent me a little something (no attribution, but I think this may be from Kim George). Wanted to share it:

    ~ People living in scarcity see the cup as half empty.
    ~ Positive thinkers see the cup as half full.
    ~ People living in abundance see the cup as overflowing.
    ~ But people living into their greatness are the cup.

    I believe you have given so many of us the chance to see how we are the cup!

    Thanks again!

  39. Welcome Frank, I’ll scoot over and comment on your post regarding this exercise. I’m curious to read about your inner disciplines that did not blow you up. I’m curious because when I wrote this question I was not thinking of disciplines. “What could I become or do that would sprout a definite seed to my certain greatness?”

  40. This is a great exercise!!

    My five things are:

    1. Have confidence in myself and my abilities.

    2. Have patience & faith that everything is working together for my good.

    3. Embrace my feelings and emotions, channeling this energy in healthy and productive ways.

    4. Write/sing music that is encouraging, uplifting for women.

    5. Be a women’s life coach.

    Tikos last blog post..If only…

  41. Here is what I wrote:
    1. I will learn everything I desire to know
    2. I will process everything I have learned and share it with the world
    3. I will follow my passion and drive
    4. I will act on my dreams today and everyday
    5. I will talk to everyone that can help me in any way and ask for their help
    6. I will market my offerings and services starting today.

    Mayas last blog post..Embracing our cultural identities at work and in life can only be good for us

  42. Hi Tom,

    I read the instructions only, set the timer and wrote six things in about 8 minutes. I did not read the comments until after I was done with the exercise, and see many readers wrote general goals — mine are more specific. Of course, I hate posting this here because I am a private person, but here goes:

    1. Tutoring ESL adults in reading and US culture
    2. Travel the world teaching respect and tolerance for others
    3. Being the “Barbara Walters” of the eldercare industry, bringing real caregivers’ and patients’ stories to the public, but in written format not on a TV program
    4. Helping breast cancer survivors and their families cope with the disease during and afterwards
    5. Help families of dementia (and Alzheimer’s disease) patients on their caregiving journeys
    6. Write about my life (having been through 3 Black Swan events) to help others overcome challenges they are faced with

  43. Linda – You’ve done a wonderful job. Actually your answers being specific are much more in line with what I envisioned when I wrote the exercise. If any of these are totally new business opportunities be sure to add them to your running list of possibilities. I’m sure there is great value to be mined from these specifically around what you find appealing about them.

  44. Dave Jackley says

    This exercise brought to light ideas that I have either known or are lurking right below the surface. Some surprises are the need for me to model for others the solutions I would like to work in myself: many of us face the same issues. Another is that the past can be both instructive and weightless as we look forward, this includes patterns, others opinions and my past vs. present thoughts and reactions. The net of this for me is clarity and motivation.


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