Episode 23: Realizing the Greatness Within You – Part 1

Good morning! Hey, what a beautiful day here in southeast Oklahoma. You know our world is one of those that basically gets crazy once in a while. Outside the studio today we have rain and thunderstorms, lightning. All those beautiful things that make our day even better. Hey, I’m Jimmy Williams, thanks for joining me this morning on Live a Life by Design as we sit through another moment of realizing greatness within you. 

Our entire goal, as I say each week, is to help each of you that listen to this podcast have a bigger, better, and bolder you. To realize your full potential in life and to live life on your own terms. That to me, is a satisfying life on this earth. You know, last week we talked about, don’t take yourself so seriously. If you haven’t listened to this particular episode, episode 22, I highly recommend you go back, listen to the episode, and it has some very poignant points that will help you take life a little less seriously. As a matter of fact I regale you with a true story that happened to me, that you just simply have to laugh about it to understand that life is sometimes outside your control. So go back and listen to episode 22, if you haven’t done so. And thank you for referring the podcast to friends and family and coworkers. I gotta tell you, we are getting a growing list of listeners, thanks to people just like you. People that want to spread positivity and powerful messages to the world. To overcome what I see as a world of negativity. I assure you this is a better way to live, if nothing else it gives you the mental capabilities to take on each days challenges and still wear a smile. 

Today we’re gonna talk about something that’s near and dear to my heart. It’s titled today “Realizing Greatness Within You”. And this is a four part series, this is the first part of this series. And over the next three weeks we’ll be undertaking a journey together. A journey that I hope transforms you from your current life that you may or may not be realizing your full potential. After the four weeks of applying these simple but practical steps, every day that will bring you greater satisfaction. It will bring you your full potential to light so that people will actually notice that there’s a difference in you. Today we’re gonna focus on, as I said, greatness within you. And with that, today’s word and thing for words that begin with I that are the critical components to this realization. 


The first one, intentionality. You see greatness to me is defined as ‘remarkable in effectiveness’. You know we all possess greatness within us, however only a few fully realize their potential. Now why do you think this is the case? Well, one reason I believe is that the commitment, effort required to realize such an extraordinary trait in each of us is perhaps a timeline that is longer than instant gratification allows. You know, we’re a generation of ‘we want it now’ and we’re a generation of ‘we believe we deserve it now’ but the real world has other plans. The real world does not function like that. Outside the winning of the lottery, there’s no way you can accomplish all of the goals and dreams that your parents realized over a fifty year period of time together in a two year marriage. It just doesn’t function that way.

You know, previous episodes we’ve discussed the wrongful comparisons of our backstage to another person’s front stage. And what I’m referring is we look at these people, performers, actors, celebrities of all type and we wonder, ‘Wow, they’ve got it all together. What they’re doing is phenomenal. Well they must have the easiest of lives”. But you’ve got to understand what you are witnessing through them at the time you see them, is the front stage. 

It’s almost as if when I watched the Dallas Cowboys, my favorite NFL team, when I watched them take the field on Sunday afternoon, I’ve gotten home from church, I’ve had a great lunch with my family. I sit down and I am watching this team, that I have loved since the early days of Roger Staubach, take the field and look, in most cases, like a precision machine. During the years of the Troy Aikman era. Troy was raised just about 35-40 miles from where I currently live. He was a phenomenal football player in High School. Went over to UCLA on the west coast and became even more phenomenal in college, and then of course took the reins of the Cowboys, and may I say now, in the hall of fame. But he made it look easy. You know, he’d just float that ball up in the air, Michael Irvin would grab it within 10 feet of his body and touch down, we knew what the outcome would be.

But life isn’t that way everyday. What we didn’t see was the films that were watched on the Monday following the game. What we didn’t see were the hours and days of that week, basically put in with the coaches input and the players hard effort, work, concentration and I’m gonna give them this, they do have some wonderful physical capabilities, I’ll give them that. And some of that is innate. But most of it, 99% of their accomplishment came from the same inputs that you and I possess and must create in our lives to gain the same output. That’s right. Time, commitment, dedication, sitting down and looking at where our performance was and how can we take it to the next level. The key thing that they expressed is they had a desire and yes that’s the biggest of the D’s, they had a desire to be elite. They didn’t just want to be a great team, they didn’t want to be for sure a mediocre team, nobody lives when they get up in the morning by saying, “Oh I hope I live up to my mediocrity today”. That doesn’t sound too empowering, it doesn’t seem too enthusiastic to me.

What I believe people do though, is get up each day, listen to this podcast, if they have to, seven days a week to motivate them to see what they have as potential within and say to themselves, today is the best day of my life I will seek greatness. Now, I’m not talking to you about seeking greatness simply to be great. I’m asking you to seek greatness to live a more fulfilling life that you might help others do the same. You see you are not here on the planet for you alone. I firmly believe, and in my heart know that everyone on this planet has a role to helping someone else on the planet realize their potential. I don’t mind if it’s sweeping the floors at the local warehouse, I don’t know if it’s the teacher in the classroom, the executive in the fortune 100 corporation. All I know is, everyone of these particular jobs, roles in society, have another role and that is to help mankind realize their potential. 

You see it takes a tremendous amount of effort to realize our own. It takes a smaller effort, much more small to help others realize their potential by you being the living example what greatness is that can be realized within you. See committing to realize your potential requires us to make changes in our lives. This is where it becomes pretty difficult for most of us. Most of us like the idea of routine. Mundane, nothing exciting we know what’s gonna happen. I go to work Monday through Friday, I go at the same time, I set at the same desk, I see the same people, you know we get pretty comfortable. I call it the house-shoe method. It’s just so comfortable that if you change it by any little imaginable point, we become uncomfortable. 

But you have to forgo something in your life that you previously enjoyed to grow. You see it’s a terrible analogy, but the snake, for example can’t grow beyond its current skin if he doesn’t shed the old layer of skin. And the new skin is young and vibrant and allows more growth. Or the young deer that’s a male and he goes out in the woods and he survives several winters of hunting and harvesting perhaps and his antlers grow even larger with more points. The point I’m making is that that doesn’t occur in the first year. You see we as humans are the same. We may have to forgo something we enjoy and cannot, give again, one of my personal disclosures, folks I have found that I am allergic to chocolate cake. Now you’re gonna laugh, I am allergic to chocolate cake, and I have known this without even going to my medical doctor, Dr. Haws, and I have not even had to run any tests, well how I know that I am allergic to chocolate cake is I tend to swell in the abdomen area if I eat chocolate cake too much. I’ve also found that I am allergic to Braum’s ice cream. Now I try not to eat any of these things very often, so I have had to change my life style. 

Now when I was younger and I could burn calories like a factory floor, I could actually eat chocolate cake and never notice any difference. But I was riding a single speed bicycle, perhaps, you know, 15-20 miles a day I was running all day, and I was growing in my body, usually in a vertical way instead of horizontal. And now at the age of 54 I have found that my body has adapted to the world, and has decided that the vertical challenge has been met but now seeks out the horizontal challenge. I want you to know I’m over and above this, I have now limited my chocolate cake and so forth to only those times when I  have met my workout routines, I’ve got in my steps for the week, I’ve done all the good things. I’ve drank the water that I need to drink each day, that kind of thing. 

But see you may even have to discontinue things that aren’t with your body. I’m talking about relationships. Perhaps you may even have to release yourself from your relationships that aren’t fruitful or positive. Those that are distracting to you as you are on your path to realizing greatness. Whatever is necessary for you to live life on your terms, and realize the greatness within you will be rewarded with the most peaceful, abundant lifestyle you can experience while on this earth. No form of positive change occurs without intentionality. When you seek to accomplish a goal with intentionality you are purposefully designing a pathway from your present state to your desired state. This act is not a one time commission. It may require years of small changes to realize the tremendous growth potential you possess. Patience and wisdom will be learned along the way, and believe you me, when you pray for patience you will be tested so that you develop them. 

I’ve always preferred to pray for wisdom, seems like a little less harm comes to my mind. But do you see the vision of what you could become? I mean, do you have dreams of something bigger with your life? It reminds me of the story of Michaelangelo. The Renaissance sculptor. He saw something within a simple block of marble that no one else could envision. This block of marble had been abandoned for 25 years in a courtyard of the Opera del Duomo because the two original artists commissioned for the work thought the marble, which came from the quarries of Carrara, contained far too many imperfections. But along came a young 26 year old, creative known as Michaelangelo. Michaelangelo took on this task and over a two year period slowly, each day chipping just the smallest amount of marble, standing back, looking at this vision, and his mind what he could see within this stone. A cold, hard rock that would become something great. 

He took this two year period to refine, step back, take a little more of the marble away. Look back again, until he sculpted a masterpiece that still leaves us in awe 500 years after it was created. Michaelangelo didn’t see the imperfections the world saw, he saw the potential within the marble. All he did was make a few changes each day to this block of rock to become what is known now as David. You see like Michaelangelo, you must look at your life with positivity to fully uncover the potential you may realize. Don’t allow the difficulties and distractions of the day rob you of your greatness. Have you known anyone that has worked a particular job for most of their career, and never advanced? Well, during one of the speaking tours of Zig Ziglar, and you know he’s one of my mentors right up there with Jim Rohn. A particular story caught my mind, and I have never forgotten the meaning behind this tale. 

In the 1950s an incident took place on a sweltering summer afternoon alongside a railroad track where a crew of workers was doing some repair work. A train came chugging down the track and pulled off on a side rail. A window opened, and a voice, a man’s voice shouted out, “Dave! Dave Anderson, is that you?” It was in fact Dave Anderson. And he was in charge of the work crew. He yells back, “Yea, Jim, it’s me”. The man on the train, Jim Murphy yells out, “Well come on over here, let’s chat a while”. 

Now Dave would do about anything to get out of this sweltering heat for a few moments, but seeing that he could reunite with his old friend, Jim Murphy, was the only invitation he needed. So Dave stopped what he was doing and joined Jim Murphy in his private, air-conditioned railroad car for almost an hour. No doubt happy to get out of the boiling sun, as we said. When the conversation ended, he made his way back to the work crew that were working on the track. The flabbergasted crew stared at him in utter shock, and said something to the effect of, “That was Jim Murphy, the president of the railroad”. “Yep, it sure was”, Dave said. They all gathered around and excitedly wanted to know how Dave knew Jim Murphy, the president of the railroad, for goodness sakes, to say nothing about it he got to be such good buddies with the man and on a first name basis to boot!

Let’s just say his crew was in shock. And Dave went on to explain, “Well it’s quite simple, when I started with the railroad, over 20 years ago, Jim Murphy started at the same time. We have been pals ever since”. Now the crew is astonished as much as they are confused about his statement. They want to know how it is that Dave and Jim Murphy started working for the railroad, at the same time, and Murphy rose to such dizzying heights while old Dave is still working on the track in the hot broiling sun. How in the world did that happen? Dave looked wistfully up into the sky and said, “A little over 20 years ago Jim Murphy went to work for the railroad; I went to work for a $1.75 an hour”. 

Starting today, and you know this is a new day, take 15 minutes and simply list the activities you wish to participate in, places you dream of seeing. People you wish to meet and imagine for a few moments what your enjoyment, happiness, and fulfillment would be to achieve them. Now take your list and prioritize your list to the top three items you wish to accomplish. Just the top three. And this is now the destination in which you will build intentionally steps to achieve. 

I want you to paste this list, make copies of it, put it everywhere you look, everyday from the time you get up, first thing in the morning. And don’t laugh, yes you can laminate it and place it in your shower if that’s the first place you go when you arise each day. But put this list wherever you look that you can see it every day. And each day just like Michaelangelo, chip away a little bit, take a foot closer toward. Do some type of action. Make a small change in habits, but plan each day to take one more step in the direction of these three goals. Do not allow your family, friends, limiting beliefs, resources, anything to distract you from these three goals. If you accomplish nothing else in life, but these three goals, these are your top three most remarkable empowering goals that will give you a fulfilling life. 

If you accomplish nothing but these three, you will be the most happy, you will be the most helpful, and you will be the most energetic person on the planet for your area. For your sphere of friends. They’re gonna wonder what’s going on with you. If you’re doing these three things you’re smiling more, you’re more energized, you’re more helpful to those in need. It is just a change of life experiences. And all it is, is three big hairy audacious goals that you achieve by taking one step per day toward them. 

I have a saying I use quite often on my big hairy audacious goals, I say, “You know, if you go to eat the elephant, it’s always better to chew it one bite at a time”. “You know, inch by inch, anything’s a cinch”. Whatever phrase it takes for you to understand that this is going to be achieved, you’ve made up your mind achieve it. You will be successful. So this weeks challenge. Go to our livealifeby.design website and below the show notes for this episode, include your top three goals from your list. We will keep this list confidential, but the simple act of reporting your three goals to another person will give you a boost of accountability. It means now that you must perform. Or you can simply do nothing and continue living the life of mediocrity without direction or any fulfillment. Just remember one thing. We must all suffer one of two things in life. The pain of discipline or the pain of regret. The pain of discipline weighs ounces, the pain of regret weighs tons. 

Make it a great week, and join us next week as we share Part 2 of our series on ‘Realizing Greatness Within You’.

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