Most people live and die with their music still unplayed. They never dare to try. - Mary Kay Ash
Great leaders leave indelible footprints in the passage of time, often spanning generations. Unmistakable evidence, markers of where they have been.
Regardless of when, and where they walk, great men and women leave their footprints, revealing with clarity their spirit, courage and the direction they were going, along with encouragement to follow in their footsteps.
Few people ever fully reach their potential. Yet almost everyone has the ability, the latent reserves within to do more, achieve more and influence their generation more.
Regardless of how we rationalize this lost opportunity, the fact remains that we each have unused potential within us: potential to do more with what we have, to reach out and do completely new things we haven't done before.
Usually greater personal growth and performance comes from identifying and developing those strengths that we all naturally have, but which are often under utilized.
Most people have reasons why they haven't yet come to life, and occasionally even valid ones, but usually these reasons are better described as excuses.
I know, it is true, that sometimes a persons' upbringing or the events of life have limited or hurt them such that their ability to reach out, to trust or to take risks have been damaged and they unable to step up to new opportunities.
But usually this is a mental block, not a road block. Almost always there is no real reason why any one of us cannot rise to greater challenges and achieve more, other than a lack of confidence and self belief.
Normally, once a person understands this they begin to do better, regardless of their past history, their past failures or present obstacles: it just starts to happen, and the best time to make it happen is now!
Yesterday can't be changed: its door has closed. Tomorrow can't be changed: its door hasn't opened. Today is our only opportunity to influence our future, to change our world: whilst its door remains open. Right here, right now!
To many people it is incomprehensible how they could achieve or succeed because they don't think they can, preferring to spend their time dwelling on the reasons why not.
Yet the solution to changing our life paradigm is no secret, no mystery. All it takes is the resolution to do it, and do it now. Don't wait until conditions are perfect, until all the ducks line up: they rarely do. Just do it!
Likewise, excuses such as 'I live or work in the wrong place, or, no one has ever achieved anything here' are usually cop outs. The best place to start changing our future is right where we are.
Begin by looking for opportunities around us, in our job, in our locality, in the environment where we are placed. There are few places where opportunities do not exist, to those who look for them.
It is often accepted in our times that someone else is to blame for our shortcomings, lack of progress or misfortune. But ultimately it is really our responsibility to ensure that we do well and succeed. Positioning ourselves and training our minds to be ready for opportunities and difficulties are key to ensuring that we achieve our best.
Remember, we need not discourage ourselves by trying to be the best in the world, but we should commit to being the best that we can be.
The footprints of great leaders, who saw into the future and spanned generations and who have previously travelled our paths will often reveal simply, yet profoundly, the steps we should take to unlock and realize our potential: to ensure our success.