"Never underestimate the power of dreams and the influence of the human spirit. We are all the same in this notion. The potential for greatness lives within each of us."
That inspiring quote came from Wilma Rudolph, a 3-time gold medalist in track and field, who participated in the 1956 and 1960 Olympics. Many regarded her as the fastest woman in the world in the 1960s. She later went on to become a leader in civil rights and a pioneer in women's rights.
I believe Ms. Rudolph knew that one's self-worth was not something that was acquired, but something we already had. When you read her inspiring quote again, you get the sense that she strongly believed that self-worth is an inheritance. That is, we always had it, and it was never acquired. In fact, self-worth is something we were given at birth ... we were born with it.
I am not sure at what stage in her life she said this, however, it's a pretty deep statement:
"When I was going through my transition of being famous, I tried to ask God why was I here? What was my purpose? Surely, it wasn't just to win three gold medals. There has to be more to this life than that."
When you look into what she said, it's like she knew deep down inside that being famous and winning the three gold medals did not define or determine who and what she truly was. Maybe back then, the people were more in tuned with themselves and knew who and what they truly were. But I think Ms. Rudolph was truly a cut above. She was special and she was not the norm then and even to this day.
I think we as humans have a tendency to lose our locus of control from within to more external factors. We have this bad habit of basing our self-worth on fame, how much money we have, how we look, what kind of car we drive, what name brand "stuff" we own, our relationships ... and on and on. We incorrectly believe that self-worth is something that needs to be acquired. And since we base our self-worth on external factors, such as how and what others think about us, how good we look to others, etc., getting that new promotion or making that first million dollars is never good enough.
And when we base our self-worth on these external factors, we have to continually prove ourselves from one conquest to another conquest so that we get that "wow" approval from others. And we become a prisoner in a game of one-upsmanship, always striving to be better than others. But what happens when you get fired from your dream job, experience a loss of a million dollars, or if the love of your life just leaves you?
Unless your locus of control is within, you will probably end up a wreck since that dream job, the million dollars or the love of your life defined who and what you were. We need to shift our mindset of self-worth and understand that it was already present at birth, and thus, does not need to be acquired.
As Ms. Rudolph questioned why she was on this earth and what her life purpose was, she looked deep within and turned her awareness towards herself, in the present moment. She realized that her self-worth was not acquired nor built on fame nor the gold medals she won, but a gift, perhaps a divine gift with infinite potential and possibilities. She allowed herself to be empowered by her own self-worth and ultimately found her higher calling.
I think it was Eckhart Tolle who said that your sense of self, your true sense of worthiness, comes from the present moment. And from that comes true fulfillment and freedom.
Let's make 2012 a great year for all.
To your success & freedom!