The Gates of Greatness Are Open
From Good to Great to Excellent to Exceptional — and Beyond... Why don't you say Yes?
Here are 3 reasons you should not read this post:
It is probably going to trigger your “goodness” and make you furious about injustice.
It may make you feel like shit about your life experience and choices.
You might feel like you wasted 20 minutes of your time.
I recommend not reading this if you want to hold onto being a good person, or you don’t want to doubt your satisfaction with life, or you feel that 20 minutes is too much time to waste on something that may make you feel like shit. If you do choose to read, remember that feeling like shit is a choice. I close this post with a note on miraculous choices and you could make one right now by reading this post. Just don’t say I didn’t warn you. You may be tempted to jump to the end to read about those choices, but it will have no impact if you don’t go through the entire post. And you will just end up wasting more time.
Here is where I write this post from. You may think I’m talking about the physical location depicted in the picture. And while I am physically located there right now, I write this from “here”, a place I call A Feeling of Greatness. Do you have any idea how challenging it is, in the world today, to fully and freely say that I feel great?
To fully feel great, without any shame, guilt, regret, or remorse. And to express that freely without any shame, guilt, regret, or remorse. Sharing with readers who are likely not feeling the same, and to say it without guilt, without adding something to mask or sympathize, that is a real challenge. One I have only recently been able to overcome. “Happiness Guilt”, as it is officially called, or “Greatness Guilt” as I have termed it more specifically for this post, is the bane of the fortunate and the deservingly successful.
Goodness, Greatness, Me
Feeling great is complicated. It clashes with the programming we are doled out all day, every day. At least for people who have lived lower-class and middle-class lives. Greatness is meant for others, the elite — only they have the right to shine. For normal people, being good is the ideal. Modesty is noble. Modesty and “humility” are what make a good person. And how could feeling good and being good be a bad thing?
Because good is not great. And when you are ready to feel great, feeling good and being good is what will hold you back. And guess what, I am done being good — for good.
I feel great. I am great. And more.
Greatness is a taboo for most people in the world. And so it was for me, even up until a week ago. But I had started experiencing glimpses of greatness in the last few months and years. And once you get a taste of that, you will either cower in fear and run back to being a good little person. Or you will run, leap, and fly towards the gates of greatness. And you realize that everything that pretends to stop you is only helping you become great. Resistance and obstacles are vital components on the journey to greatness. Without those, it just wouldn’t feel that great.
This recent rad-iculous personality shift has had a wonderfully mixed reception, from offending and hurting some, to inspiring and attracting others, and a mix of the two for a few. This post itself is going to be triggering for many. Because it contains greatness, and it is written to rub the goodness out of you. Being in the presence of greatness, I realized, is a deeply challenging experience, especially when you are a good person. Greatness begins to erode the programs of goodness. And those who cling tightly to the ego identity of goodness will perceive greatness as a threat.
Why is greatness intimidating and threatening? Because it reminds you of your potential while simultaneously clashing with everything you are told to be all your life: It is good to be small. It is good to make yourself invisible. It is good to be “self”-less. Disappear. It’s not about you. Serve others. Be modest. Be humble. Fit in, don’t get noticed. Get along, be pleasant. Well, fuck that. I’m done being a pleasant peasant.
Here is what the dictionary says about humble: having or showing a modest or low estimate of one’s own importance. And the thesaurus lists these as some synonyms: meek, deferential, submissive, self-effacing, unassertive.
True humility is to show up as you are, without exaggerating or diminishing your self and your worthiness. A student of mine referenced AA which says, true humility is to show up “right-sized”. Here is a snippet from an AA website:
Humility is simply having a realistic sense of oneself. A humble person accurately acknowledges both their strengths and limitations. These people have the capacity to be honest and without pretense in relation to themselves. They are “right-sized” and without false pride, arrogance, or importantly, low self-esteem. They are modest and without “ego”, they are authentic and real, and can admit to their vulnerability.
Greatness and Darkness: Compassion in Action
If you have done great things, why be coy about it? Becoyse that’s what people expect of you. So you don’t make them feel shittier about themselves than they do already. Why should you pay the price for others choices and circumstances? Whether you found greatness by working hard, being fortunate, or a combination of both, allowing guilt to kill your pleasure helps no one. Good people will only get sadistic pleasure in your suffering, they will not actually feel better in any real sense because you are feeling worse.
Being great doesn’t mean I don’t have problems, it doesn’t mean I am flawless. I am very human. And very imperfect. Being great doesn’t excuse you for being hurtful. It doesn’t give you any extra permission to be a toxic person. So any justifications you have for being good instead of great are just self-defeating.
Being good is for others.
Being great is for your self and others.
Greatness is born when power and compassion are unified. Only power or only compassion become unbalanced and ineffective. These are not just forces to be balanced, they are forces to be unified.
The tone of this post is strong. It is confrontational. And it is intended to awaken you from the programs that keep you imprisoned. If you find it offensive, why do you care so much about my opinion? Reality often hurts when we are trapped in illusions. And that is what is likely happening as you go through this post. The cages of your prison are rattling you awake. And who wants to wake up from deep sleep, even if you are sleeping in hell.
I have been where most people are. I have lived as a slave most of my life. Just like everyone on this planet (more on this in Service is Slavery linked at the end of this post). Real greatness is not just about material success. Some of the most wealthy people are deeply insecure, untrusting, paranoid, guilt-ridden, and completely incapable of grappling with reality. They create bubbles to avoid their insecurities, and yet they can never escape. It’s just superficially different from what others experience. And there is no greatness in that.
The Source of Greatness
Greatness is driven from deep within, when the gates of your heart fully open, and you can Fully accept you and your self. Accepting all the parts of you that have been demonized and ostracized by society. Overcoming everything that makes you feel like a monster, makes you feel you are evil, makes you feel you are wrong. Overcoming your shame and your guilt. It’s not about flipping it and saying you are ok and you are good. It’s not just a mindset shift or self hypnosis where you program your self to feel great. It’s not about being positive and thinking you are the best most special thing to happen in this world.
Greatness is being able to accept that you are imperfect, you are flawed, you have dark parts and a dark past, and that is ok too. Greatness is not a license for toxicity. It is simply acceptance. And a realization that it is not meant to be perfect. This is the highest level of compassion you can experience for your self and others. And through that you allow your self to feel the greatness of existence.
If you have been feeling your way through this post, you will notice this is not about “me”, it is not about how great I am. It is a post about goodness and greatness. And my past experience with goodness and presently feeling this greatness is just a way to talk about it. I am using it as a tool to trigger and erode your goodness, so you can awaken and create space for your greatness.
Good doesn’t feel Great
Good people are given rights and freedom.
Great people define their rights and find their freedom.
What is given can always be taken.
What was once lost and later found can never be lost again.
I am gifted, and fortunate, and I have worked immensely to hone my gifts par excellence. Owning it and showing up fully has been the best experience of my life. Writing with my full voice is a freedom that cannot be given, it can only be found — and I now see it as a gift that I choose to share by writing this way. Those who are open to receive will fly. Those who find it offensive will just drop it and leave (and probably use it as an excuse to suffer for a while).
Being good is for the emotionally poor and needy. Those who have been starved of validation and attention go seeking it in service to others. And what makes it all worthwhile is hearing those words: “You are Such a Good Person!” That is the bountiful payment for their service. Except, it’s a drug. And like any drug, you always need more. Because you are trying to fill a void. And in case you have forgotten, a void is bottomless, topless, infinite and endless. And I can humbly say I know a thing or two about drugs, addiction, and filling voids.
The only way to close the void is to fulfill the real need with the real “food”. The problem isn’t neediness, it is that you don’t know how to fulfill your deepest needs. People get the perverse payment of validation for their service, and in that they forget to truly receive the validation. It becomes transactional. And they still continue to feel needy deep within — craving high-quality healthy attention and validation.
Good people are unable to receive healthy high quality attention and validation. And ironically, they are great at receiving low quality toxic attention and validation. The programs of shame, guilt, and unworthiness do an excellent job of keeping out healthy attention and validation. They even have the magical power to transform something healthy into a toxic mess for self-destruction. Even that for which you would otherwise feel great becomes a reason to feel terrible. An example of that is Happiness Guilt or Greatness Guilt. The world will constantly find a way to shit over everything that makes you feel great. And your programs will take that fuel to drive the engine of your shame and insecurity.
The Price of Greatness
Greatness requires courage. Which is why goodness is for the many. Greatness has a great price. Those you love, your companions in the mosh pits of misery, those who have been fighting the world with you, those you have shared needles with while injecting yourself with large doses of suffering, those people who have empathized with you and “made you feel better” when life sucked — most of those people are going to hate you as you become free. But greatness is lonely only if you make it that way. The idea that greatness is lonely is also just a program to keep the miserable stuck where they are. If you believe you will be lonely, then it is a lot less likely you will want greatness. And you continue in the misery of being a good person.
These illusions are painted to keep people small. And there is nothing “wrong” with being small, modest, humble, and all of that. I tried my best to be a champion at being small and humble for most of my life. Although I was not great at that. Fitting in was never my thing, no matter how much I tried. Realizing how much suffering it was causing, I decided to stop and let my self be what I am and grow into whatever shape and size feels most organic.
The Call to Greatness
The only reason to answer the call to greatness is to honor your full Self.
Deep, deep, deep down, you, your heart, and your soul yearn for something more. And that is not greed and hedonism, that is what it feels to be deeply unfulfilled. And all the materialistic desires are rooted in that deep unfulfilled void within you. You can rationalize your way to contentment, but you will only feel truly full, in heart, belly, mind, and soul, when you fully honor your full Self. Until then, you will always feel something is missing. And this is what the great saints and mystics mean when they say what you seek is within.
How your greatness shows up will vary for each person. Some may become famous, successful, wealthy. But as I said before, greatness is not about what shows up on the outside. How you choose for it to manifest into the world is, to some degree, up to you.
Teachers can be powerful catalysts along the way. And eventually you reach a point where life and the universe become your teacher. Until then I always recommend working with someone who has overcome the challenges. Not to follow them or copy them, but to let them help you as you figure out your own way. I know that my own 8 year apprenticeship was immensely catalytic for my journey. Maybe I would have got to where I am today, perhaps it would have taken much longer, but more than all of that, it was an immense pleasure to work with a brilliant teacher and extremely powerful to allow my self to be guided and receive help along the way.
To be seen for my potential was perhaps the most empowering experience in a world committed to highlight your faults and deficiencies. Only power recognizes power. Only someone powerful can see you as powerful. The others will simply reflect their own weaknesses. And once I was able to see my full potential, life became the playground to develop me and my self.
Contentment and Fulfillment on the journey
Fully answering the call is not trivial. It is one of the most challenging things you will ever do. There will be many points where you will feel you have enough, that is your fear talking once again. Each level, until you fully unleash your consciousness, will tempt you into stopping, telling you that you are being greedy, evil, selfish, arrogant, overwhelming, hurtful, and numerous other projections that will directly target your greatest insecurities. And your shame and guilt will once again beg you to settle and be content with all the greatness you have already found. Unfortunately…
Or fortunately. You will be revisited by the calling and yearning over and over again. I’ve gone through this process, confronting the excruciating and grueling challenges and gatekeepers at each level. And I know there is still plenty to come as there is always more. I speak now from the place of greatness. I have already seen the next level, and beyond, and some day you will hear from that place too. For today, greatness is
good great enough. Just for today.
At some point the void disappears. Contentment and fulfillment become second nature. You are no longer seeking and trying to stuff the void. You are just in a state of completeness. But that doesn’t mean you stop growing. That only means you have healed the void. And then the real game begins. Then you grow because you enjoy learning and want to keep exploring endlessly.
Here is where I close this post 2 days after I started writing. Waking up at 4 am, I could try going back to sleep, I could go to a doctor to get diagnosed with insomnia, or I could just be feeling like shit and complain about tiredness. But I feel great, and full of energy, and I know I don’t need to sleep that long most days. So instead, I choose to go watch the sunrise and run on the beach. I call this a miraculous choice, a term I came up with while sitting on the beach today morning.
There are good and bad choices, which are the choices for the average person; there are hidden choices, which are for the person on the road to greatness; and there are miraculous choices, which are for people who have found greatness. These choices are not just hidden, they are in the realm of impossibility when you are not fully ready for greatness. Your mind cannot even conceive of the possibility of such a choice, even if it is presented to you. You will just dismiss it or ignore it as an impossibility. Until one day the same choice comes back to you and you now see the entirety of the possibility. The 4 AM example I gave is not about waking up early. It is about all the choices that created the possibility for that choice.
It was a choice to live 5 minutes away from a gorgeous beach. I have the mind and energy to feel great when I wake up at 4 AM, that is the result of millions of choices I made while training and healing my consciousness. The possibility to create an enjoyable experience for my self arises from the foundation I have created over the last 8 years, by rejecting the average choices, by looking for the hidden choices, and making the effort to follow through. All of this finally resulted in arriving at a place where miraculous choices are presented to me on a daily basis.
The photo I posted at the beginning was where I started writing this post, a 5-star spa-resort (which also happens to be 5 minutes from home) where I went to celebrate the end of stable income. That is a miraculous choice. This choice was not even presented to me, it was a choice I created. Where most people would crumble in worry, anxiety, and despair, I chose to celebrate everything I had learned and created in that time. I fully appreciated the beauty of the whole experience. And I celebrated the creation of the space that is being created for new things to materialize in my life. That is power which comes with greatness.
Being Touched by Greatness
It is very special to be touched by greatness, but you need not be someone special to be touched by greatness. You simply have to say yes. Why don’t you say yes? For all the reasons I shared above. I would recommend re-reading this post now from the perspective you have developed by going through the entire post. Reaching this point has already shifted things within you which will make you see things very differently as you read the same things again.
The reason most people say no is fear. The fear of losing loved ones; the fear of losing your comfort zone; the fear of making mistakes, failing, and being responsible. Greatness demands courage. Being touched by greatness will completely change your inner experience of life and may also radically change your outer circumstances. That too is something you have to be ready to allow.
Once you say yes and you are touched by greatness, there is no going back. If you try to hide, you will just become more miserable, because now you know what life could look and feel like. Which is why it is a choice, it is never something forced upon anyone. I am using fear and caution here because you have to be really sure about this choice. There is no space for regrets and remorse in a life of greatness. There is no space for complaining and feeling like shit in a life of greatness. There is only greatness.
Are you ready to say yes to honoring your full Self?
Are you ready to say yes to greatness?
Continue reading the related blog posts:
– Letting Go Stability is about the miraculous choice to celebrate the end of stability
– Service is Slavery is about my choice where I went from working for others to the immensely more enjoyable option of working with others