How easy it is to forget how far you’ve come.But know this: If you are over the age of a fetus (as you clearly are) you deserve a “congratulations” for having made it this far. Allow me to remind you of a few reasons why you’re awesome, and why no one can take your awesomeness away from you. It has permanently crossed over into the realm of irreversible.
1. Your Existence Alone Is a Miracle.
How fascinating is it that your parents came together at the specific time in history to cluster of cells that became you? Everything that you are is a unique expression of life. Your specific genetic makeup, talents, skills, experiences, opinions, preferences, history and idiosyncrasies are unmatched.
There are currently more than seven billion people inhabiting this planet, but not a single one of them is formed exactly like you, nor are they stewards of your unique perspective. Be in awe of that fact for a moment. You’re awesome.
2. You Survived the Realm of Awkwardness Known As Childhood and Adolescence.
Anyone who successfully crosses over into the dark side of puberty deserves a shiny gold medal. By all means, applaud yourself.
Once I thought I’d never survive middle school gym class. It once seemed an impossibility, for merely approaching the locker room doors provoked an onset of stomach cramps. Flirting with boys and entertaining my classmates were always my activities of choice.
I was the perpetually feminine girl who pretended to attempt to strike the volleyball but never actually dared to. I was the perpetually giggling, hair-flipping, hip-swinging and dancing definitely-no-Oscar-worthy actress, faking my way through every phony motion – until I was permitted to rejoin my friends on the bleachers and appear to be unfazed. The bottom line: I survived my version of a semi-nightmare. So did you. Congratulations.
3. Your Brain’s Potential Has Already Proven to Be Astounding.
You’re reading this. That’s so cool. Think about it: When your life was new, you had not even a concept of language. But now, here you are, likely reading my words without much conscious thought or effort. It may feel as simple and fluent as taking your first stretch in the morning or pouring yourself a cup of coffee after staggering from your bed. In fact, you may even be getting a little bored.
Every man or woman who has grown up to become a CEO of a major corporation, every leader of every nation, every brilliant innovator and every great inventor since the beginning of time was once just a helpless baby, reliant on another to clothe them, feed them and change their diapers.
Each of us began our lives with a blank slate, void of the ability to make a simple decision. It is quite astounding when you think about it. Consider all you have learned in your life, and then begin to consider what more you can do with the use of your brain.
Brain plasticity, the capacity of the brain to change when learning something new, continues throughout our lives. When a person learns a new language, even well into adulthood, changes can be observed in the structure of the person’s brain. What else do you dare to learn and achieve? You’re already awesome but you’re never too late to the party.
Your learning to read, even if you barely remember the process of it, is a testament of your brain’s ability to turn any overwhelming feat into second nature.
The only limitations you possess are the ones you declare upon yourself – your ability to read my words is concrete evidence of your awesomeness. High-five yourself.
4. You’ve Shocked Yourself With Your Own Resilience.
Perhaps you’ve had your heart broken, more than once, yet you survived. You’ve likely experienced enough face-flushing embarrassments to write an entire season’s worth of “Saturday Night Live” skits. Most everyone has shivered in the coldest, darkest dungeons of loneliness. Still, you’ve recovered, time and again, after countless disappointments. Perhaps there was something you once believed you would never move beyond, but you now glance downward at the event’s ever-fading scar with an air of pride – maybe even mockery. It didn’t take you out, and that’s awesome.
Almost everyone’s story has at least one chapter of stormy misfortune. But the sun always finds your face again. You can always learn to love again. Your heart hasn’t stopped. You have never choked on your own feelings of humiliation, nor have you suffocated from your sorrow. You have never drowned in your own tears or wrecked your train. You did not die in a bed of brokenness or “could have been”. You’re still here. Carry on, beautiful soldier.
5. You Are Now the Ruler of an Empire.
Once you were delicate and helpless. Once you were entirely dependent upon someone else for every aspect of your survival. But now? You’re the captain of your own mighty ship, the driver of your bus and the pilot of your craft. You are the director of your movie and the architect of the structure you’ve become.
Whether you realize or not, you have been the supreme ruler of the vast and limitless empire that is your life. You can always call upon divine guidance for assistance, but you are also free to cower into a ditch. You can trust in the forces of nature, or you can believe they are out to destroy your reign. The choice is yours.
Oh, the options you possess, the lives you can touch and the stories you can write. You get to decide how history will unfold the story of your dynasty.
Keep making it awesome.