Just finished lunch, from my favorite Chinese buffet near my day job. Cracked open the requisite fortune cookie and these words jumped out at me: “Some people dream of worthy accomplishments while others stay awake and do them.” When I read them, I smiled, since I am both dreamer and doer, visionary and actor on my visions. There was a time, when I lingered in the first realm since it felt easier and safer. I had grand and glorious dreams that I told myself ‘someday’ would come true. It is like the four words that my little surrogate grandson utters every time we open a book and read together. I will ask, “What does that say?” Two year old Collin will giggle and spout out “Once upon a time.” “And how about that?”, I query, pointing to another phrase. “Once upon a time.” For him, it is a game, a joke, a silly exchange, since he knows it can’t ALL say that, and yet, how often do we as adults get stuck in musing ‘once upon a time’ mode, because we are intimidated by the rest of the story? I know I was and on rare occasions, still am.
When I look back on my life, I want to be able to say for sure, that the things I accomplished were indeed worthy; worthy of the potential, gifts and talents bestowed upon me at birth, worthy of the work and sweat I put into them, worthy of the people who are served by them, and worthy of the investment my family and friends place in me. When I succeed, it isn’t just for me. It reflects on the folks who stood by me and cheered me on. When I witness other people’s accomplishments and feel that in some way, I have contributed, there is a basking in their reflected glory, a ‘kvelling’ (Yiddish for overflowing with pride). I want those in my circles to feel that way when I reach a milestone as I do with them. I have many successful friends in various realms: artists, writers, musicians, entrepreneurs, students, teachers, healers, parents and when I hear about something they have accomplished, I want to shout it from the rooftops. So why, I wonder, do I have such a challenge with comfortably doing that for myself? I start out being ‘shamelessly self promoting’ as I encourage others to do and then I retract, wondering “What will people think? Am I being too visible, too attention seeking?”
Instead of hiding your worthy accomplishments, I invite you to use your God-given gifts and talents to serve the world and as a result, discover the fortune that need not be freed from a cookie.