Remember when you were a child and wanted to run
away from home, like Tom Sawyer? Maybe you did run
away, maybe you didn’t, but some
part of you felt the powerful urge to
cut ties with all you knew and journey
forth in search of adventure.
That urge to go on an adventure-
-that’s just a part of us, from our
early years to our grave. We would
like to do great things, to be memorable,
and that stays with us for all
of our days. We want to put our signature on the things
we touch, to affirm, “I did this.”
Consider Aladdin–the original story from The Book
of One Thousand and One Nights. In our heart of
hearts, aren’t we all that poor street urchin living in
poverty, looking for a magic lamp that will transport us
to the heights of glory? Aren’t we all dogged by an evil
sorcerer of some kind that foils our plans–perhaps an
addiction, perhaps a bad habit, a poor choice that’s undone
our plans? Yet our true greatness doesn’t depend
on a magic lamp; it comes from being true to ourselves,
to the full measure of our originality.
It’s generally understood that not all of us were born
to fly like eagles or to rule like lions, and so distinction
takes many forms. Even the armadillo has a legitimate
place on the continuum. As we trek on our solitary and
at times reckless journeys, we need to leap from the ordinary
plateaus. We need to ascend to the higher peaks
of individual destiny by investing that extra effort from
deep within us to do exceptional deeds—more than we
ever thought we were capable of.
In the end, we are not leaving behind mere hand
splotches on cave walls, nor light footprints on the
sands of eternity. No, we are imbuing the world with
our one of a kind spirit, laced with a permanence that
says our mark was valid after all.
We’re on an adventure to greatness… the wondrous
greatness of being.