Your right to shine, and you’re right to shine


If ever there’s a time to claim your right to shine – and yes, you are absolutely right to do so – it is now. I’m more convinced than ever that today – nay, right now – is your time to let your light shine no matter what passions you pursue and what aspirations you hold. Moreover, it’s not enough to shine; you’ve earned the right – by getting as far as you have in your life and career – to win, and that’s what I urge anyone reading this to do. Go win.

I don’t profess to know what winning is for you, dear reader, and you may or may not share my opinion that you can make winning your only option. I know only that winning is the only option I’m accepting and the only choice I’m making for me, my life, and my family. Here’s what winning – and shining – mean to me.

Winning is going two years without work of the 11 years I’ve been on my own… and not accepting a grim view of life as the true one. Instead, the two stints (17 months the first time and then seven months again) taught me about the resiliency and interdependence of people. They taught me strong lessons in humility, patience, peace, and faith. Those stints grounded me, established my feet, and offered me opportunities to grow in ways that I might not have experienced in a job where I did not belong. When it was time for me to take another job, the right job came along, and I found myself where I needed to be to learn the next life lesson.

Winning is being willing to fall and being courageous enough to get right back up and keep moving. We all fall. When we fall together, it’s important that we work together to rise together. When we fall alone, there’s no shame in asking for help if that’s what’s needed for us to rise again. And should we find ourselves in a place that leaves us to rise alone, so be it. Winning isn’t never falling; it’s rising again no matter what.

Winning is accepting that your strengths are yours and that there’s no harm in working harder on those strengths than on spinning your wheels to focus on some weakness or other. That’s not to say that you never acknowledge or work to improve in weak areas; rather, it means that you give your strengths their due attention because it’s why you were given those gifts and talents in the first place.

Winning is recognizing in yourself and in others the ability to achieve great things in a lifetime. How many times have we thought to ourselves that our lives are small and insignificant or that our actions have little or no impact or consequence. The truth is that few of us realize the power we possess. Know yourself. Know your power. Conquer it. Harness it. Vanquish your fears. Win. Shine.

Shining, by the way, is little more than winning and being willing to share your lessons – failures, successes, ups, downs, the whole experience – with others so that they, too, can win. Sometimes we shine by our stories. Other times we shine by our example. It doesn’t matter how your light reaches others, only that you let it.

If you do nothing else for yourself or others today, please do these two things: Win and shine. It’s your right and your power, and you’re right to do so.