Every successful man or great genius has three particular qualities in common. The most conspicuous of these is that they all produce a prodigious amount of work. The second is that they never know fatigue. And the third is that their minds grow more brilliant as they grow older, instead of less brilliant. Great men’s lives begin at forty, where the mediocre man’s life ends. The genius remains an ever-flowing fountain of creative achievement until the very last breath he draws.
The great piano virtuoso Paderewski was once playing before an audience of the rich and the royal. After a brilliant performance, an elegant lady waxed ecstatic over the great artist. She said, “Ah Maestro, you are a genius!” Paderewski tartly replied, “Ah yes, madam, but before I was a genius I was a clod!” What he was saying was that his present acclaim was not handed to him on a silver platter. He, too, was once a little boy laboriously practicing his scales. And even at his peak, behind every brilliant performance there were countless hours of practice and preparation.
Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure. It is our light, not our darkness, that most frightens us.
We ask ourselves, who am I to be brilliant, gorgeous, talented, and fabulous? Actually, who are you not to be?
You are a child of God. Your playing small doesn't serve the world. There's nothing enlightened about shrinking so that other people won't feel insecure around you. We are all meant to shine, as children do. We are born to make manifest the glory of God that is within us.
It's not just in some of us, it's in everyone.
And as we let our own light shine, we unconsciously give other people permission to do the same. As we are liberated from our own fear, our presence automatically liberates others.