There Is Greatness Within

by Lance Ekum on · 67 comments

Creative Commons License photo credit: AndyFitz

 “Never underestimate the power of dreams and the influence of the human spirit. We are all the same in this notion: The potential for greatness lives within each of us.” ~ Wilma Rudolph

 Greatness.  It’s in all of us.

Have you ever observed someone doing something that truly seems beyond greatness?  Someone who inspires you by their actions. 

What comes to mind here?

  • Rescuing a child from a burning building
  • Freeing someone from a major car accident
  • Going up into the failing World Trade Center on 9/11 to rescue others, knowing it was on the verge of collapse
  • Searching day and night for a lost child in the woods
  • And many, many more

Those big, one time events – the ones that can bring out the best in others.  What is it that compels some people to act in these moments of decision? 

The premise for this post today is related to a book I’ve recently read:

"Something Beyond Greatness" ~ by Judy Rodgers and Gayatri Naraine


In this book the authors dig much deeper into what it is that leads some down these paths of greatness and beyond.  And what that means for us, each one of us, in our daily lives.  What is it, that draws someone to act?  And is that something we all have?  The book explores this topic in depth, with a focus on what it is that leads some to "be the hero".  There were three elements identified: 

  • Seeing with love
  • Acting from the heart
  • Being in the right place at the right time

Much is discussed on really what this means, with examples of those who have acted in just such a way.

So – these three elements – they can lead us to great things.

Where does this put us, though, in our daily lives?

Love and Greatness

The conclusion arrived at in this book is that love is what leads to something beyond greatness.  And love is there, within all of us. That love does get buried, though, sometimes.  Buried to our own agendas.  And with that, our greatness gets buried also. 

The good news is that even if this true and selfless love has become buried, it is possible to find that love in all of us, and to let our greatness shine.  Time spent connecting deeply with self, time to reflect on what our heart is saying – this is what leads us to that inner connection with our soul.  This is what leads us to seeing the world through a lens of love.

This whole thought is such a powerful one!  And it is there in all of us.  Love is part of our being.  And with love, comes greatness.  Maybe not greatness in the sense of saving someone’s life in a split second decision (although it could be).  Greatness, though, through living our daily lives in sync with our deep being.  Isn’t that a wonderful thought! 

"Love is the greatest refreshment in life." ~ Pablo Picasso

Go Forth In Love

Every one of us has love within us.  We just have to allow that love to shine.  And in doing this, we let a deep caring and respect develop.  With love as its base, greatness is also within each of us.  And that shines through, not just in big one-time moments to do something great.  It really shines through in our daily lives, in how we live with a loving heart to those all around us. 

Getting to this point is really getting in touch with our soul.  Just think about that.  If we are connecting deeply with our soul, we are reaching a spot within each of us that has love as the foundation.  If we are truly there, then love becomes the language we speak.  And our greatness shines – the greatness that resides in each and every one of us!  All through the daily acts of love we display. 

How can you connect more deeply with your soul?  How can you let your greatness shine – through daily acts of selfless love?


Lance writes stories from his heart, aiming to inspire and motivate, as you align more fully with YOUR true peak. When he's not here, you can find him hanging out with his family, riding a bike, or just generally acting goofy.   Sign up for the Thoughts from the Treehouse newsletter and get additional inspiration in your email inbox!
Lance Ekum
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{ 63 comments… read them below or add one }

Yum Yucky July 7, 2009 at 7:35 am

Love is the Ultimate. God is Love. A wonderful post with wonderful thoughts to start my day!
.-= Yum Yucky´s Last Fabulous Post ..6 Cruel Signs You Ate Too Much =-.


Evita July 7, 2009 at 7:38 am

Oh wow Lance this is so beautifully written! Based on your words it seems like a beautiful book. I mean, what more can we ask for, what could be more important than love?

I was going to quote something you said here, but every line is rich in meaning and beauty. I have asked myself that question before many times “what moves some people to action? to love and yet not others?” What have we forgotten perhaps? What have we buried away?

I love the conclusion to the idea of where greatness comes from, because I myself live with the idea that really “love is all there is”. When everything is said and done, there is love. All of us have access to it, but sadly only some choose it. I am sure, as you elude to the book explains this further.

I think for all of us to connect with love more deeply is really in two ways: moments of stillness and moments of consciousness. When we are still we listen to our soul. When we are conscious we act from the soul.

Well, I am definitely have to tag this as a must read – thank you Lance for introducing it!
.-= Evita´s Last Fabulous Post ..Evolving Being in Action: Julie Riddle =-.


jen July 7, 2009 at 7:52 am

you are a humble leader, lance, making the jungle today, more bearable with this post!
.-= jen´s Last Fabulous Post ..Conspiracy Theory and Salmon Dinner with a Spokane Indian =-.


Natalia Burleson July 7, 2009 at 8:23 am

Great post Lance! For me the best way to let the love in so that it can shine from within me is to get out of self! When I say get out of self, I mean the selfish part that says, hey what about me? When I get away from that I’m able to focus on loving others as well as myself! I also find that I’m able to be in a more spiritual place that is filled with faith, love and kindness! 🙂
.-= Natalia Burleson´s Last Fabulous Post ..Feeling Good =-.


lisamm July 7, 2009 at 8:39 am

Lance, what a lovely, well written post! Thank you so much for all the time and effort you put into reading and reviewing this book and for sharing your thoughts with your readers.
.-= lisamm´s Last Fabulous Post ..Mortimus Clay, author of The Purloined Boy, on tour September 2009 =-.


Lynn July 7, 2009 at 8:46 am

Go Forth In Love. For me – it is having great patience and listening skills with the elderly in my life, knowing that I’ll be there myself someday. Thank you for another inspiring post.
.-= Lynn´s Last Fabulous Post ..Salsa, pledge and going with =-.


Laurie July 7, 2009 at 9:04 am

1 Corinthians 13:13 (New International Version)
And now these three remain: faith, hope and love. But the greatest of these is love.

This post brings several things to mind….
First….”Greatness” – what does that really mean? Overcoming a difficult obstacle? I think maybe. I do believe greatness involves the things you mentioned, especially love but I also believe some of the most heroic acts of greatness involve forgiveness, perseverance, and compassion. Maybe that’s “acting from the heart”.

I know a wonderful woman who, with a toddler and a new born to care for, went through the trauma of breast cancer. He had a mastectomy and was bald due to chemo. Her life was not at all like she had planned and then discovered her husband having an affair. She forgave him….after much work and counsel. That was greatness.

A woman gets the test results back that her unborn child will have Down’s syndrome. She elects to have the child and love it with all of her heart. That is greatness.

A teacher has a student that will not have anything for Christmas. She has the class write a story about what they would like for Christmas. She reads his, goes to the store and buys the bike and helmet and secretly takes it to this home so his parents can give it to him for Christmas. That is greatness.

A child sees his friend crying and gives him a hug…that is greatness.

You can be at the right place at the right time if your life is lived with a broader definition of greatness. It’s more than rescuing a person from a burning building, although that is greatness for sure. But it’s also living your life in awareness so the love in your heart can beam out to those around you. This happens in acts of love both large and small. Sometimes greatness is simple saying, “I’m sorry”.

Loved your post Lance. It got to really think about what all “greatness” really can be.


Erin Prais-Hintz July 7, 2009 at 9:42 am

Your post has deeply touched me Lance. This past weekend I had the opportunity to act from the heart and be in the right place at the right time. I traveled to IL to surprise my college roommate for a surprise party on the occasion of her 40th birthday. This young mother has been through breast cancer, brain tumors, the death of her father and a host of marital problems in the past 5 years. There is no place on earth that I would have been at that moment. I am so glad I went.

I had never been to her house before, but all around me were things that I had sent her through the years. She said that every time I sent a card or an email or a package it seemed to come just when she needed it most. She didn’t know how I knew, I just did. I was dumbfounded. We never realize the extent to which our words and actions touch another’s life. I just felt the need to contact her and reach out at all those times. I was acting from my heart. But even though I was not there with her physically, I was there in spirit…at the right time.

Every action and every word we speak is something that has the power to lift up or destroy another person. I choose to be the wind in her wings because no one deserves more light and happiness than she does. I am praying for her every day, for strength and peace and grace. There is nothing more to ask for.

Thank you for a lovely post today, Lance.
Enjoy the day!
.-= Erin Prais-Hintz´s Last Fabulous Post ..Teaming Up =-.


Henie July 7, 2009 at 10:31 am


You constantly expand not only my mind but my soul!

The truest greatness is to be yourself in kindness and in love!

Thank you for always adding to my life!
.-= Henie´s Last Fabulous Post ..Patterns =-.


Positively Present July 7, 2009 at 10:43 am

Great review of the book! Mine’s coming up next week and it’s been great to read what others think about the book. 🙂
.-= Positively Present´s Last Fabulous Post ..combat loneliness with e.a.s.e. =-.


Stacey Shipman July 7, 2009 at 11:01 am

I was just thinking about my summer reading list and what to put on it…this is perfect timing! And yesterday during my late afternoon workout, I put Oprah on the TV. It was a repeat of her struggle to find balance from earlier this year. She ended by saying she thought she had a weight issue, but in reality she learned she had a love issue.

Over the past three years I have taken that time to reflect, go deep, etc to find love. I didn’t know it then, but I realize it’s no coincidence that my logo is a heart… I even looked at my high school yearbook recently and noticed my quote was “before you can begin to love others, you must first learn to love yourself.” Very telling, looking back at my 18th year on this planet. 18 years later I’m in a place where I can finally give back.

Didn’t the Beatles sing “love is all you need”?
.-= Stacey Shipman´s Last Fabulous Post ..How Do you Define a Well-Balanced Life? =-.


Vered - MomGrind July 7, 2009 at 12:52 pm

Parenting is the ultimate selfless love. That’s why I think parenting has made me a better person. I’m not so sure I would risk my life for anyone other than my kids though, so I guess I’m not THAT great. 🙂
.-= Vered – MomGrind´s Last Fabulous Post ..Retouching As An Act Of Kindness =-.


Tim July 7, 2009 at 1:05 pm

Hi Lance:

Thank you for the very inspiring post. While I absolutely agree with you that there is greatness within all of us, too bad the media, commercials, magazines, etc. try to convince us that we are missing something. It is time that we control our own programming. Thanks again for this.
.-= Tim´s Last Fabulous Post ..Blog Update =-.


Julie July 7, 2009 at 1:06 pm

“…in how we live with a loving heart to those all around us.” What an inspirational read this book must have been!

Yes, Lance, this is indeed greatness, and there can be no higher aspiration than to live this sentiment, always. When we think of greatness, we think of out-of-the-ordinary acts, acts of heroism, of kindness, thoughtfulness, sacrifice, forgiveness… But, truly, greatness is when we choose to conduct ourselves with an expression of love in every thought, every moment, every interaction and with every person no matter who they are and every circumstance no matter what it is.

It seems a difficult thing to learn, and I know of no one who’s mastered it—although I do know a couple people who come close, and I marvel at this and admire them without end! Role models, to be sure! 🙂
.-= Julie´s Last Fabulous Post ..The Honor is All Mine =-.


suzen July 7, 2009 at 1:14 pm

Wayne Dyer said “You cannot give out, what you do not have within you” so loving me myself is critical to me giving love to others. I first heard that some 25 years ago and it was life changing. It was also a challenge. I operated on a wave length of doing, giving and loving in order to BE loved, never realizing that unless I loved me first, something was always missing. The whole concept of loving ME seemed so selfish and contrary to my upbringing. It seemed easier to love others than to love me – oh yuck, Me? Me with a million faults? Well love is everything – as you pointed out – and I see far more love and greatness all around me when I feel it within myself and consider The Source.
.-= suzen´s Last Fabulous Post ..Boredom Cured — Dare You – Scare You! =-.


Srinivas Rao July 7, 2009 at 1:38 pm

Great review of the book. I was just watching the Michael Jackson memorial and alot of what you say here is being said about him by all of the guests and performers.
.-= Srinivas Rao´s Last Fabulous Post ..4 Choices that will Dramatically Impact the Quality of your Life =-.


Jannie Funster July 7, 2009 at 2:20 pm

I think we’re just born to be good! Born of love and light.

Me? I’m on the same plane as Vered, would lay down my life for my kid in an instant.
.-= Jannie Funster´s Last Fabulous Post ..74% blogging addicted. And you? =-.


janice July 7, 2009 at 2:24 pm

Like Vered, I think parenting has made me a better person. When my kids looked up at me like I was a super hero, they made me feel like I wanted to be one. I became a life coach because I believe with all my heart that everyone has their own unique greatness in them. Sometimes all it takes to reveal that greatness is for someone to believe in them, hold up a mirror and help them peel away everything that stops it from shining. Beautiful post, Lance.Thank you.
.-= janice´s Last Fabulous Post ..Rapt Attention,Gifts and Rain =-.


Cath Lawson July 7, 2009 at 3:00 pm

Hi Lance – I like how you explain that greatness comes from acts of love. That makes a lot of sense. It sounds like an excellent book.


Brenda July 7, 2009 at 3:23 pm

I read somewhere once that whatever the problem, love is the solution. I try to hold that thought in mind when I encounter problems or see others hurting. You and Laurie too explained this concept very well with examples of how love can solve a host of problems. “And now these three remain: faith, hope and love. But the greatest of these is love.” Great reminders here for us to see life through a lens of love.
.-= Brenda´s Last Fabulous Post ..Funny Email =-.


Sami - Life, Laughs & Lemmings July 7, 2009 at 3:48 pm

One of the reasons I started my own blog was to highlight the greatness (and therefore, love) in others. There are millions of people with a lot of love doing great things big and small that many of us never get to hear about. I wish the media would get on board and shine the spotlight on these people. I really think the world would be inspired and would be a better place if they did. Btw Lance, you’re one of the millions making a difference.
.-= Sami – Life, Laughs & Lemmings´s Last Fabulous Post ..A Tribute to The Inspirational Professor Chris O’Brien =-.


Sagan July 7, 2009 at 4:47 pm

There’s so much potential for our interpretation of what greatness is!
.-= Sagan´s Last Fabulous Post ..How does music affect your health? =-.


Hilary July 7, 2009 at 5:07 pm

Hi Lance .. thank you for the book recommendation – I love getting those from a source I trust .. and Something Beyond Greatness looks very interesting.

Your last sentence inspires me “How can you connect more deeply with your soul? How can you let your greatness shine – through daily acts of selfless love?”

Thank you – Hilary Melton-Butcher
Positive Letters
.-= Hilary´s Last Fabulous Post ..Papyrus, goat skin, carmine, gold and silver .. =-.


Robin July 8, 2009 at 1:50 am

Hi Lance – what a lovely post – about love! I think the idea that the love inside us leads us to our greatness is indeed a very inspired one. – R
.-= Robin´s Last Fabulous Post ..Counterclockwise, by Ellen Langer =-.


Barbara Swafford July 8, 2009 at 2:28 am

Hi Lance,

I’ve not heard of this book, but it does sound like a fabulous read.

The part where you said, “…love does get buried, though, sometimes. Buried to our own agendas. And with that, our greatness gets buried also. ” saddened me. By letting our love get buried we miss out on so much. All the more reason to keep an open heart and check our agendas at the door.
.-= Barbara Swafford´s Last Fabulous Post ..Embracing The Distractions In Life =-.


J.D. Meier July 8, 2009 at 3:49 am

Very nice distillation. I like that it boils down to 3 elements.

One thing one of my mentors taught me is there are no great people, just that people do great things and that everybody has flaws. It’s very humbling, but it’s also a reminder that anybody, anywhere, can do something great … so be open to the possibilities.

I think one very grounding concept that puts us in control is to be our personal best, in a compete with yourself sort of a way. It’s how John Wooden said he finds peace of mind and I see how it’s effective. If you do less than your best, you waste your gift and you let yourself down. If you give your best where you’ve got your best to give, you can’t ask for more than that, regardless of other people’s expectations.
.-= J.D. Meier´s Last Fabulous Post ..Finding a Way to Do the Things You Hate =-.


vikum July 8, 2009 at 6:40 am

Hi Lance,
The greatness is within all of us. But it doesn’t shows. It shows only when the time comes. Some times it glitters in the corners we never think which means some people do some acts sometimes which make your whole attitude change with them. But some people don’t know whether the greatness is with them. So our duty must be to make them understand about the greatness which lies underneath their skin, the things they can do to pull it to the surface.
And you’ve done it in your inspiring post .
Thanks a lot!
.-= vikum´s Last Fabulous Post ..The power of focusing =-.


Megan "JoyGirl!" Bord July 8, 2009 at 6:43 am

This year I’ve really discovered more about love than I ever knew, and the best part is, I don’t have to “think” about love. As soon as I conceptualize it, it’s not quite love anymore.

Love is this incredible energy that can gently move us into rhythm with the divine plan for our lives. It’s less a thing, and more everything. As I look around, I remind myself of that.

I LOVE love, and I loved this post. Thank you, Lance, for what you’ve written!
.-= Megan “JoyGirl!” Bord´s Last Fabulous Post ..A Happy Mouth = Just Plain Happy =-.


Evelyn Lim July 8, 2009 at 7:37 am

I shared about “love as the channeling of Universal Life Force” in my last post. Love is also “about listening to your heart’s inner guidance for self healing”. Most certainly I agree with you that greatness comes from within.

I also like J.D.’s comment in that we have it in all of us to do great things. Greatness is not about being superior. It’s about giving your very best!
.-= Evelyn Lim´s Last Fabulous Post ..Love The Man In The Mirror =-.


Keith July 8, 2009 at 10:31 am

Hello Lance,

Great post, as usual, and it really puts everything in perspective. Love is foundational to life and living life in this way is what life IS, or should be! You know what helped me live life more from a loving perspective? Gratitude. I began to live my life with an attitude of gratitude. Instead of making demands or lamenting over what I wanted and did not have, I started being grateful for everything I DID have. This really caused an internal shift in the way I viewed everything and everybody. Anyway, I could go on but…..:-)

Thank, Lance, for this article and for the work you do here.
.-= Keith´s Last Fabulous Post ..Obstacles Are Opportunities =-.


Jewel/Pink Ink July 8, 2009 at 12:25 pm

I know some people who would say they are not “great” yet their simple acts of love and kindness make them great in my eyes. My mother-in-law comes to mind. She inspires me to be better.
.-= Jewel/Pink Ink´s Last Fabulous Post ..Sparkling Summer =-.


Audra Krell July 8, 2009 at 1:43 pm

Simply beautiful Lance.
So many people not only bury the love, but leave it on the side of road, dragging themselves ahead, trying to go on their own strength. That is no way to live, but so easy to find yourself doing. Many people abandon expectations, thinking if they don’t have any, they won’t be disappointed by life. Again, I don’t think that’s living.
Thanks for making me think about greatness today Lance.
God is great inside of me, great is He.
.-= Audra Krell´s Last Fabulous Post ..Power of Praying – New Book Review =-.


Amanda Linehan July 8, 2009 at 6:04 pm

Hi Lance – This is an interesting idea you’ve brought up here. You’re right – when we think of “greatness” we always think of something bigger than ourselves. But this line caught my attention – “Greatness, though, through living our daily lives in sync with our deep being.” I think that is a wonderful definition of greatness. 🙂
.-= Amanda Linehan´s Last Fabulous Post ..Waiting To Be Rescued? =-.


Robin Easton July 8, 2009 at 6:11 pm

Oh Lance this LOVELY!! This looks like a book I actually might read. I think because it’s core premise is love. I am of a mind that all that exists is love. Bottom line: all IS love. It is just a matter of us aligning ourselves with the already existing Love. We are all returning home to….Love. As to why some choose love and others are not yet able to (and I say ‘able to’ as I do not believe that anyone willingly turns away from love) but that’s another tangent. My first tangent being that no matter why some do not choose to ‘actively’ live love….I believe they still ARE love. And for those of us who consciously, actively choose Love, it is even more reason for us to do so in ALL our dealings. Because I believe we can infuse Love out into the world SO powerfully that our love changes the world. I tend to see that I am dreaming my world into existence and each love-filled dream contributes to and speaks to (and with) the Universal Love, it strengthens the love already in existence, a bit like two sparks of light bumping into each other in the dark. They hit and go =Zap!= and the light/love becomes more excited, more vibrant and more magnified . We are ALL love and Life is about experiencing, learning and loving. Thank you dear Lance for such a lovely post. You really are a gift of joy for which I am grateful. Hugs and love to your and your family. Robin
.-= Robin Easton´s Last Fabulous Post ..Is Nature Real? =-.


Lisa's Chaos July 8, 2009 at 7:29 pm

Sounds like a book we should all pick up and try to emulate!
.-= Lisa’s Chaos´s Last Fabulous Post ..Boats & Birds =-.


Robin Easton July 8, 2009 at 9:15 pm

This post made me think of this poem I wrote back in 1996 for a troubled friend.

Go forth with confidence, courage and a clear heart.
Have faith.
Know that what you do not have you will find.
Do all that you can, then let go.
Trust blindly.
For the mysterious directives of God and the healing powers of the Universe
will guide you home…to Love.

Copyright: Robin E Easton
.-= Robin Easton´s Last Fabulous Post ..Is Nature Real? =-.


Lance July 9, 2009 at 5:06 am

@YumYucky – Yes, love is the ultimate, isn’t it! Thanks much Josie.

@Evita – Evita, I love what you’re saying here – especially the thoughts of stillness and consciousness. When we have both of these working in our lives, wow – love can become so deeply meaningful. And that’s a great place to be…

@Jen – Jen, thank you for stopping by today, know that it’s great to have you here.

@Natalia – I think what you’re saying here is on the importance of loving yourself first – and that’s a great point. How can we truly show love outwardly, if we’re struggling to do that internally. This is such an important point – taking care of ourselves is so important, and really makes what we do going out from there so much more authentic.

@Lisamm – Lisa, thanks for stopping in today. I enjoyed the book very much, with a real take away on solidifying my thoughts on the importance of love.

@Lynn – We are all aging. And this makes me think about the Golden Rule – do onto others as you want them to do onto you. Someday, should we have the good fortune of a long life, we’ll be the elderly. And it’s good to think about them with love, knowing also that we may be in a similar place someday. And if we can really just do this with pure love for the person, how wonderful is that! Good for you Lynn, in what you’re doing.

@Laurie – The greatest IS love. What wonderful examples you’ve shared of what greatness really is. It’s not always the big things that make headlines – in fact, so much more often – it’s in the little things that happen, that make a real difference. Thanks so much for sharing these examples – truly great, every one of them!


Lance July 9, 2009 at 5:06 am

@Erin – Erin, thank you for being here today, and especially for sharing your story. What a wonderful, wonderful example of love. And such a great thought you’re sharing – how sometimes we never know the reach or impact of our actions (good or bad). I want you to know, also – that you’ve been the wind in my wings – you are such a beautiful soul. Keep being you, my friend…

@Henie – Know that this is a two-way street, Henie. Thank you for being a part of my life!

@Positively Present – Thanks Dani!

@Stacey Shipman – What I think you’re saying that is so important – is about taking the time to reflect and go deep within. This is getting to that point of loving self. This doesn’t just happen magically, and it can take time to really get to that point. That you’re there, that’s fantastic Stacey!

@Vered – Becoming a parent changes everything – selfless love takes on a whole new meaning. You ARE great, Vered. Don’t discount the greatness within you…it’s there. Maybe that doesn’t mean you’ll jump in front of a train to save some stranger – but through daily acts, I know you are doing great things. I know it…

@Tim – Yes, media does try to convince that we’re missing something in our quest for “greatness”. And…people buy that. I’ve bought that. Yet, the truth is, it’s there already…in us.

@Julie – “But, truly, greatness is when we choose to conduct ourselves with an expression of love in every thought, every moment, every interaction and with every person no matter who they are and every circumstance no matter what it is.” –> Julie, this is so wonderfully said. And it IS you. You ARE one of those who comes close. And you are a role model for us all. Julie, thank you for this, and for always shining your light…


Lance July 9, 2009 at 5:07 am

@Suzen – Love yourself first…so important. And what you finish with, I love this – about how much easier it is to see love and greatness in our world when we already see that within. You’re in a great place, Suzen…and seeing love all around because you have taken the time to see it within!

@Srinivas – Thanks much! There is greatness in everyone – you, me, Michael Jackson, the neighbor across the street…

@Jannie – I think you’re right! We’re born this way, and then it gets covered up with the “baggage” of life.

@Janice – That’s something so important, right there – having others believe in us. Janice, that’s a wonderful gift you’ve shared through life coaching! It’s there in us, we just don’t always see it…

@Cath – Thanks much! Done with love as its backbone, greatness becomes authentic. And that is such a great place to get to.

@Brenda – When that love is real, it is so wonderful. Laurie did explain this so well, and it can be in so many things where love can be the difference. Small, big, it doesn’t matter. Thanks much Brenda.

@Sami – And you are Sami! You are putting focus on “love in action”. And that’s a wonderful thing you’re doing. Daily, there so many beautiful things being done, all backed with love. And what does media share with us? The bad. So, what you’re doing is so good Sami. You’re way kind to me, and I’m going to send that right back to you, my friend – you too are making a difference as you dance through this life of yours with your heart filled with love…


Lance July 9, 2009 at 5:07 am

@Sagan – Interpretation…yes, what signifies love can be interpreted in different ways. Sometimes only the person who is giving with love really knows if that love is real and authentic. Great thought Sagan, thanks!

@Hilary – Hi Hilary. This book does have a lot of good material, and if you enjoy stories of this in action, then this book is a good choice. I found it took a bit for me to really get into where the book was going, but once I did, there really was a lot of good information. Keep shining Hilary…

@Robin – That was really the message that I felt most connected with, this idea of how love is the basis for greatness. Thank you Robin!

@Barbara – That is the negative spin on this whole piece, how even though we all have love at our core, it can become buried. When that happens, so much really does get missed, and that is truly sad. Barbara, I appreciate you bringing this up – it’s a stark reminder that as much as we talk about it here – not everyone is fully “there”, and it’s such a great place to be at…

@J.D. Meier – This is a great thought, J.D. None of us are perfect, and it could be easy to think that with love as the base, this could be what people think. We are all a flawed people, no matter where we are on that love continuum. When the competition is ourselves, when we’re working toward some standard we set for ourselves – this is a great place to be. And not one filled with “I’m better than {so and so}”. It becomes more about personal accountability. Thanks much for this…

@Vikum – Hi Vikum. So true. Even if we can’t see that greatness in others, even if that love is buried – that doesn’t mean it’s not there. Much like Jannie said, it’s something we’re born with. And if we can help others to discover their own unique greatness, what a wonderful gift to the world!

@Megan – Megan, thank you! Your words are moving for me. And as I read this, I’m reminded of something I’ve heard – love is a verb. It’s what we do, not something stagnant sitting on a shelf (or within our being). Love IS everything, and when we see that – when we deeply see that – love becomes not something we think about, it just becomes part of us in action…


Lance July 9, 2009 at 5:08 am

@Evelyn – I love this, Evelyn! Especially that greatness is not about being superior. It is about, in the moments of our lives, being our best with real love as the language. Thank you for this, and for your own very moving article Evelyn.

@Keith – Hi Keith. When we’re grateful for what we have, and for really our life in general – this really does help that love within us to surface. This is such a great thought, Keith, thank you for bringing it up.

@Jewel – Wonderful reminder, Jewel. Simple acts, while they may seem small or insignificant – are not at all. And these people can be just as inspiring (and even more so) than the person who does one big act. Thanks so much for this thought.

@Audra – Thank you Audra. I think this all goes along the lines of how difficult life can be when we try to do this all on our own. And some days can feel like we’re alone. But are we ever, really? Deep within us, at our soul, God(Source, our spiritual connection) is there. When we close that door, though, the door to our soul – we keep that Source locked out. Audra, thank you for this thought, and reminding me that we’re never alone…

@Amanda – Hi Amanda. Being “in sync”, how do we know when we are? I think it has a lot to do with us taking the time to connect and listen to our soul. And in so doing, we begin to just know when we’re there, when we’re “in sync”. Amanda, thank you for this. So much good stuff to think about here…

@Robin Easton- Yes, the core premise is love in this book. Although, interestingly, that point doesn’t fully surface until near the end. Looking back, I can see it throughout, just not as prominently as maybe it could have been. I think what you’re saying touches very much upon what Jannie brought up about love being something we’re born with – and thus it being a part of our soul – in every one of us. Robin, your words always pull me in, with their true focus. “All IS love” – Robin, I love that simple phrase. And it speaks deeply to what is all around us – not just people, also nature – the trees, birds, etc – all beautiful creations in our world – and all coming from a base of love. Robin, you DO infuse so much love into our world – and certainly I know you do into my world! You are a love-filled gift, creating so much “Zap!” wherever your soul goes. I am so grateful for your being here. To you and your family, I send hugs of love and peace…

@Lisa’s Chaos – The more we can let our love shine, the greater this world we live in will be.

@Robin Easton – Robin, this poem is beautiful. And filed with so much of YOUR love! I especially love the last line – about being guided home to love. What a wonderful, wonderful thought. Thank you, my friend, for stopping back and sharing this.


Tess The Bold Life July 9, 2009 at 6:43 am

I can’t agree more about love, Evita says it’s all there is and Julie brings up having it and living it in every moment. Well wouldn’t that be the best goal to have?!?

Another question would be how much love is included in our goals, business plans and to do lists. I would have to think it would be to live only love. Especially since we bloggers are so goal oriented.

A Course In Miracles states love is all there is all else is an illusion or unreal. I have a friend who told me during the past Presidential election that in order to remain peaceful to only see “love” in both candidates regardless of who I wanted to win. I took her advice and of course it worked.

I think that’s what I attempt to do “only see the love” every day. I remind myself this especially when I’m around difficult people or should I say my “button pushers.”
.-= Tess The Bold Life´s Last Fabulous Post ..The Power of Focus =-.


Tess The Bold Life July 9, 2009 at 6:44 am

I see I’m not even on your top talker list so I’ll be visiting more often to see how long it takes me to top the bra slinging Funster!
.-= Tess The Bold Life´s Last Fabulous Post ..The Power of Focus =-.


Mama Zen July 9, 2009 at 8:10 am

A beautiful idea beautifully conveyed!
.-= Mama Zen´s Last Fabulous Post ..What Shade Goes With "Booger?" =-.


Jannie Funster July 9, 2009 at 10:40 am

Dude, I’m kicking my baggage to the curb. Actually, most of it — if not all, has been resoundingly booted already, thanks to blogs like yours!
.-= Jannie Funster´s Last Fabulous Post ..The Missing Picture =-.


Jannie Funster July 9, 2009 at 10:40 am

And uh-oh, there’s Bold Tess trying to hone in on my Top Talker spot. 🙂
.-= Jannie Funster´s Last Fabulous Post ..The Missing Picture =-.


Diane C. July 9, 2009 at 2:42 pm

Thank you for sharing your fascinating book review of “Something Beyond Greatness.” I like the idea of “seeing the world through a lens of love.” I agree that love is part of our being. Actually, I think each one of us “is” unconditional love, and that wonderful things happen effortlessly when this love is seen.
.-= Diane C.´s Last Fabulous Post ..Monsoon Season =-.


Nadia - Happy Lotus July 9, 2009 at 3:36 pm

Hi Lance,

Love is truly the best force there is in the Universe. Love is also the best ancedote against fear. In the end, life is all about love. I often wish that more people saw how powerful love can be. I then realized the best thing I could do was to be as loving as I can in each situation that I am in. Some days are easier than others and there are days where I could do better. But at least I try. 🙂

One more thing, it is obvious to all who read your blog that you write from the heart. Your honesty and integrity shine through with each post. I am so fortunate to have you as a friend! 🙂
.-= Nadia – Happy Lotus´s Last Fabulous Post ..Taking the Time to Be Polite =-.


Gloria Chadwick July 9, 2009 at 4:18 pm

Beautiful post! I feel a wonderful lightness just reading it. It’s truly wonderful to perform a news-worthy act of heroism that comes from love, but I also believe that we all perform heroic acts of love every day… even something as simple as smiling at someone or offering a kind word. Who knows how much that smile or that kind word will mean to that person, and how they may be influenced by it… maybe even to a life-changing degree. 🙂
.-= Gloria Chadwick´s Last Fabulous Post ..Dancing in the Rain =-.


Caroline July 10, 2009 at 12:57 am

Lance, this is a wonderful and thoughtful post. I connect to my soul thorough my photography. Isn’t that funny? But there is something about it that brings me profound peace. It calms me. And when I am calm and peaceful…I am more loving and kind. I just hope that people who see my photos are filled with that sense of peace. That is my gift…
.-= Caroline´s Last Fabulous Post ..Replenishing the well… =-.


Liara Covert July 10, 2009 at 2:55 am

Selfless acts of love can be spontaneous, and even constant gestures. As you grow more conscious of your innate authentic power to heal yourself and others through expressing and receiving love, everything about perception and experience transforms from the inside out.
.-= Liara Covert´s Last Fabulous Post ..7 Steps to guide you to truth =-.


Hilary July 10, 2009 at 4:23 am

Hi Lance .. you do have a wonderful way with words – thank you for my “Keep shining ..” I do my little best from the little old UK .. Many thanks!

For @Tess the Bold and @Jannie the ‘cool beans’ .. I will wait and watch the fun as they spar for the top talker spot .. both have words of wisdome .. or pearls of wisdom for us all ..

Life will be amusing and a learning opportunity from the three of you and all your other awesome readers ..

TGIF .. and have great weekends ..
Hilary Melton-Butcher
Positive Letters
.-= Hilary´s Last Fabulous Post ..What connects Babylon, Australia’s great dividing range, Eastbourne and Long Island? =-.


Lance July 10, 2009 at 5:11 am

@Tess – Getting to that point, where we see life and love so intertwined that the flow together, what a place to be indeed! I love (no pun intended) the thought of how you saw love during the Presidential election. That’s not an easy thing, especially given all the mud flinging that can go on. So – what a way to view all of this, and really see the good in everyone. And taking this into the every day – Tess, you’re reminding me how this is really about the daily bits of our life, and bringing love into all of it – the good and the bad.

@Tess – Well, long time since we’ve “talked”!! Keep on coming back here Tess. That Jannie…she can be a real troublemaker sometimes (but she’s still loved here very much…just like you!).

@Mama Zen – Thanks much Kelli!

@Jannie – We’ve all had some of that baggage in our lives, that kind that keeps love from shining through as it can. It is so good to clear this out (although not always easy). Thanks for being here Jannie (no matter what I say about you being a troubemaker!)…

@Jannie – Hey, haven’t seen you here in a while!?!?!? You’re a pretty good “talker” aren’t you? Shhh…is that Tess I hear in the background?

@Diane C. – I too think we’re filled with love, and that connecting with that – really with that unconditional love in our soul – is so life-affirming. Thanks so much, Diane, for being here today.

@Nadia – Hi Nadia. Love is so powerful, especially when it is a sincer and authentic love. And the more people that connect with this, the more our world becomes such a more amazing place to live. We can’t, however, force people to be more loving. What we can do – is just as you’ve said – ourselves be more loving in all the moments of our life. Nadia, I want you to know that you only shine love in every thing I’ve witnessed. I know that I’m not seeing you in person, or in moments that may be difficult. You just really exude such goodness and love, though, in everything I’ve been witness to. You make our world a brighter place, you make my life better… So, thank you for all you’re saying here, and know that this friendship is so much a two-way street.

@Gloria – And I think, in the end of the day – it’s those little things done over and over, day in and day out – that truly define greatness. And that’s a very wonderful thing. Gloria, thanks so much for stopping by and sharing your beautiful thoughts.

@Caroline – That you’ve found a way to connect to your soul is so awesome, Caroline. Not everyone gets there. That you find this peace through photography, what a place to be at. Because, it’s exactly as you say – being in this space – does bring out that deep love. Your photos are beautiful, and filled with peace – indeed you are sharing your gift with the world…

@Liara – Liara, I’m really drawn into this idea of transforming from the inside out. There is so much to this statement, and about how life affirming this love can be when it begins from the depths of our soul and then shines out into the world around us.

@Hilary – Hilary, I happen to think you shine brightly, and touch many with your thoughtful words. And that’s just what I see – I know you’re doing this offline too, and that’s a wonderful thing. Tess and Jannie, they’re having too much fun here, aren’t they!!! Thanks much for stopping by today!


Mindful Mimi July 10, 2009 at 10:21 am

Hi Lance,
Did you and Stacey time the reading of this book? 🙂
Sounds like a good read and I will check it out.
I have one for you to read ‘A whole new mind’ by Dan H Pink. BrillianT!
.-= Mindful Mimi´s Last Fabulous Post ..How to Make Your Life a Drama-Free Zone – by Christine Kane =-.


Jodi at Joy Discovered July 10, 2009 at 11:18 am

Hi Lance, great post and really insightful lessons from the book you read! I was going to add that often times our willingness to trust others impedes our ability to act in those small moments throughout the day when we could be really helpful to someone. But then as I continued reading, I realized that trust is rooted in love, too, as are so many other thoughts and emotions we experience. I like what you wrote in your concluding paragraphs, about letting love shine through us and about getting to a place where love is the language we speak. That’s beautiful! Thank you!
.-= Jodi at Joy Discovered´s Last Fabulous Post ..Giving Yourself Permission =-.


Davina July 10, 2009 at 2:29 pm

Hi Lance. You’ve done a great job reviewing this book. I loved what Liara said: “Selfless acts of love can be spontaneous, and even constant gestures. ” I think the selfless acts are a true indication of how connected we are to that love you have mentioned.


Lance July 10, 2009 at 10:05 pm

@Mimi – Yes, Stacey and I were both part of a book tour on this one –
If you have any questions about it, just let me know. And thanks for your recommendation, I’ll check it out!

@Jodi – Trust rooted in love. Jodi, that’s a wonderful insight. Love. Getting to that point, where love comes out from our soul – what a peace-filled place to get to (or strive toward). And so, trust then also comes out of this. I love this thought Jodi. And especially how it all relates back to love… Thank you, my friend!

@Davina – Hi Davina. Selfless acts reflect back on deep love. I’m completely with you on this – and how this all ties together.


Daphne July 12, 2009 at 8:53 pm


I tried to comment a few days ago but connection problems booted me out, so here I am again… how’s that for greatness of friendship and respect for you? 😉

You have such a distinct writing style, and get people to think about things that really matter. I love Laurie’s examples of greatness, for example, that your post inspired. I see that the competition for top talker is also alive and well here in the Jungle 🙂

Missed being here, and now that my internet connection is back to normal, I’ll be seeing more of you!
.-= Daphne´s Last Fabulous Post ..Your 24 Possible Personal Strengths =-.


Cricket July 12, 2009 at 10:56 pm

For me, the balance of putting me somewhere on my to-do list while balancing out doing remainder of the to-do list is what I try to do to help me give back all that I can to others. If “I” am not on my daily list of things to take care of then I cannot take care of others. I finally get that now.

Many say to me that the sacrifice I’m making for my children is the ultimate sacrifice. I disagree…I love them and it is just natural for this to be. A sacrifice I would not call anything that you have the love for in the first place.

Fantastic post.
.-= Cricket´s Last Fabulous Post ..I wish, I wish… =-.


Lance July 13, 2009 at 7:49 am

@Daphne – Daphne, it’s always great having you here…always! You are most definitely a great friend. Laurie shared some very touching ways that greatness is displayed, and it really shows that it doesn’t have to be something big and grand to be great. We can do it every day! Welcome back, my friend…

@Cricket – Tammy, that’s such an excellent point. We have to take care of ourselves, if we truly want to be there for others too. And to the idea of sacrifice, love is not sacrifice. It may mean you’re giving up other things that may have meaning – but you’re giving them up for something that has even greater meaning to you. I know you love your children very much, and you’re showing the ultimate act of love in your being involved in their lives – moments today that will never be there again. Keep on being you, Tammy. You brighten the world. You brighten my world. And I know you shine even more brightly in your children’s world – what a gift!


Katie West/The Levity Coach July 13, 2009 at 5:20 pm

What a great post to be introduced to your blog. I definitely think we all have greatness within ourselves and I like how you tied it to being connected to our souls. I think that this knowing is the greatness we can each give ourselves, each other, and our planet. By knowing what our soul is telling us then we can better know how to see with love and act from the heart. And we are that much more likely to be in the right place at the right time.
One of my favorite quotes that reminds me that we are all in the world together practicing our greatness is “Peace out Beansprouts, ’cause we’re all in this together.”-from a restaurant wall in MT. We are all here to be our best we can. (hmmm that sounded like a little ad for the army, but you get my drift) 🙂
.-= Katie West/The Levity Coach´s Last Fabulous Post ..Introducing the “15 minutes” series =-.


Lance July 13, 2009 at 10:20 pm

@Katie – Thanks so much Katie, it’s great to have you here! And I definitely get your drift here. When we connect with our souls, and our greatness shines through – real and true greatness – then we’re doing something that is so good and right in this world. And the more people that do this, the more our planet becomes so much more evolved toward a place of true greatness within everyone shining out from within. And that’s what I’m taking from what you’ve said – which I find to be so awesome! So…I’ll finish by repeating you’re quote (because I love it!):

Peace out Beansprouts, ’cause we’re all in this together.


LifeMadeGreat | Juliet August 8, 2009 at 1:25 pm

Hi Lance

I read this quote the other day:

“The love that you withhold is the pain that you carry.” – Ralph Waldo Emerson (25 May, 1803 – 27 April, 1882), American essayist, philosopher and poet



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