from shortcomings to greatness

Dita Von Teese, a popular American burlesque dancer, actress and singer, was once asked if there was a dream that she knew would never come true, and she revealed her childhood dream of becoming a ballerina.

She even took ballet classes for most of her life, but by the time she was a teenager, she realized she was never going to be good enough dancer to reach the calibre of a professional ballerina no matter how much she practiced and how badly she wanted it. She just couldn’t remember the dance steps and she couldn’t jump or perform the skillful turns in certain directions.

Later as she became a vintage-style burlesque dancer, she realized that in a way she was living the life she truly desired. She shares, “Truthfully, I never really loved dancing per se; I loved what ballet stood for. I loved the glamor, the femininity, the elegance, the drama, not to mention the sparkling costumes and pink spotlights. Showbiz. That’s what I wanted. If I hadn’t been a lousy ballet dancer, I doubt I would have pursued the obscure idea of being a 1940s-style burlesque dancer.”

This is a great example of how our shortcomings can lead us to greatness and true success. There are so many of us who have a burning desire to be a certain figure, but lack the natural gift or talent that is required to become that person. Instead of getting bogged down, they accept their shortcomings and choose a different avenue to realize their dreams and attain greater success.

If we have the intense desire within us to express the genius within us and share it with the world, we are able to cultivate the inner strength and resolve that can helps us turn our obstacles into opportunities, our shortcomings into our strengths, and our failures into magnanimous successes.

As we pour our integrity, love, and soul in doing work that reflects our inner values and desires, we end up leaving a mark on this world in a significant way — a more memorable and impactful footprint, if you will — than we might have left had we realized our childhood dream.