The Optimum path to Greatness by Chrysoula V. Patrikiou

Chrysoula Vasiliki Patrikiou CEO & Founder of Potentia

The Optimum path to Greatness

Be Wise enough to Lead others, but Brave enough to Manage yourself!


If someone asked you to name a personal item that belongs exclusively to you, what would this be? Most likely, you would mention your car or your house or maybe your clothes? What is certain is that you would refer to any type of property that can generally be touched, moved or even felt. However, you would include items that -although they do indicate ownership- they can be easily transferred, given, lent or even donated to someone else. So, think again, are there any items under your exclusive possession? There is actually one; your personality.

Personality is the only personal property, utterly, exclusively, entirely, and eternally yours; note it, highlight it, underline it.  By no means can a personality be transferred, lent or donated. Your friend, for instance, has no luck to borrow your dynamic personality to manage a challenging meeting at work, nor can your children inherit your precious personality when you leave this world for good, or your life partner cannot keep your lovable personality when you decide to break up with him/her. Most importantly, the experience of your personal emotions, thoughts and sensations cannot be felt by anyone else but you. Of course you can share your experience and use the most suitable, describable words to express yourself and in the end manage to inspire an intense and eager enjoyment, interest or even excitement but yet no one can be in the very same condition you are experiencing.

Your personality is something that you always ‘carry’ with you; it affects your thinking, your feelings and behavior regardless the time or the situation you are under. Personality helps you to adjust, to survive and to deal with your daily challenges. Your personality is your main organizing principle. It propels you during your life path. It represents the orderly arrangement of all your attributes and coping mechanisms. It is the distinctive pattern of your psychological functioning that shapes YOU.

For something so precious we don’t do much. People work hard for their managers, they do their best for a leader, they fight for nations, they design strategies and contingency plans and they create giant empires based on effective organizational charts, well structured cultures, inspiring mission statements, impressive environmental and social policies, well established ethics aiming to the continuous corporate development and success. Think about it. We do so much for these external elements, but yet not much effort is invested in our personality. We contribute greatly and work very hard for our corporate manager and leader but not hard enough for our own personal manager and leader, our self! We don’t design or plan strategies to self growth and we definitely don’t show much of discipline, loyalty and severity in cases of personal failures.

It is about time to either rethink or rebuilt. We can rethink, for example, of our continual conformation or seasonal reformation. If we choose conformation we will continue to comply and act in accord with the standards and remain in a comfort zone with limits oriented by others. In this case, we simply choose to live by the system designed by worldly- massive- thinking.

Reformation, on the other hand, will help us make some quick fix or better say place ‘patches’ to cover previous bad behaviour and then slip back again to our comfort zone.  As a process, it is easier, safer and of course painless. However, allow me to use at this point an American expression that suits perfectly: No pain no gain. It is a true and undeniable fact that we must always value the importance of hard work in order to excel and become the masters of our fears, to overcome obstacles, to act and take the risks outside of our comfort zone and be prepared to deal with our demons; in other words to be brave enough to manage our self. It is easy to go along with what everybody else is doing but it is more challenging to pursue excellence, to make a difference and rise above the masses as a unique and charismatic individual.

A lot of people long for α ‘crown’ and perform like kings or queens, but they are not willing to fight for it. It takes a lot of pain and courage to conquer the longed-for-crown, to master ourselves first and then lead others. This state of mind reflects to a ‘personal quintessential transformation’ as I fancy saying. Quintessential in Greek means ‘πεμπτουσία’ (pemptousia), the fifth element of the universe according to Ancient Greeks called “Aether” (the 4 other Classical elements are Earth, Water, Air & Fire) the beginning of everything. A quintessential transformation of our personality would represent the most perfect example of a quality or class of humankind.

By choosing transformation instead of conformation or reformation, you choose to live by forming a conscious inner alternation, a spiritual liberation and a personal rebirth. Of course a conscious rebirth is an uphill battle. It takes time and it is important to remember that nobody is going to deliver the perfect YOU on your desk and hand it on a silver platter. It is earned and achieved through a well structured personal strategy plan, continuous personal development, integral personal ethos, values and discipline and a lot of hard work! No guidelines, advises or tips to shortcuts can be given and if given don’t accept them; ignore them. Remember it’s a lonely journey.

Take a leap of faith and begin by believing in your unique personal property; your personality! Stay focus on a single and most precious life goal that you could ever aim for: to become the perfect ‘YOU’.