I used to believe that having a willingness to be little meant little dreams, little aspirations, little goals, little faith, little risk, little voice. Not be seen. Not be heard.

I know better now. All of the above is just the opposite of being little because I, not others, become the center of my universe: Unwillingness to live to our God-given potential… unwillingness to pursue the passion burning in our hearts… unwillingness to serve others with our best gifts and talents—amped up to their full potential through hard work and discipline—makes us the center of the world because our focus turns inward.

My fears. My insecurities. My inadequacies.

Martin Luther King, Jr. was willing to be little. Mother Teresa was willing to be little. Men and women who’ve died for our freedom have been willing to be little. Jesus was willing to be little.

Being willing to be little is service. Love. Compassion. Empathy. Doing what scares us. Being willing to be little is being willing to be uncomfortable, do what’s unpopular, learn and work when it’s inconvenient—all of it so that we can serve others at a higher level.

Being little is not silence. It’s owning the voice we’ve been given.

Being little is not taking a back seat. It’s accepting the platform we’ve been given.

Being little is not false humility. It’s humbly leading within the circle of influence we’ve been given—despite my fears and insecurities; despite the critics and the cynics.

Now, let’s go out and be willing to be that kind of little today.