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I believe that each of us is a rock, the most beautiful, strongest rock imaginable – a diamond. You are a diamond, and like that precious stone your life has many facets which took years to forge.

Diamonds begin as lumps of carbon deep in the earth’s surface. Years of extreme pressure and force shape them into unique, amazing stones. Isn’t life like this? Over time you go through great pressures and forces that shape the person you become.

Extracting diamonds takes work; they don’t just magically rise to the earth’s surface. The same is true for your life. Cultivating brilliance takes effort, and there will be times when you will wonder if sustaining the pressure is worth it.

You can choose to coast through life randomly, taking whatever lands in your lap, be it coal or gemstones. Or you can create your experience by fully engaging in each area of your life, digging deep to discover and polish each one of your facets. Your sparkle is too important to let a little pressure scare you off.

If you want to become a brilliant gem, you have to be cut, cleaned and polished by your own personal jeweler – you! No one else is responsible for removing the waste to reveal the precious stone, for determining how bright you shine. Moving ahead necessitates removing old ideas, attitudes and clutter that keep you stuck.

This doesn’t always require drastic life adjustments. Sometimes all we need is a good cleaning to get our shine back, like throwing out a stack of old bills or a closet full of clothes that no longer fit. Or you might need to totally restructure to create the change you seek and that can be scary.

Clinging to unhealthy relationships, for example, can be easier than letting go because we grow comfortable with the misery. Unhealthy habits make us dull, but they are the crutches we lean on for comfort. But are these things serving you? Are they hindering your brilliance or helping you shine?

Purge the clutter to make room for change in your life. Reaching your next level means that old actions, old stuff, old ideas have to go. Old thoughts, behaviors, and even relationships may have to be removed.

To decide what needs to be adjusted in your life, create a list of the things and situations you currently tolerate. What will it take to cut, clean and polish each one? What must you eliminate? To effect change you must set a clear path for it. Coming to terms with “what is” allows you to create a vision for “what is possible.” Removing the clutter allows you to see your way to success and chart a course for getting there.

As you consider your life and the diamond you are, remember that you are meant to shine bright. Brilliance is your birthright. You can take your life to the next level, and the one beyond that. The journey never stops.

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Linda McLean is the #1 International Bestselling Author of the book, Next Level Living: Today’s Guide for Tomorrow’s Abundant Life. Respected worldwide as a motivational speaker, certified business and life coach, Linda simplifies success so you can transform your life from ‘what is’ to ‘what is possible.’

Founder and CEO of McLean International, Linda has coached others to achieve remarkable results for more than 25 years. She has the advantage of viewing your life or business from 10,000-feet-above, helping you develop your unique roadmap to the Next Level of success. Life always has more to offer; Linda helps you discover what’s next and how to get there with joy and abundance.

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