who do you think you are to want more for yourself?

How dare you push yourself to see what you’re made of? The audacity… Stay in your little box people’ve made up in their minds for you and be a good girl/boy and don’t strive too much, don’t aspire to grow beyond the confines of that box - because how dare you do you better, or be better than what others are comfortable with? The cheek of it, right?


‘Whakapapa (genealogy, process, connections) in action’ be a good place to start, if you didn’t already have a go-to comeback on standby for questions like that. It’s in our DNA to pursue excellence, to challenge ourselves to grow and learn and master our chosen craft. It’s ingrained in us, as Māori, to realise our potential, for many reasons, including the fact that our tupuna (ancestors) did. We can trace that kōrero right back to the origin story when Tāne (atua of the forest, light) ascended to Tikitikiōrangi (the most sacred of all the heavens) to retrieve the baskets of knowledge.

“Kotahi tonu te hiringa i te mahara i kake ai a Tāne ki Tikitikiōrangi,

ko te hiringa i te mahara…”

there was but one reason Tāne ascended to Tikitikiōrangi, ‘twas the inception of the mind

Tāne had an unwavering belief that in climbing to the 12th heaven, he would experience his potential. No matter what tried to hinder his ascension, he overcame it. Not to mention that before he achieved this feat, he separated his Ranginui (Sky Father) and Papatūānuku (Mother Earth) to cause the end to Te Pō (the darkness, unknown) and bring forth Te Ao Mārama (world of light).

But how dare he, right? Why not just be comfortable in the cramped space between his parents? Why not remain on earth, roaming the land like his brothers? Why not just stay in his confined little space?

Now, substitute ‘Tāne’ and ‘he/him/his’ for yourself.

And let’s ask those questions from the start of the blog again. Who do you think you are to want more for yourself? How dare you push yourself to see what you’re made of? You’re the culmination of 10000s of years of whakapapa, you’re following in the footsteps of your tupuna. You’re taking action on your birthright to pursue excellence, to experience your potential. Any less than that and well, what’s the point?! You want to contribute mediocrity to your whānau, hapū, iwi, team, tribe, community, collective??

How dare you. Who do you think you are to disrespect your whakapapa like that? Not only what’s come before you, but the generations to come who will call you their tupuna?

Something to think about, tēnā tātou,


*there are ways to go about this pursuit of excellence/realising potential business - and I’m not endorsing a ‘step on whoever and do whatever it takes’ to make this a reality. grow together, build each other up, until we’re all winning, none of us are is the whakaaro (thought) and understanding I have writing this

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