Last month while delivering a speech at the University of Colorado-Boulder, rapper Common let loose on a very interesting revelation after unveiling that his break-up with Erykah Badu, who he dated from 2000 to 2002, provided a moment of clarity after some serious soul-searching.

“I discovered I didn’t truly believe in myself wholeheartedly with every morsel that I had in my body and I discovered that through a breakup,” he told the crowd. “I was in a relationship with Erykah Badu. When we did break up, one of the most important things I discovered was that I was scared to wear my greatness. I was afraid to wear my greatness, which meant, I could be in a relationship and dim my light for others.”

“I could get around my parents and dim my light,” he went on to add.  “I could get around friends who I felt like I might make them uncomfortable ’cause I was doing something that they hadn’t maybe achieved yet or they weren’t happy with the way they were so, I would dim my light for others.”

In an effort to get rid of this way of thinking, the Chicago-bred emcee explained that he took to reading as a form of engagement that taught him something very important. “I learned that you can never dim your light,” he said. “Your light is created for you to be in this world and put that light up on a lamp stand so that anyone who walks into that room will see that light. We dim our light for so many reasons. Sometimes we dim our light, most importantly, because we don’t truly believe in that light. “Well, as I started to discover that I didn’t believe in my path, even though I found my path, I started to work on myself. I started to work. And that took like, me sitting down reading books that fed me…The more you believe, the more you start to surround yourself with people who believe.”

He would go on to add a second part to this life lesson learned, referencing the 48th annual Grammy Awards in which he was nominated for five awards, including Best Hip-Hop Album for 2006’s Be, and ultimately walked away with nothing. “Believing in your path is only the second step to greatness,” he noted of the instance. “Living your path is the completion of it.”