The Pursuit of Greatness
When we look at the definition of greatness, we find such words as “distinguished, exceptionally high in quality, remarkable, outstanding, powerful, and influential.” Greatness extends far beyond just being good at something. Author Jim Collins wrote in his book, Good to Great, that “Good is the enemy of great. And that is one of the key reasons why we have so little that become great. Few people attain great lives, in large part because it is just so easy to settle for a good life.”
Greatness is a gift that is freely available to each person, yet many of us never pursue it or we never fully achieve it. The question is why? Why do we sometimes settle to be average? Why do we never challenge the status quo? What are some of the obstacles that can stand in the way when we are pursuing greatness? I believe there are several but I will address at least 3 that I believe are the most common: Our Past, Our Perception, & Other People.
Our Past: These are things that have happened to us. What often happens is we become so focused on our past that we become blinded to our future. Past situations, past mistakes, past hurts, past relationships, and so on. We sometimes carry within us painful and invisible wounds that require healing so that we can move forward. We never truly get to the point of greatness and our destiny because we have allowed our past to imprison us instead of letting it become a testimony and stepping stool to reaching higher heights.
Our Perception: To often times settle for what the world has offered us. You’ll hear people say things like, “This is how it’s always been and this is how it’s always going to be.” They have viewed life through dirty and stained windows for so long that even when the water and towel is within their reach, they are too content or afraid to grab it and clean the window to get a different view.
Other People: those that we hang around. If you desire to be financially free and everybody you hang around is broke, you need some new friends. If those that you constantly hang around are always talking negative, never see the good in others, have no dreams or desire for something more out of life… you need some new friends. If the people in your circle won’t change… change your circle. Find you a great mentor and then in time, go back and mentor someone else.
There are so much more I can say about greatness. I do not have a long list of accolades. I don’t even have all the answers. I can’t give you a fundamental teaching on the 12 steps to success or becoming great. But what I can give you are lessons I’ve learned and still learning along my own journey. I’m just a woman with a story to tell.
One of the biggest things I had to learn is that there is nothing wrong with desiring and striving to be great. There is nothing wrong with having a vision for yourself and those that you love. You have to believe that you deserve it! If you don’t, who will? You have to know who you are and why you were created. If you don’t, others can easily come along and try to make you into carbon copies of themselves’ or mold you into someone you were never meant to be. You have to believe in your heart that it is your time and it’s your turn. No more of letting life grab hold of you but you grabbing hold of life. You have to have the confidence and the faith that anything is possible.
When others don’t encourage you, when they walk away, when they tell you that you can’t accomplish your dreams, when they laugh in your face, you have to muster up the courage and the strength to hold your head up high and keep it moving. You need to get up every morning, look in the mirror and tell yourself, “I will not quit”, “I am a winner”, “I am fearfully and wonderfully made”, “I was born with a purpose”, “and I am great.” Even if you fall on the journey, stand up, clean your wounds, and keep pressing forward. Expose yourself to greatness. Read great books, hang around great people, dream great dreams, take great risks, and think great thoughts. William Arthur Ward said, “Nothing limits achievement like small thinking; nothing expands possibilities like unleashed thinking.” So think big!
Whatever you do in life, do it with a spirit of excellence. Don’t ever stop learning. Never stop serving others. Work hard and make the sacrifices necessary. I pray that you’ll pursue greatness and have much success.