VISIONs of Greatness – Greatness. Defined.
What does it mean to be great? Is greatness, like genius, something elusive, forever beyond the reach of our definitions? Is it futile to even attempt a definition of greatness? Maybe. But that’s not going to stop us from trying.
So you want to be great?
Welcome to the club. A lot of people desire greatness, but to actually become great, you’ve got to do a lot more than want it – you’ve got to live it. Day in, day out. You’ve got to put in the work. That’s because at the end of the day …
“It’s not about money or connections – it’s the willingness to outwork and outlearn everyone when it comes to your business.” – Mark Cuban, Entrepreneur & Investor
And working hard means working hard at every part of your business, your craft, your goal. Not just the big, fun stuff, but all the boring little details, too. After all …
“Greatness is a lot of small things done well.” – Eric Thomas, Motivational Speaker & Author
If that sounds hard, that’s because it is. So if you’re going to pursue greatness, make sure you pick something you love, because …
“You can only become great at that thing you’re willing to sacrifice for.” – Maya Angelou, Writer & Activist
… and it’s not worth all that sacrifice if you don’t love it.
It’s also not worth the pain. That’s right – there’s pain on the path to greatness. And failure, too. Plenty of failure. But hey, don’t stop when the going gets tough, because here’s the thing …
“Greatness begins beyond your comfort zone.” – Robin Sharma, Author & Speaker
OK, but what if you go for it … and fail? What if you put everything you have into your dream, and things don’t work out? What if –
Look, those thoughts are scary. They’re also human. Every great person in history likely started their journey to greatness with serious doubts. With fear. So embrace those doubts and make friends with your fear, because …
“Greatness comes from fear. Fear can either shut us down and we go home, or we fight through it.” – Lionel Richie, Singer & Songwriter
As for the possibility of failing, that’s just part of the deal. Nothing ventured, nothing gained. So, when you feel that fear bubbling up, just remind yourself …
“No one ever achieved greatness by playing it safe.” – Harry Gray, Business Leader & Philanthropist
In the pursuit of greatness, you can plan, strategize, and learn as much as you can to mitigate risk. But risk can never be eliminated. Greatness requires a leap of faith. It requires courage.
But the best thing about greatness – the thing that makes greatness, well, great – is that it’s usually worth it: the risk, the work, even the pain.
That’s because true greatness is bigger than you. It’s bigger than any one of us. True greatness makes the world a better place. Is the moon landing great? Of course. But so is an act of kindness. So is sitting beside a hospital bed for hours …
“Everybody can be great, because everybody can serve.” – Martin Luther King Jr.
Wise words from Dr. King. Service IS great. Helping others is great. Caring is great.
This brings us to a crucial point: greatness isn’t about how much ‘success’ you have – how much money you make or how many people know your name (even though greatness tends to lead to success). It’s about who you are and how you treat others.
“Most people define greatness through wealth and popularity and position in the corner office. But what I call everyday greatness comes from character and contribution.” – Stephen Covey, Author of The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People
Character and contribution. That’s it, right there. Greatness comes from within, and it manifests in how we affect the world around us – and the people we encounter. And it’s in all of us, too, this capacity to be good, to do good. To be great and do great.
So don’t wait to be great or make plans to be great.
BE great. In your thoughts, in your intentions, in your actions. Greatness starts with the small things. And it starts … right … now.
If you enjoyed this piece, look out for the next “VISION of Greatness” from The 20. And don’t forget to register for VISION ’23, the MSP event of the year!
VISION is just a few weeks away – secure your seat before spots fill up!