I’d had an epiphany concerning the topic of greatness and it’s definition, and I’ve realised that I’ve been thinking about it from entirely the wrong perspective. As I’ve mentioned numerous times, the perspective you hold counts for everything; hopefully what I’m going to write in this blog will be another indication of why it’s so important.
Recently I’ve been having some problems which have caused me to lose a lot of confidence in myself. The truth is that I don’t really have a great deal of confidence anyway so it’s difficult when things knock you back; but here’s where perspective works it’s magic. I’ve been talking to my friends just to get some reassurance and advice and they gave me that, indefinitely.
What is greatness to you? On Friday, I would have said that greatness means to do something great (okay, I’d still give that answer, but what is ‘something great’?) Well, here’s my answer from Friday:
“Great means doing something amazing, something which helps a lot of people in a significant way. Something which will be remembered by at least the person you helped for many years to come.”
Wrong! Well, not wrong as such, just not complete. That example is great, but what I realised that there are many forms of greatness. We are all great; we have all done great things. Let me explain; I’ll answer as if you were asking me today what greatness is. Sunday Answer:
“Greatness is not only the act, but the intention behind it. A person’s importance isn’t measured by what they’ve done; it’s who they are. Holding a door open for someone, for example, doesn’t take a whole lot of effort, but it’s great. It’s great because you want to be polite to the person walking behind you, and it’s great because they appreciate that kindness.”
But that’s not all. In that example, I only referred to helping someone as being a great thing, but the truth is that we’re taking part and contributing towards many great things each day of our lives. Take friendship, for example. I was feeling low on Saturday and watching some old videos that my friends and I made, and thinking ‘as long as I have that, I’ll be okay.’ Those thoughts were echoed yesterday evening, when my friends and I hung out together. What I mean is, if you have even a single friend, if you trust each other, respect each other, laugh together, then you are part of, and contributing to something great. In a nutshell, life is greatness. And we’re all living it.
The courage to face challenges in our everyday lives is also great. Doesn’t matter if nobody knows about it; what matters is that you didn’t give in to fear, and took a step towards your goal. That’s happening every single day, with a whole host of people.
It’s a relief to feel this way because previously, in burdening myself with the pressure of wanting to complete a great act, I was missing all the great things that I do, and am part of in everyday life. I’m pretty sure I mentioned this before but I’ll leave you with a nice story which ties in nicely, and is my proudest moment – a great one! When I was about 8 years old (or so), I went to the bathroom in the middle of the night and noticed that a beetle was drowning in the toilet, so I saved it. It’s a very small act but also a great one because my intention was to help save that beetle’s life.
Take a second to think back on the great moments that you’ve contributed to, and forge some new ones tomorrow.
“The test of leadership is not to put greatness into humanity, but to elicit it, for the greatness is already there.” (#)
– James Buchanan