There are many difficulties that one may face in his or her life. There is one question in particular that may arise, though not commonly, that may be difficult for you to answer. How the hell do you deal with being great? This is not a joke.
Being great can be hard to cope with. Putting in a tremendous amount of hard work and sacrifice becomes a routine. Following this routine for long enough you may find yourself on the level of greatness and not know how to deal with it; it’s a burden.
Now, don’t get cocky. You may think that you are great but only be greatly mistaken. You may be great at certain things, such as crunching numbers or managing your staff. This is not the kind of greatness that I am referring to. I am referring to the greatness of a person as a whole and not simply the greatness with which a person completes certain tasks. Let me give you a better-detailed definition.
What is greatness?
Greatness is only achieved when a person has fulfilled every single goal and expectation that one has set out for him or herself. Don’t get too excited- having less than a handful of goals or goals that lack sufficiency will not give you greatness. If your only goal in life is to be the greatest couch potato of all time… well I just can’t call that greatness.
The essence of greatness lies in the goals that you set for yourself. These goals must in some way increase the overall utility of not only you, but also of those that, in the very least, have to live in close proximity with you. This does not mean that if your goal isn’t to rid the world of starvation then you cannot possibly achieve greatness- all this means is that being great is not just about you but also about those that you come into contact with and inevitably effect.
Once you have goals set for yourself, goals that you are passionate about, you have taken the first step towards achieving greatness. Now comes the hard part- fulfilling them. You will need to work hard and smart, no shortcuts. You will have to ignore all those that tell you that you will not succeed and those that will secretly make it their mission to watch you fail.
Greatness entails believing in yourself and having the confidence to initiate action. It entails YOU creating the life that YOU want to live and not waiting for handouts, yet at the same time not refusing handouts when they are given to you- even if it hurts your pride. Greatness is becoming the person that you know you are, devoid of all the extra bullshit that many people pick up along the way.
Never be content, ever.
Now, I know that I said that being great requires you to reach all of the goals that you have set out for yourself, but the truth is that being great gives you a hunger that cannot be quenched. Once you have achieved greatness you will quickly learn that the list of goals that you have first created continues to grow; it becomes infinite.
Scared? Don’t fret- when you become great you will indulge yourself with the thought of the infiniteness of your goals because you will know that you can achieve each and every one of them. You will come to understand that no matter what you want to achieve, as long as you continue to be passionate and driven (which is the intrinsic nature of greatness) you will achieve and will do so naturally. Once you know that the sky is the limit, you will reach for it over and over again, each time higher than the last. Shoot for the stars- in the worst-case scenario you’ll land on the moon.
When you are on the level of greatness you may experience something that many would call power drunkenness. Like all drunkenness, it’s fun, addicting and never ends well. Unfortunately, a couple of aspirins won’t suffice in making good all the wrongs that you did when intoxicated.
Those that are truly great do have power and lots of it. They do, however, understand that they have no need to show or remind others of how powerful they are. You don’t need to put other people down or put them in difficult situations just to show them that you can. Only those feigning greatness need resort to such cruelty. Stay humble; if you are great, people will recognize that- there is no need to tell them.
Don’t get lazy.
The worst thing that can happen to anyone that has achieved greatness is to believe that he or she has accomplished all that they will accomplish. Greatness itself requires a constant hunger to achieve more and to make life better. If you are lucky enough to reach the top, don’t just sit on your ass because you will slowly start to slide down the mountainside.
Sure, everyone needs to take a break now and again. In fact, taking it easy on a regular basis is necessary in order to be able to perform at your peak whenever circumstances require it. But remember, breaks have to come to an end and you will need to get back to work.
If you lose your passion and hunger for a better life for you and those that matter to you, then you lose your greatness; you cannot have one without the other. Don’t get too comfortable. Greatness is as much of a responsibility as it is a gift. Not everyone will achieve greatness and you owe it to the world to let your greatness shine.
Richie O'Flaherty | Elite.