What do names like Socrates, Harriet Tubman, Alexander, Joan or Arc, Margaret Thatcher, M.L. King, and Albert Einstein each have in common? Greatness, you say? Ding Ding Ding! Absolutely!
We know these names and many other’s as well, because our history books are lined with their stories, many have spoken those inspiring quotes we share, and even YouTube now are filled with models that great people were captured sharing their remarkable breakthroughs.
These individuals somehow defied the odds that were against them and turned those very odds into great inventions and designs for master plans for their lives and ours.
Call me foolish, but I believe that we ourselves can achieve something of great significance to leave behind in this world.
Who knows? Maybe even make a legacy that will forever be recorded upon the pages of history.
However, in order for this to take place we must ask ourselves the following question at some point in that journey towards excellence, “What makes the great great?”
Study anyone who’s great, and you’ll find that they apprenticed to a master, or several masters. Therefore, if you want to achieve greatness, renown, and superlative success, you must apprentice to a master. ~Robert Allen
I set out on this very venture to find out what indeed causes greatness to be achieved and/or thrust upon certain individuals.
What character qualities did these people possess? Were they born with their greatness within them? Were they taught to be great? Was it acquired by being self-taught? Or did it take many years of dedication and perseverance on their parts to become great?
I believe that each of the questions above will offer us a clear look into the mental mindsets, work ethics, and characteristics of those that surpassed incredible obstacles to tap into their greatness.
Greatness is developed… it is shaped, formed, taught, created, learned, and even produced. One thing it is never done… is given freely without any effort applied.
Here I’ve listed 7 simple keys I found that those who possessed greatness practiced to become great.
- Plan to work extremely hard to obtain Greatness! Hard-work is the foundation of greatness. One who desires to be great should expect a lot of early mornings and just as many late nights. Dave Ramsey stated in his book The Total Money Makeover: A Proven Plan for Financial Fitness, “If you will live like no one else, later you can live like no one else.”
- The Code of… Practice! People who become great learn as much as possible… and they teach themselves their craft over and over again. They do this by daily working to make themselves better. They are passionate about what they’re doing. And that passion comes through as greatness. They practiced to prepare for greatness daily.
- Thank Your Doubters! There’s no doubt in my mind that people of greatness have had their share of doubters. Yet it’s through many that have influenced me on this journey that I’ve learned the importance of Thanking Your Doubters. Mark Twain said, “Be good and you will be lonely”. They knew that they became their environment whether they wanted to or not.
- Examine The Examples. No matter how you have to go about doing so, find examples and do exactly as they do; if you can, try to do it a little better. Pattern your life to theirs; that means find out what their habits were, what they practiced daily, and most importantly the way they thought about life and themselves. “People seldom improve when they have no other model but themselves to copy after.” ~Goldsmith
- Be a Leader. If one seeks to be great, they should also possess qualities such as influence, character, have no fear of taking chances, and be a Leader of the people. Leaders lead by example and not by thrusting their points, views, and beliefs onto others forcefully. In his post, 5 Qualities Every Great Leader Possess (Plus 1 they should), Travis Robertson says, “They understand that people don’t follow titles – people follow passionate leaders who believe in them and inspire them to greatness.”
- It’s All in the Mind. You must first believe that you are great, and that what you’re doing is also great. Each of these keys demands us to release our mindsets, and to make sure that our goals are lined up with our way of thinking. “Greatness lies in his power of thought” ~Blaise Plascal
- Great People, Serve Other People. (All People) Greatness comes through service. Those individuals saw where they could fill a need that could help others and they filled it. It’s that simple. Now, of course there have been people that possessed greatness that did cause many to think in certain ways counter to what was best for all mankind, but if you continue reading their stories, most if not each of them fell… incredibly hard, if I might add. So serve people greatly and you will be great.
Lastly, think outside the box. Do it differently. Drop the follower mentality, and think like a leader. Put in the work. Practice. Look for examples in others that have already done it, and do it, better! Stay alert! Stay vigilant! Stay focused! And always… always Dream BIG! Do this… and you too might reach your Greatest Potential!
Let’s discuss Greatness…
What do you think makes the Great great? Is Greatness Born or Made? Would you add anything to the 7 keys?
I’m always interested to hear your thoughts. So please feel free to share them with me. Please share this post, as well. Thanks in advance!