In life, to achieve success, you must be the best at what you do, and to be the best is to achieve greatness in your calling.
It is a known fact that we are destined for greatness and inside all of us there is that seed of greatness lying dormant awaiting nurturing. Greatness is that urge to awaken our potentials and consciously aiming for the best results from our efforts.
However, sprouting the dormant seed, one’s inherent initiative is vital. Too bad, only a few get to germinate that seed, and for the rest, that potential lies dormant and unexplored. It is so much of a waste for such a powerful force to go unused. You must understand that, no external force, however powerful or influential, can awake your potential if you don’t take deliberate efforts to explore it to the fullest. That means, greatness or becoming the best is a choice and doesn’t happen by luck or chance.
This article is about greatness. It looks at two facts about achieving it, and later it explores the ways to achieve greatness. Finally it concludes by leaving you a question to ponder upon as you pave your way to achieve greatness in your calling.
“Be not afraid of greatness. Some are born great, some achieve greatness, and others have greatness thrust upon them.” ― William Shakespeare
We love greatness. In fact, greatness inspires awe to anyone who recognizes it. Too bad, nobody wants to take the initiatives getting there. The Roman Emperor, Marcus Aurelius once remarked, “Waste no more time talking about great souls and how they should be. Become one yourself!”
We sometimes tend to think that greatness comes as an inborn character. Or perhaps only talented people should reach that level of greatness. Or only those with some invisible powers or luck are destined for greatness. But, that is not entirely true. These people, like so many others, made a choice to become what they are. If you want to get there as well and feel you don’t have what it takes, then this article will give you the hints.
What Is Greatness?
Greatness is a state of deliberately putting your best efforts to attain the outcomes. It is a state of realizing that your deliberate thoughts while taking simple actions produce the intended outcomes. Greatness is a character among people who exercise excellence.
Fact: You don’t need talent to achieve greatness
Don’t get me wrong, talent has its place in making you thrive in life and perhaps even achieving greatness at what you do, but talent alone without deliberate efforts hardly guarantees greatness. I have personally met very talented people during the course of my life, some put efforts and some didn’t. As you would expect, the results were different – some made it, some didn’t. It’s a fact that talent can only take you so far. In the course to greatness, talent is just a small spike among the vast array of things needed to achieve success. If you are talented, then it makes it easier. If you aren’t talented, don’t despair, you still stand a chance to achieve your goals.
Fact: It takes 10,000 hours to be great at anything
Macolm Gladwell in his book The Outliers argues that there’s a 10,000-hour rule towards greatness. The idea is based on the theory put forward by the Swedish psychologist, Dr. K. Anders Ericsson. It literally means that, to be great at anything you must put in at least 10,000 hours of efforts on deliberate practice. Does it sound too much? It surely does if you have no passion with what you want to achieve.
But, how long is 10,000 hours? The answer is simple; it depends on how much time you dedicate to your goal. If you want to see how know how it will take to reach your goal, use this calculator.
However, I suggest you look at it this way, consider 10,000 hours as lots and lots of hours you set aside to put efforts and aim at improving yourself over a very long time. That is, you set aside a few hours every day over a long-term without breaking the habit. Remember the saying that goes, practice makes perfect, don’t you? This is what it means. You must do a lot of practice to be the best at your area of expertise.
How To Practice Greatness
Greatness, like any other means towards success, requires self-discipline, self-awareness, and absolute belief in yourself and your abilities. Without those qualities, greatness is simply a day dream for you. However, this article puts forwards more ways towards greatness as listed below.
1. Love What You Do
“The only way to do great work is to love what you do. If you haven’t found it yet, keep looking. Don’t settle.” ―Steve Jobs
A lot of people will tell you to do what you love, but that is not always the case in this world. In this world, we don’t always do what we love. It’s also certain that, not everything that we love doing can put food on the table, pay the bills, and lead our lives. That idea may not always work in the real world, so what’s the alternative? In my opinion, I suggest you fall in love with what you do. Yes, that’s the best thing you can do.
If you fall in love with what you do, it will certainly love you back. If you love what you do, then putting best efforts won’t be a dreadful thing to do. That way, greatness is simply a matter of time. It’s at this very moment that you turn a “job” in to fun. That marks the beginning of achievements.
2. Do Your Job Diligently
“What we hope ever to do with ease, we must learn first to do with diligence.”- Samuel Johnson
Doing your work diligently doesn’t mean merely producing results, it literally implies putting your thoughts in whatever you do. That way, you get things done and get the outcomes worth your efforts. Diligence is supposed to create a mindset of working towards achieving your goals, and that is what you need towards being the best at anything.
3. Maintain Consistency and Aim For Improvements
“It’s not what we do once in a while that shapes our lives. It’s what we do consistently.” ― Anthony Robbins
As you read above, there is a 10,000-hour rule, but practice is one thing and improvement is another. There is a lot more in achieving greatness than simply the humdrum routine of practicing. When you practice, you must aim at improving oneself, or else you never get to the level you want.
Your consistency determines how you fair towards achieving greatness.
If there’s one thing you must ensure while practicing in your area of calling is consistency. You must put time and do the necessary everyday, regardless of the hardships. This is where self-discipline and passion come to play.
It is certain that, knowing something is good enough, but the difficult part is to improve gradually with time. For most people, the growth curve is very steep at first when embarking on a new goal or starting to learn a skill, but with time, the growth curve stabilizes and they enter the period of little or no growth. This is a moment when most people give up or stagnate.
What makes the difference between the mediocre and the great minds is how they handle this very moment. If you have to achieve greatness, you have to ensure constant growth and constant improvement in yourself in all areas. Make it a rule to evaluate yourself and aim to do better each time, that is how you become great.
4. Embrace Challenges
“Great spirits have always encountered violent opposition from mediocre minds.” ― Albert Einstein
Challenges are a part of life, in fact, a necessary part of life. You choose what to do with the challenges, but they are always there. Some choose to learn and become better, some choose to succumb to it and fail. It is not a challenge that brings you down, but your will to give in does so. If you are willing to face your challenges then you become better and that makes you grow. Greatness is all about learning on the way. When life pushes you around, be attentive and learn the best you can in the process. That is the most and natural way to getting better. Embrace and face your challenges, don’t run away from them.
5. Choose your heroes, but choose wisely
We all have heroes, these are the people we look up to and they magically inspire us to action in our own lives. We have had heroes since childhood. In the course of a lifetime when changing careers and growth, we may also change our heroes. Robert Kiyosaki in his book Rich Dad, Poor Dad wrote, “Heroes do more than simply inspire us. Heroes make things look easy. Making it look easy convinces us to be just like them.”
Who is you hero?
To aspire to greatness means copying how great people do things. Your definition of greatness may differ, but know that it always start from simple daily actions.
Look around you, a hero is just close to you
At times if you look further and above to those people high up in your line of work, you may feel small and insignificant. This is especially if your hero is someone you can only dream and never get to meet, if that’s not the case to you then well and good. But what if you look for great peoole around you? There are heroes everywhere; even around you right now there are heroes. It just takes a minute to analyze and see them stand out from the rest.
I have always had the privilege of meeting motivated people. These people are very disciplined and really love what they do. I have learnt a lot from them. I have seen myself grow with time and do things differently to improve as a result to sharing moment with these inspiring people. It is always worth more than you can ever imagine.
But I warn you, be careful who inspires you, as it was said in the book Your Inner Child Is Calling, “The mind is the most precious and yet the most vulnerable of all your possessions. Its vulnerability is due to its ability of unconsciously acquiring negative habits from external influences that adversely affect your life.” You are prone to succumb to ideas of those you admire, those who inspire you. Hence, choose wisely, because your choices dictate where your life goes.
What are you great at?
You are great at something. I know you are, you probably don’t take time to analyze it, but I know you are. Now, you have to find it. It is easy to develop your skills in things you feel strong attraction towards them, than going for something that you are less enthused with. Doing what makes you happy strengthens your passion, and that is the best thing to let you exercise your powers. Doing what makes you unhappy weakens you and that might hurt your pursuit in career in long-term.
Do your best, achieve greatness in your area of expertise.
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