Greatness is the quality of being great. It is the sign of clear advantage when compared to others of a similar type.
We sometimes dismiss it as inspirational to the point where we believe it to be out of reach for us ‘mortals’. We fall into the trap of believing that greatness is reserved for others and we are unworthy or undeserving of it.
We all carry the potential for greatness and would sometimes exhibit flashes of brilliance that indicate so. It all depends on whether we choose to acknowledge, embrace and expand upon it. Or if we choose to ignore, shun and diminish it.
The experiences, achievements or creations that illicit a feeling of greatness is often something that requires a dedication of time, energy, effort and sometimes access to resources like money, coaching, courses and other investments into our own learning and development in order to enhance any existing potential and allow it to attain levels worthy of being regarded as ‘great’.
1. Have you ever experienced ‘Getting a kick out of doing something?’ The experience where you feel a moment of glee in the activity you are engaged in. A moment where you sort of say to yourself, ‘wow, that was fun’ or feel like you were enjoying the activity for what it was instead of what you hoped it might be or for what you hope others might make of it?
It didn’t matter to you if other people couldn’t understand why you got such a big ‘kick’ out of it, but it didn’t matter to you because you enjoyed it anyway.
In moments like that, what you are experiencing are moments where you are in the zone and in the flow. They are periods of engaged enjoyment and only happens when you are actively engaged in an activity or in the process of creation (not passively doing something like watching TV).
In order to come close to greatness, it is almost necessary for one to be ‘in the flow’ while creating iterations of what would eventually lead to what we can proudly call our ‘masterpieces in life’.
What keeps us going in creating, learning or doing something is egged on by not solely our ego or our expectation of how it would turn out or be critically received, but our pure enjoyment in being able to continue doing what we do. It is because we enjoy the act in itself that greatness in our craft happens as a by-product of our inevitable improvement and refinement in skill or aptitude.
2. Have you ever had one or more people tell you or comment casually that ‘you always seem to always get _______, make such great _____ or have ________ that the rest of us could only wish for?’
You can be perfectly in the zone while engaged in your favorite hobby, but it might go unnoticed by others because of the inherent nature of an activity or because you have yet to show it to anyone else but yourself, choosing to only indulge in the activity as a hobby or as a form of ‘stress relief’.
As evidence of your greatness starts ‘leaking out’ from your personal life into your family life and your social life, perhaps you will start hearing words of encouragement or remarks that hint a little of positive envy where people might wish that they can do something as well as you could.
In the early stages, the difference between you and the other person at doing something might be of little discernible difference.
Family and friends might be overly generous in lavishing praise upon you, you might be shy about it and dismiss it shyly as unworthy praise.
However, in the long run, you will soon build up an advantage that is vast enough to qualify for definition as ‘greatness’, if and only if you keep refining your craft and improving on it.
3. Have you ever tried something for the first time and somehow managed to get the hang of it really quickly and look like you have been doing it for years seem almost like second nature to you?
Call it talent, good genes, being a fast learner or perhaps an affinity for something you are trying out for the first time but appear to be an old hand at it. There are certain things in life that you don’t turn your back upon, when the opportunity presents itself or if and when you stumble upon a natural talent in something, you might want to consider getting serious at it.
You might have stumbled upon it by taking part in a competition which you might not have expected to win. You might have signed up for a class to try something out for the first time only to have an expert tell you that you have a natural gift for doing something.
What you have is what seems to be a natural advantage over other beginners. That advantage can be bridged by others over time, or you can choose to develop your natural aptitude further by challenging yourself wherever possible to get closer to greatness and your path to greatness would be boosted by the natural head-start you already have with your natural talent for it.
4. Have you been called ‘stubborn’ or ‘persistent’? Have you ever found yourself being so in love with the idea of something or with the idea of creating something, fixing something, improving on something or understanding something such that you will willingly throw yourself into the task and keep working away at it until you finally ‘get it’?
You won’t take ‘No’ for an answer and you just would not accept defeat, failure or buy into the possibility that you are ‘not good enough’. In your mind, there is no such thing. You are only ‘not good enough YET’.
You are so in love with something or the idea of something that you dedicate yourself towards making it work.
If it’s not good enough, you will find out how to make it better. If you are not winning at the game you decide to play, you will find ways to improve your odds of winning.
We all probably have experienced that fleeting moment of belief, of sheer dogged determination to succeed at something. It might come to us during the games we play as kids.
We might watch videos of how to master freestyle soccer tricks and keep trying at replicating them in order to impress our mates. We might have a love for fixing broken things, for beautifying something or for creating our favorite food items from scratch.Failure, defeat and epic messes are only temporary setbacks and important lessons that help us get one step closer.
5. Have you ever had a moment where you felt like you stumbled upon an interesting way of looking at an issue, a different approach to solving a problem or a cheeky way of solving a problem that seem too obvious to you but has not been attempted before by others?
Sometimes you make up for your lack of natural talent in a particular field by overcompensating with your ingenuity, creativity or flashes of brilliance. You might not be the most accomplished or technically sound expert in your field, but you are most certainly the quirkiest, weirdest or most interesting one.
You have an eye for making the otherwise bland to be remarkably eye-catching or to reinterpret the familiar into a refreshingly mind-blowing statement.
You might very well start off as that ‘weird kid in class’ who marches to their own beat but in time to come, as you embrace your uniqueness, you become known for it in a positive way and that becomes the foundation for your greatness because that’s what really sets you apart and people know what they are getting when they get it from you and they love you for your quirkiness.
Do you possess the potential signs that indicate a possibility for greatness? Are you able to identify these signs in yourself, in your friends or in your children?
I believe that these signs are there in our lives if we choose to look hard enough,to be conscious about them and to open enough to allow them to surface while having the courage to embrace them when they show up in our lives.
To increase your chances of coming in contact with these signs, it is helpful for you to keep exploring, experimenting and expressing who you are whenever possible and at every possible opportunity.
At the end of the day, greatness is a choice and it is a product of dedication which needs to be acknowledged and nurtured.
Have you experienced moments of greatness in your lives? It is not too late to start.