11 May The Key to Greatness: it’s easier to find than you think!
“True greatness consists in being great in little things.”
— Charles Simmons
Thanks for reading this week’s edition. I appreciate the time you take to be here. I always want to make sure that it’s worth your while.
This week a colleague asked me to join a panel exploring the nature of greatness and how we might experience it in our own lives. She has thought-provoking preparatory questions for this panel discussion. I’m sharing them with you this week and my answers, which I hope you will find helpful.
First, how can we define “greatness”? Just looking at that word makes my stomach clench. At first, it seemed so huge and far away from my own life experience.
More general definitions of “greatness” include
- The quality of being distinguished or eminent, where eminent means “illustrious, famous and respected.”
- High-ranking: a concept or a state of superiority.
It’s no wonder that these definitions of greatness can seem so far from our own life experiences. So, let’s break this down to something more valuable to our day-to-day living.
Looking at my personal experience of business and life fulfillment, I experience a sense of greatness whenever I fulfill the important promises I make. When I do this, my direct experience is that all is well. I am complete. Nothing is missing. I “feel” great!
That’s OK, but what’s an important promise? In a way, all promises, even the smallest ones, create an energy vacuum or a pull toward completion that is present until you take action.
You’ve undoubtedly experienced this energy vacuum. Let’s say you’ve promised to brush your teeth twice a day. As you leave your dentist’s office, you’re clear that this is the right thing to do. Day one goes well. So does the first week. Around day 8, you wake up late! You dash around trying to get ready for a Zoom meeting in 10 minutes. You say to yourself: “I’ll skip brushing my teeth right now. I promise to do it after lunch.” Lunch comes along, and you “forget” to do it.
You’ve begun to create a slow, steady energy drain or leak that’s only handled when you continue to do what you said. This may seem trivial, but what happens to your energy when you’ve not taken action on one or more of these “small” promises? As you read this, you might look at (gasp) some of the “little” promises you’ve made to yourself that you haven’t been acting upon.
Now, let’s look at what we mean by an “important” promise. One that, when fulfilled, can give you a sense of greatness.
Say you’ve promised to send money to a friend in need. This pledge is in keeping with your essential value of being a generous friend. It doesn’t matter how much money is involved. The fact that you said you would do this creates a pull toward a fulfillment that doesn’t go away until you do what you said you would do. Maybe you get busy and forget the promise, suddenly realizing that it’s been days and you haven’t done it. The longer you wait, the more of an energy drain you experience. You may even feel guilty if you put it off for too long. This situation is an energy drain!
But when you’ve done what you said, you begin to “feel happy of yourself”
Watch this video of Owen. It demonstrates the essence of greatness!
Please see the Life’s Intentions Handout. It demonstrates the essence of greatness!
If you haven’t discovered your essential life values, please go here. Pick at least one of them that scores “5” for you. Set up something to do that reflects that Life’s Intention. Then…go ahead and DO IT.
On a final note:
Shakespeare wrote, “Some are born great, some achieve greatness, and some have greatness thrust upon them.”
Ukraine President Zelensky’s life reflects the third situation on the world stage. Greatness was “thrust upon him” by the current state of affairs. And, what’s most important, he answered the call to greatness; not for himself, but for the people he serves.
Wishing you all my best,