On Extracting Greatness

Greatness is inside us. It’s in me and it is in you. It is somewhere waiting to be found, but it will not show itself. Someone must see it and go get it. And you are the only person who can do this. You can choose to find greatness on your own or allow someone else to reveal it. Either way, being great is a choice you make. It is not something that gets handed to you or that you talk about. Greatness is a choice you make through the hundreds of small options you have each day.

Jim Collins’ book, Great by Choice, is a great book and a true statement. Greatness is a choice you make. And is not one choice. It is in every choice you make because everything is connected. You cannot be great one minute and average the next. You cannot show up on gameday and expect to be great if you have not done the right things in practice. It does not work that way. You are the sum of the choices you make, and you are what you allow yourself to be. Being great is an all the time or none of the time thing. It is the person you are. You are either great or you are not. So be great. There is no reason to choose otherwise.

There will always be people more talented than you are that appear great. That is life. But that does not mean they are. Looks can be (and often are) deceiving. The fact that someone is more talented than you does not make them great. Genetics deceive many people. Greatness has nothing to do with your gifts. It is about what you do. The right choices make you great, not natural ability. That means we can all choose to be great.

While being great comes down to the choices you make, you can choose to allow someone to find your greatness. It is best to find greatness on your own because you learn about yourself, and that is valuable in itself. Doing it on your own makes you learn what it takes to improve. If you choose to allow a great leader to find your greatness, know that it will not be easy because it never is. This person will be harder on you than you would be on yourself. High standards are hard to live out. It is even harder to accept someone else’s high standards for you. But, if you can, it would be wise to accept the help. You will be better because of it.

If you want to be great you have to fight human nature. You must admit that you do not know something and that you need to get better. This means that you have a lot of work to do. We all have work to do, but we will never get started unless we know that we do not know. If you can understand that you have much to learn, you are on the path to greatness.

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