What makes some people reach for greatness while others stay within their comfort zones?
Is it their environments? Is it that a poor and hostile environment actively prods some people to decide never to live within that environment any longer? Is it a conviction to follow a strong hope of how things could be?
What kind of person asks the question…Why not? and Why not me?
From an academic point of view greatness is seen when a student achieves a level of research that gives them a grasp of a particular knowledge base through the work of others but then asks “what’s next for this knowledge base?”. This student begin to answer their own question with a suggestion of their own and then follows up with beginning to search for the next step.
Regular students, however, either knowingly or unknowingly regurgitate common conclusions because of sheer laziness or lack of thorough research. Trust me…I know this well.
From a sports point of view greatness is seen when an athlete finds out where their talent lies, develops it into a skill, then searches for how much further they can grow and follow that path of struggle. The athlete that enters and remains consistent on this journey we usually notice that person’s greatness.
From a life point of view greatness is seen when a person notices that something is missing in the social well-being of fellow citizens (whether it is concerns of knowledge, health, ease of living, standard of living or any other utilitarian thing) and decides to find the solution. There are other citizens who don’t think like this, are pragmatic, and happily live within whatever the culture is like now. But there are some others who just believe that things can be better or different…those folks usually are seen as the innovators – “the great ones”.
Throughout history we’ve notice great ones in sports, science, health care, literature, philosophy, psychology, travel etc. But what thing(s) make them want to reach for greatness??? I think it’s two concepts:
By imagination I mean the sense of wonder for things that aren’t yet and in the sense of self curiosity. I believe that some people have placed lids on their imagination by directing their attention to hopes based on things that are already. They want to find a life within what already is and not what could be. Imagination for what could be and who you could be is critical to reaching for greatness.
2) Risk of Learning
A person who reaches for greatness risks learning. Learning may not seem like a risk for you but I know people who rather not feel like they do not know something. They refuse to learn so as to not look foolish. Following your imagination demands a desire to learn because where you’re heading in a direction that has never been trodden before. And while on that journey you learn how to think, gain new knowledge and to turn talents into skills.
Let your heart be moved by these two and you may be reaching for your greatness!
What do you think makes some people reach for greatness?