The word ''greatness'' is often associated with status, power, control, and reputation. But greatness can mean something different to all of us. It can also be to positively impact those around you and inspiring others. Whichever way you choose to define what will make you great, greatness in itself is not some esoteric and obscure feature intended for the chosen few among us. Greatness does not have to be about fame or power. You can be a great parent, a great teacher, a great leader. But what does it take to achieve greatness? There are a couple of reoccurring common factors that shine through among great people. These factors do not necessarily constitute greatness, however, they do set up the right framework. Here we have chosen - in our opinion - the most vital factors to achieve true greatness in what you do:
Passion.Passion should be something that is present in all parts of your life. You have to be passionate about what you do in order to be great. Whether it is developing your craft or trying to become an all-around better person, it has to mean something to you. Kobe Bryant is known as one of the greatest basketball players that have ever lived. When asked to explain his mindset of methodically and meticulously improving his craft, Kobe Bryant replied: ‘’I enjoy what I do. I truly love it and that is where the passion comes from, that is where the will to get better comes from. It is just because I truly enjoy it’’. It is easier to engulf yourself in the journey if it is something that you truly enjoy doing. Being passionate is also a great way to find friends and romantic partners. People are more drawn to those who are passionate about things they spend their time on. Whether you save whales, play video games, cook food, or play basketball. In order to be truly great, you have to be passionate.
Be good, repeatedly.
The difference between being good and being great is consistency. The self-development blogger Steph, wrote an interesting piece about how greatness can be boiled down to being good, repeatedly. We have all encountered wins and losses, successes and failures. ‘’I realized that it is not the sporadic highs and wins that were exceptional, but instead the long hauls; the sequences of events that seemed minimal at each juncture but compounded into major gains’’ Steph argues. It is not about the separate occasions of brilliance that defines greatness, but periods of repeatable habits. Consistency is key. Whether in business, personal or professional life, consistency is what has allowed businesses such as McDonald’s and Coca Cola to grow and thrive for generations, and what enables people to change the world for the better.
Then, how is consistency achieved? To be consistent means to fully and completely dedicate yourself to a task, activity or goal. Famously, one of Kobe Bryant’s high school classmates stated that ‘’when I was partying, he (read: Kobe Bryant) was playing basketball. When I was waking up, he was playing basketball before class. When I was on vacation, he was playing basketball’’. It seems to be, that consistency is achieved through great determination and dedication.
Determination and dedication.
Anything worth achieving requires sacrifice. First Dane to reach the summit of Mount Everest without artificial oxygen, and DANISH ENDURANCE ambassador, Rasmus Kragh, states that he ''is willing to risk his life in order to achieve his goals''. This has also taken its toll on Rasmus' private life and relationships. Determination is defined as ''the ability to continue trying to do something, although it is very difficult''. However, you should not get too caught up. Try to find a balance in having a private life while attributing a significant amount of your time developing yourself in your focus areas. Make sure that you do what you have to do and then allow yourself some free time to enjoy yourself. In high school, Kobe Bryant would play basketball all day before attending house parties in the evenings. Then be up at 05:00 in the morning, ready to train. ‘’It didn’t feel like I was giving something up, it felt like I was gaining something every single day’’ says the five-time NBA champion.
If you truly wish to be great, you have to be passionate, committed, and consistent. It is no easy task, but, as Abraham Maslow once said ''if you plan on being anything less than you're capable of being, you will probably be unhappy all the days of your life''.
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