Don’t try to shoot for greatness. Don’t aim for goodness. Don’t try to find success. What!? Yes you read that right. Meaning or greatness do not come when you focus on them as theoretical entities. In fact the more you focus on them the more you will miss them. To be great we need to do more than talk about it.
When people tell me “have a good day!” I respond, “thank you, but why don’t we make it one!” Lets take life by the throat and make it good, at least for today. Most people’s lives are the results of the choices they make and how they react and act toward the circumstances in their lives. There are exceptions to this, but over all the how you choose to respond to your circumstances day by day makes your character and ultimately your destiny. Why should we be victims of our circumstances. Most of us have what it takes to shape our own lives but we live in fear. Living a mundane or mediocre life is not an option for one who seeks to make a difference in the world.
Being great isn’t necessarily being better than other people, that is narcissism, but to be in a position to empower, inspire and motivate other people, is greatness.
1) Cultivate Great Thoughts: In life, you will find that the greatest opponent or obstacle you have is yourself. Thinking in great ways can revolutionize your life. A trained mind can think more rapidly and also more accurately. At the same time the person with the ready mind is more apt to express themselves coherently and persuasively.
2) Read Great Authors: Reading great books is like sitting in the living room with Martin Luther King, or having coffee with Abraham Lincoln. Change your library, change your life.
3) Develop Great Friendships: You are the sum total of the people you spend the most time with. Who are you letting into the oval office of your mind? Who is whispering negative or positive or life giving words into the windows of your soul? The people you spend most time with can transform or deform your life.
4) Germinate Great Habits: What you do daily, without thinking about it, is renovating or corrupting your life. A teacher with productive habits can think logically, eat healthy and tasteful foods, devise means to overcome obstacles a discard the irrelevant, complete their work quicker and more effectively.
The great people of the past, from Einstein, Gandhi, Martin Luther King, Augustine, Martin Luther, and more recent people like Steve Jobs followed this path.
Viktor Frankl wrote these profound words from deep within his experience in a Nazi concentration camp:
Don’t aim at success — the more you aim at it and make it a target, the more you are going to miss it. For success, like happiness, cannot be pursued; it must ensue, and it only does so as the unintended side-effect of one’s dedication to a cause greater than oneself or as the by-product of one’s surrender to a person other than oneself. Happiness must happen, and the same holds for success: you have to let it happen by not caring about it. I want you to listen to what your conscience commands you to do and go on to carry it out to the best of your knowledge. Then you will live to see that in the long run—in the long run, I say!—success will follow you precisely because you had forgotten to think of it.