It starts small, and innocently enough. With a wish, with a dream, with a belief that there must be something more. But what results depends on you.
We all have had visions of who we were supposed to be. What we were supposed to accomplish. The impact we were supposed to make on the world.
For some it is enough to be a good father, a good lover, a good friend. Sometimes it’s bigger: be a good leader, a good influence, a good businessman. And sometimes it’s so big it leaves you breathless just to think about it: be a great man, leave a great legacy, inspire generations.
But only you can define what greatness means to you. Only you know if you’re reaching and stretching and aiming for that brass ring, taking chances, and putting it all on the line. Only you know if it’s real to you, or just a fantasy. Only you know if you are settling for good instead of great, aiming small, and playing it safe.
For me, greatness is a moving target. The closer I get, the further out of my range I reset my intentions. I want to stretch. I want to challenge myself. I want to believe that whatever I have accomplished this far is just a precursor, just a rung in a much larger ladder, just a sign of how much more I can do.
To create greatness takes three main ingredients … in equal parts.
Greatness doesn’t just fall in your lap. You have to see it. Believe it. Manifest it. You have to know that you can do it even though everything seems stacked against you. Even though others have tried and failed. Even though your so-called friends and peers tell you to leave well enough alone, to give up, to forget about that dream. You have to see it and know it is yours to take. But that’s just part one.
Sometimes known as foolishness, courage is an unshakable belief in your potential. An unprovable, improbable, irrational faith in who you are. In who you might be. In what you could accomplish. Courage is not logical; it is purely emotional. It is essential to creating greatness. You have to be unafraid to fail. Unwilling to give up. And unapologetically you. Even against the odds. Even when all hope is lost. Even when everything is on the line. But even vision and courage won’t bring greatness into focus. There is one more component.
Doing what you said you were going to do. Executing on your great plan. Doing the work, fighting the good fight and putting one foot in front of the other again and again and again. Greatness is never easy. Greatness is never accidental. Greatness is not just a word; it is a belief. A way of life. A flag planted in your soul that says this is mine, and I will create greatness in this life or the next.
And if you are one of the few who can bring all three pieces together… that can put your vision, your courage and your actions to the rest… if you truly believe in yourself… then you can create greatness and manifest it from the ether.
But do not take the creation of greatness lightly, because many have tried, many have striven, many have put it all on the line and lost it all. That’s always a possibility. But if you are committed and willing to do the work, even that ultimate failure won’t stop you. It will fuel you, challenge you, encourage you to build yourself back up and try it all over again.
And believe me, once you have mastered the art of creating greatness, you will never be the same. Your life and future will be the things of dreams.
And then, then we can talk about legacy.