Greatness Is An Act - Not An Accolade
This morning I'm sitting at (you guessed it) a coffee shop in my hometown. It's about 8:45am. I have taken a cold shower, downed 2 cups of coffee, journaled extensively, and written down my daily list of future accomplishments (goals aren't my style - I prefer to write down the things I've already accomplished in the future).
I came to my home town of Georgetown, Texas, a relatively small suburb of Austin on Thursday to play a quick gig for a business function of my Father's on Friday night. A very kind man named JC snapped this photo of me while I was playing. I asked him what I could do for him to thank him for the photo and he asked that I give platform to www.personal-castles.com for anybody looking for cleaning services in the greater Austin area. So if that's something you're looking for, JC is your man! Thank you JC.
I've been pondering greatness this morning. What does it take? Why is it necessary? Who is capable of it? Who isn't? The answers I've come up with: It takes everything, it's necessary because we are hard wired to desire greatness by God himself, anybody is capable of it, and the only thing holding anybody back from it is their flawed sense of self.
Tenacity. I think we all know that tenacity is a pre-requisite to greatness. But there's a sort of common understanding that tenacity is born out of aggression or hardship - that the desire to perform at a high level is a selfish one. I myself was born a dreamer, yet decided at one point that dreaming was a self interested activity, and if I wanted to live a life of virtue, I would have to surrender my desire to be great. I had convinced myself that that was humility.
Today, I am here to tell you that line of thinking is unequivocally wrong. Greatness is intrinsically virtuous. The most selfish thing a human being can do is allow his or her potential to lie dormant for 85 years of life. There is nothing more selfish than denying hard work and personal growth in the name of supposed humble obscurity. Passivity is not the nature of God, and therefore cannot be the nature of a virtuous man or woman.
The only thing that separates selfish greatness from virtuous greatness is the purpose behind the pursuit - the infamous why. Greatness grounded deeply in the insatiable desire to see the world actually be better for what you are doing inside of it is the foundation of everything that makes being human what it is.
It takes all shapes and forms. Greatness can be politics. Greatness can be art. Greatness can be writing. Greatness can be sports, architecture, science, or cooking. Greatness can also be parenthood. Greatness can be friendship. Greatness can be anything. But it is always intentional. It has never come in the form of passivity or accidental nature.
Great mothers have raised and empowered great micro biologists and painters. Great janitors have inspired the great business leaders of the world. Great baristas have smiled at people on the verge of suicide while handing them a coffee. For every known hero, there are countless unsung heroes. We are all capable of contributing to the world in unforeseen and immeasurable ways. We are all significant, and great, should we choose to behave as such with both the biggest and smallest tasks we are handed.
So friends - Greatness is an act, not an accolade. It is not selfish, but selfless. It doesn't need value. It creates it. It is deeply imbedded in your soul, waiting for you to empower it to come to fruition. You are great, should you choose to be.