What separates good from great?
It's one of those simple questions that gets thrown around a lot and no one really has a clear answer to.
You'll always hear a quote from someone who is accomplished, a sports figure, a big entrepreneur, even a religious figure.
And although it's great to get reassurance from someone who is already "considered to be great" -- what's really stopping people from accomplishing their goals is themselves.
Before anything, I would just like to assure you that I'm not some sort of motivational speaker and I've never even picked up a self-help book; I can totally see why people would go to those kind of resources, but it's not my cup of tea.
I really just want to be able to point out something that's obvious and not a lot of people understand.
People are holding themselves back from being great, sometimes they can be at the cusp of success and greatness, but they give up on themselves to choose and find happiness in being good.
Everybody has a different meaning of success and greatness.
Not everybody can be an Ali, a Steve Jobs, a Gandhi, an Einstein, but they can be the greatest person they can be and perform to the best of their abilities.
Offer the advice I'm about to give, share it... hell, you can even say you came up with it! Just make sure that you and the people around you aren't fine with being just "good."
Don't Get Trapped by Dogma
To give you a quick definition: Dogma is basically the set of beliefs (or rules) set by some higher authoritative figure that the masses tend to follow.
Now, I'm not asking for you to start and anarchist movement, what I am saying is to think for yourselves.
Break the mold, but at the same time play by society's rules.
I'll never forget what one of my high school teachers told me: "Once you play the game [of life] and succeed, that's when you can make your rules." I should also add that he told me that because I was always acting up around school.
Become adaptable but always stay true to your beliefs.
Whatever you feel is the right thing to do, just go with it and ride it out. If you fail, the worst thing that happened is you tried. Just make sure you're doing it for you.
Here's a nice moral question: Would you rather fail at something that you're great at or do good at something that you don't like?
As the great Seth Godin once told me: "You'll never know if you're great at something unless you try."
So if you're striving to be great at something and you're unsure, I would definitely recommend trying -- even if it's one time!
Worst case, you'll gain a lot of experience and never have to ask yourself, "What if?"
Work Toward Leaving A Legacy
Life is this interesting concept; we have this set amount of time to be on this planet and try to do our best in order to leave a great legacy.
Whether it's starting a business, working at a dream job, raising children or finding a way to change the world.
Whatever the case may be, we as individuals have a goal that we lose focus of because of ridiculous external factors.
- Self Doubt
- and thinking that others were a lot better
It wasn't until later that I learned that all these things are a part of life. It's better to just embrace these things.
It's all a part of playing the game of life and making sure you're doing your best to build that legacy.
So don't be scared to build a legacy doing what you like and what you believe in.
Don't let anybody tarnish your legacy or destroy what you want to create. Make sure that the ball is in your court and you control your destiny.
You have to be adaptable and learn how to overcome adversity.
Never forget that life isn't supposed to be a "straight line," you are going to have a lot of highs and just as many lows.
The lows that you'll face when reaching your goals may seem bad at the time, but always remember this: Without pressure, diamonds don't exist.
Sometimes your mindset will be the biggest factor coming into play and it's up to you to be headstrong and make sure that nothing can stop you from reaching a goal and building that legacy.
While you're building a legacy remember one thing: The mark of greatness is when everything before you is obsolete, and everything after you bears your mark.
Don't Become a Statistic
I'm sure I'll infuriate a lot of people with this, but there is not a predetermined path that leads to greatness -- or on the other end, lack of success.
You can't hope to be great by sitting around and waiting for your moment. You have to go out there and take it.
A lot of people let things like surveys, polls and even news outlets, try and let people know that their path is already set because of non-relevant factors.
Going by the statistics: I am supposedly uneducated, unemployed and be doing absolutely nothing productive with my life. All this was already predetermined because data suggests that being raised by a single mother in a bad neighborhood leads to failure.
Fortunately, I called BS at a young age. Unfortunately, we're not teaching our youth this type of mentality. We (as a society) are a little intimidated to tell people (especially at a young age) to disrupt things and break the barriers that exist... but that's a whole other issue.
The fact of the matter is, we have all these different rules that influence the way we think and the way we feel about people, but why?
It's almost like it's designed, so we can follow a certain path and believe that things are supposed to be that way.
And as I alluded earlier, don't let any external factors keep you from reaching greatness. Don't be scared to be a rebel and don't accept things the way they are.
Make your own path and go all out to be great.
Life isn't a rehearsal and you sure as hell aren't going to get a second chance. If I can leave you with one final question to always ask yourself: Why not?
Why not you? Why can't you be great? And if/when you think you're already great, why can't you be even greater?