To be great is to persevere. It’s understanding the feeling of defeat without ever letting it pronounce you defeated. It’s going through hardships repeatedly and still overcoming the depressive obstacles. See the first problem about this topic is that so many people have turned the search for greatness into this unrealistic fantasy. The second problem is that most people glamourize greatness so much that they forget it’s actually work. Most people look at Steve Jobs, Albert Einstein and Jeff Besos and they believe they are so different from them. They put these people on such a high pedestal that they forget they are just humans. Greatness has become something that seems so far fetched when it’s something that can be attainable with the proper steps and attitude.
Now I’m sure you are properly wondering what perspective I’m writing this article from. Am I saying I’m already great? Am I saying that I’m almost there? I imagine you have a lot of questions as you read this, so I will do my best to clarify things. Before I started writing I asked myself the exact same questions, then I realized I was born great, but I’m still on the road to greatness. Being great to me is more about the process and less about the finished product. It’s a state of mind that you have to condition yourself into believing and understanding. The truth about greatness is equivalent to the journey of personal growth and development. You don’t just wake up a better version of yourself. You make a commitment to the person you hope to become, then you make the decision to continuously build that person up. Even when you become the person you always wanted to be, you must continue to foster that growth. This to me is the summary of greatness. It’s a journey that is so complex, it’s never-ending. Greatness is something you just feel, but you may never be able to actually put it into words.
As I paint the picture of what greatness means to me, I hope that you are able to discover the truth of what it means to be great.
Greatness is consistency.
A lot of people want to be great but they hardly have the stamina to show up. One day they claim that they are getting started on something, then the next day we never see the progress. They hold on to the immediate high of the project they say they will start but as soon as the high comes down, the consistency disappears. This is my perspective is the biggest mistake people make as they search for something great. Over the years I have learned that achieving something great means that you show up even when it is not celebrated. It means that you show up even when you hardly understand where you are headed. It means that you do the little things that may seem irrelevant today, and trust that it will someday matter. See I wish that someone told me this which is why I’m telling you this today. There is no longer time for you to start then stop. The easiest way to become consistent is asking yourself why. Look at your life objectively and figure out what you love so much, that you can be consistent with it no matter what happens. The problem isn’t that you can’t be consistent. The issue is that you are lying to yourself about what you love and are actually investing in things you hate. When you understand that consistency can only be practiced from something you at least like, you are already on your way to achieving greatness.
Greatness is doing it even when you don’t feel like it.
I hardly felt like writing this blog. Yesterday I spent all day in back to back meetings and ended my night at a shoot. Today I was so exhausted that I completely knocked out and decided to listen to my body. As I woke up, I realized that two days ago I made a commitment to Instagram that I would upload this article on Wednesday. Of Course, I could have easily brushed off the commitment I made and just relaxed, but that’s not integrity, and it’s definitely not greatness. Because I inspire every day to reach different levels of greatness, I had to get up at 8:15 pm and complete this article. As I’m typing this up, I’m realizing that this type of decision is what separates the people who are great from the people who are not. People who are great understand that you won’t always feel like doing everything, but you must keep the commitment. People who are great understand that feelings can fluctuate, but the goal remains. What I am trying to tell you is to analyze yourself. Where exactly do you want to end up? Do your actions match your commitments? Are you constantly not “feeling” like it? The answers to these questions will help you understand where you are on the road to greatness. Now as you answer these questions, try not to be too hard on yourself. These questions are not here to make you feel bad, but to help you be introspective and understand what needs to stay and what needs to change. As long as you answer them honestly, then you are already on the right track to accomplishing something great.
Greatness is accepting that failure is part of the process
You cant be great if you are trying to escape failure. You have to get to a point where you can look failure in the eye without fearing it and embrace it. This is one of the biggest lessons I’m having to learn on this journey. At some point in my life, I was very afraid to fail until I realized that If I failed I certainly won’t die. I noticed that my failure wasn’t as bad as I was making it out to be. In fact, It taught me more than my success ever did. I remember the first tech company I ever worked for. I failed so much in my quest to find prospects for the company and close the sale that I almost gave up in the sales industry. It was so discouraging to hear No so many times that I almost made myself believe that I wasn’t good enough. I often thank God that I never believed this lie. I was never actually failing, but instead, the universe was teaching me the importance of hearing “No” without getting too emotional over it. The universe was teaching something so valuable that later helped me foster my career and took me to greater heights. See the reason why I say this is because I never stopped believing in myself even after hearing so many No’s. I eventually got promoted twice and became one of the top sales African American women at my tech company and I did this by embracing failure. The moral of this story is to encourage you to embrace failure. Let it mold you and teach you how to become better. When you can lean into failure without having resentment over it, you will become great.
Greatness is accepting that not everybody will make it.
If you are trying to go with everybody, then you aren’t ready to be great. The fact of the matter is that everybody won’t make it for different reasons. Some people will not understand the path you are choosing to take, while others won’t have the stamina to keep up with you. See the crazy thing about achieving greatness is that people like the on the come-up story, but they hate it when they actually see your vision coming to life. Part of it is because the whole time they were putting on a facade to pretend as they believed in you when they never actually did. Your success will eventually bring the envy out from your “friends’ ‘ and if you are introspective enough you will see through whatever facade they are putting out. After you see this, you won’t be able to pretend like you didn’t, so eventually, you will cut them off. These are a few of the reasons why some people won’t make it, but let’s talk about freeloaders. As you continue to become great you will realize that it’s easy for some people to attach themselves to you instead of creating their own wave and becoming great for themselves. Some friends will turn to leeches and as soon as you distance yourself from them, they will despise you so you have to be ready for it. Some of your friends won’t support you at all, and it will become evident that they aren’t really your friends and you will know what to do.
As you progress through your journey I encourage you to get comfortable with knowing that everybody won’t go, and also get confident in the few people that will go with you on this journey. As long as you can do these two things, you will be just fine. Trust that.
Greatness means to serve and stand for something bigger than yourself
In my opinion, there is no way you can be great if your accomplishments only benefit you. If you think about the greats and you analyze what they have in common, you will realize that they served. Their life had a purpose that was bigger than just them. Most people are selfish honestly and all they care about is themselves and no one else. There is nothing wrong with that, but it’s not great. If you hope to become great then you will start thinking bigger. You will start to see the world from a birds eyes view, and you will begin to question where your life can be an asset. See I honestly didn’t understand this until I created my brand. My brand showed me that the world is in need of motivation, a fresh perspective, and the guidance that’s necessary to thrive. I could have easily started some brand to make quick money, but that’s not impactful.
The ironic part of all this is that my passion to help myself and others keeps me on this journey and motivates me to continue. I say all this to express that when your life becomes bigger than you, greatness is already at your finger tips.
Greatness is pronouncing yourself great before anyone acknowledges it
I have noticed that people who end up great always knew they would be. It makes me question if greatness is a destiny thing or a confidence thing. Well, I don’t have all the answers just yet but I do know that everyone who became great spoke with conviction. I know that if you are waiting for people to pronounce you great before you get on this journey, you might wait forever. People are typically late to the party if you get what i’m saying. Knowing this means that to be great you must have foresight. You can be in a basement right now working on your dreams and still be great. You can have 20 dollars in your bank account but know that God has destined you for greatness. To most people they would easily get discouraged because their reality isn’t matching up. Yet to those who disregard the reality but have confidence in who they know they are, those are the people who will achieve greatness in this life.
If you are reading this article and my words are resonating with you in a positive way, then you are going to be great. If you are reading this article and it’s hard to consume, then I encourage you to sit with these words and understand what that means for you. Either way, it goes, I wish everyone the best in life, and I hope that you continue to do what it takes to accomplish great things. Never forget that greatness is your birthright, and it’s time to walk in it.