Monday, 23 May 2011

Greatness

Don’t we all want to be great? Don’t we all want to have that feeling of being able to honestly say to ourselves, “I am awesome”? Don’t we all? Yet, why is it that so few of us actually strive to achieve it? A good majority of us end up settling for less, settling for average or worse still, settling for mediocre.
It’s true that not everybody can be in the top 1%. It is true that in most cases, every winner will produce losers to similar effect. I will certainly concede that a sense of realism is important. Yet, in this morbid realisation of reality we tend to forget one thing. Greatness isn’t something that is given, it something that is achieved.

I suppose one reason people would settle for average is how daunting the path to greatness seems. It’s a given that not all individuals are born equal and it’s easy to blame the lack of opportunities or natural talent when we decide to give up on pursuing greatness. However, I believe there is one very big misconception of greatness. Greatness is not absolute, it is relative. To be great does not necessarily mean that we would have to be globally recognised or be the winner of some highly sought after prize simply because not everyone has the calibre to pull of such feats.

The point that I’m trying to get to is that of potential. Not everyone is cut out to be Einstein or Zuckerberg and that in itself is what makes them the geniuses that they are. Yet, I believe that everyone has the potential to be great. Like a hearing-impaired person learning how to dance or a local choreographer’s dance item that sends goosebumps down one’s spine, the ability to fully utilise one’s potential is what defines greatness. All people can achieve greatness. That is what I believe. It may not be ground-breaking or world-shaking greatness but still greatness that can touch the lives of others.

Then again, you might ask yourself, why on earth am I making such a fuss over others? If others choose to settle for less than greatness, what does that matter to anyone else? The only person who is left miserable is the person who didn’t attempt to pursue greatness. To those who share those thoughts, I will say that greatness is not a means to an end or an end in itself. 

Greatness catalyses greatness. Inspiration inspires inspiration. Have you ever witnessed a moment of greatness, be it real or fictional? A moment where your world seems to stop spinning as you bear witness to a sight so epicly mesmerising? A moment that simply drives you to tears with its majesty? Of course, these moments are not limited to human creation and I grossly exaggerate my descriptions but it is moments like this that drive other people to pursue greatness. These moments serves as testaments, showing us that greatness is achievable. They propel us to strive to recreate those moments of greatness for ourselves and in the process achieving greatness. 

I’ll end this blogpost with a quote from my favourite geek webcomic, xkcd.

You don’t become great by trying to be great. You become great by wanting to do something, and then doing it so hard that you become great in the processRandall Munroe as zombie Marie Curie

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