People who have achieved greatness in their chosen field are confident people. The truly great people have at least one thing in common, one decision they have all made. They love their greatness more than they fear its price.
People who have achieved greatness in their chosen field are confident people. It is no secret that one must believe before he or she can achieve. However, this confidence manifests much differently than you may realize. For the great ones, confidence is not bravado. It is not the appearance of unflappability. It is not the ability to perform flawlessly under the most extreme of pressure situations. Confidence is none of the above. The truly great people have at least one thing in common, one decision they have all made. They love their greatness more than they fear its price.
What is the price of greatness? The price of greatness is making a commitment to excellence, to getting better every day. Those committed to greatness will get better at something in their “field of study” every day. They have explicitly committed to being a better professional, a better hobbyist, or a better person and they take a step every day in the direction of their greatness. The great ones make their intent to be great and the progress made on their journeys public at least to a degree. They are courageous enough to submit their quest for greatness for review, feedback and sometimes criticism.
Why? This courage comes from a belief in two ideas with absolute certainty. First, the great ones believe that greatness does not happen in a vacuum. All great people need help and feedback to achieve their desired place in the Hall of Fame of their choosing. In other words, they believe that greatness does not come without both great coaching and a great willingness to be coached. Secondly, and more importantly, the great ones love even the opportunity for greatness more than they fear its price. They would rather enjoy the spoils of greatness; even if it means the temporary pain of a bruised ego, than enjoy the false security that one enjoys before the greatness quest begins. So, what do you love? Too many love that false security. Too many love the notion “I can be great whenever I choose to be great. I’ll start tomorrow.” Too many love the notion “I can do great things on my own, so I will work in complete secrecy.” Too many love the false pride over never being wrong publicly over the risk of stretching their skills publicly so they can grow. Too many love their pride more than the prospect of greatness. Ultimately, in effect, they love mediocrity more than greatness as they are unwilling to shed the trappings of mediocrity. Don’t be one of those people!
How do you want to live? I have never reached a great achievement in my life and then later thought that it “cost too much.” The prize, if it’s the right prize, is always worth the work. I bet you feel the same way! A great athlete does not say, I enjoy being great, but I would trade it for being a bench player who spent more time on the couch and less time in the gym. Someone who has lost 100 pounds does not say, I like being 100 pounds lighter, but I would take weight back for the memory of enjoying a year’s worth of chocolate cake. A company CEO does not say, I like being the boss, but I would give up the power and its attendant salary to be a middle manager who worked less over the years. In our mind’s eye, our pride of achievement always overpowers the memory of the work it took to get there. Every one of these achievers had to risk their pride in some fashion to reach their goals. Will you? So, again, I will ask “What do you love more, greatness or mediocrity?” If greatness is the answer, make your declaration! Assemble your team! Tell your coach that you are ready to report for practice! Make the decision that proves to be so daunting for so many! Love your greatness more than you fear its price.
Brian McClellan is the cofounder and CEO of BAMSTRONG Presentations, the author of The Real Bling: How to Get the Only Thing You Need, a Sherian Publishing title, and a powerful motivational speaker. To learn more about Brian, please visit www.bamstrong.com