I think it’s important to believe that you are capable of great things. I’m not talking about doing what other people think is great. I’m talking about pursuing your own personal version of greatness. What is important to you? What inspires you? What do you care about? Somewhere in your answers to these questions you will find it.
For me, greatness is closely linked with personal happiness. Yes, I want to be my BEST in all areas that matter to me. Yet even more, I want to enjoy myself each day. I also believe in a life well-lived and aim for a sense of personal greatness in my roles:
- as a teacher, helping students move towards accomplishing their musical and creative desires.
- as a writer, expressing myself truthfully and intelligently.
- as an artist, creating from a state of inspiration, honesty, freedom and skill.
- as a husband, doing my part to cultivate a loving and joyful partnership with my wife.
- as a runner, enjoying each and every run, and achieving satisfying and triumphant marathon training experiences.
- as an individual investor, aiming to be level-headed and make intelligent choices so that our investments succeed in the long-term.
- as a student and reader, gaining inspiration and enlightenment from books and learning.
Last year, by running my solo marathon I accomplished something I consider truly great. I was on a high all year long, segueing directly into my second marathon eight months later. During both experiences of my marathon year, I experienced a level of fulfillment around physical achievement I’ve never had before.
Running a marathon may be a widely accepted as a “great” achievement. Yet for me, being consistent in more ordinary aspects life is also part of what greatness means. I consider accomplishing my 365 Day Blogging Project a great thing. I feel the same way about reading big books that interest me. Come to think of it, so is calling my mom on weekday evenings for over a year now! I am proud I am someone who can consistently do small but important things that add up to big things.
There are further levels of “greatness” that I hope to achieve in life. In some cases, there are dreams I have had for many years but still haven’t accomplished. That’s alright. I now know that not only is greatness a personal thing, it really needs to be a good fit for where I am now. There’s no point in worrying about some lofty goal that isn’t a match for where I am.
So I think it’s better to make the best of where we are today. Maybe there’s greatness to be had right in front of us 😉