Without wasting your time, below are the misconceptions about being great.
1. Greatness is due to good fortune
When opportunity meets preparation the offspring is usually called good fortune or luck. Greatness does not depend on the luck factor. Life is governed by the laws of cause and effect.
The seeds that we plant determine the harvest that we get. Preparation can mean the difference between winning and losing. Very few people become successful by mistake. Sustained greatness is a result of deliberate planning, focused effort and hard work. The seed of greatness is taking personal responsibility for our lives and destiny.
As long as one is banking on luck to catapult one to greatness, one has a long and miserable wait ahead. Gary Player, a great golfer of the 1980s, once said, “The more I practise, the luckier I become.”
2. Greatness means financial success
While money is important, it is not the only measure of success and greatness. Greatness is measured in terms of one’s potential and calling in life. Money that is not tied to purpose sometimes leads people to self-destruction. Success must be holistic.
It is sad to succeed in one area of our lives yet have everything else suffer and waste in the process. Areas that are important to consider in our pursuit of greatness include family, spirituality, health, personal growth and development, social and recreational and wealth.
The more rounded we are the more fulfilled we are likely to be. Greatness is not just about making a lot of money; it is about making a lot of living.
3. Greatness is about being self-employed
It is true that there are some benefits to being self-employed. However, we are not all born to be entrepreneurs. Greatness is not all about owning or running a business. The important thing in life is to know oneself. Know where you thrive best and the seasons of your life.
Even those who go on to do well in business usually have to serve for years in other people’s employment. The most important issue in greatness is productivity. Each of us must bloom where we are planted and seek to exploit the potential that is hidden within. One could either be an entrepreneur or an intrapreneur.
The latter is somebody who is not just a corporate wheelbarrow that only goes as far as it is pushed. It is somebody who expresses an entrepreneurial flair within the context of an organization. The cry of most organizational leaders is that there are very few enterprising people within organizations.
Being faithful to that which we do not own creates room for us to be owners in our own right. Many people give half-hearted attention to their jobs because they think their greatness is best expressed outside the job. This is a dangerous attitude because we always reap the seeds that we sow.
Favour comes through performance. Greatness is not a result of just showing up but performing and delivering results wherever one happens to be.
4. It is too late for me to be great
We are never too old unless we think so. Age is just a number and we are the ones that give meaning and significance to that number. No one is ever too old to dream and dance with life.
Youth is not a birth statistic but quality of spirit and agility of mind. Our bodies may wrinkle but we must never allow age to creep into our thinking and corrode our attitudes. One is truly old when one can no longer dream and think beyond the present.
We must never let popular opinions about age disenfranchise us from pursuing greatness. Life is meant to be lived and not died. Some people are so obsessed with dying that they forget to live in the present.
The sad thing in life is that many people die before they actually do. To die while we live is to bury our potential and mortify our greatness.
5. I have to do many things to be great
The key to greatness is not doing too many things; it is focus. He who can never focus can never dream of winning. The battle of life is a battle to find a life focus and then to protect that focus.
None of us can boast of having enough time or resources to excel at everything simultaneously. The trap that most of us fall into is to try and do too many things. Sometimes our focus is swayed because we are trying to fashion our lives into some popular opinion or fad. The best favour we can do for ourselves is to be true to ourselves and to what God has put in us.
Greatness is everywhere — if we can just but define our purpose and focus. Jim Rohn emphasizes this idea when he says, “No matter what you’re trying to accomplish, whether it’s writing a book, climbing a mountain, or painting a house the key to achievement is your ability to break down the task into manageable pieces and knock them off one at one time.
Focus on accomplishing what’s right in front of you at this moment. Ignore what’s off in the distance someplace. Substitute real-time positive thinking for negative future visualization. That’s the first all-important technique for bringing an end to procrastination”.
6. The current environment does not allow for greatness
Our beliefs determine our perception and our perception determines our reality. Whether we believe there are opportunities or not in the current environment is a matter of perception.
The sad thing in Africa has been that we look for opportunities everywhere else except at home. The result is that other people come and launch their greatness using our resources, human and physical, while we are complaining, fighting and cursing. This is a time of unprecedented opportunity but the most important change we must make is in our mindsets.
So long as we think like slaves we will never see the opportunities for productivity and we will always be looking for new and fashionable chains to which we can bond our potential. It is not the environment that limits greatness but the lack of imagination, courage and will to succeed.
Nothing in the world can tame determined people that are willing to explore their environment and mine every opportunity they can find. Opportunities multiply as they are seized and they diminish as they are abused.
Our focus should not be on our limitations but on our opportunities. Instead of feeding our doubts and complaints let us feed our faith, unleash our creativity and seize this moment of our lives. We will only pass this way once.
What other myths about greatness do you know and how do you think it is wrong? You can achieve anything if you set your mind on it.