Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Taking yourself from good to great

I used to think I was pretty average; mediocre at best. In high school, I realized that okay, maybe I was pretty good. I found that I was actually kind of smart -- I didn't have to study or "try" as hard as the other students to get good grades or give thoughtful answers when called on in class. I always knew I was a pretty good athlete, I qualified for state each year I tried and I usually always placed in the top 10 of the state (for swimming). But, I wasn't really concerned about my athletic ability; that wasn't what was going to make me go far. So, what can take a good person to greatness? The quest for greatness is a lifelong journey and may not ever be truly fulfilled, but trying to be great sure makes for a more interesting life. The first thing I think people need to ask themselves is WHY? Find your one why, your one passion, your one drive, and let that question fuel your life. Why do you do what you do? If you don't love it, why are you doing it? What's your dream? What's your passion? Now WHY is that your passion? Now go after it.... now launch yourself. The power of having a purpose is one of the most important aspects of life. It's why you get up in the morning. Next -- channel yourself into a force of one. Think thoughts that make you a better person, feel feelings that empower you and do what needs to be done. Next, find a model. The best of the best usually haven't done it all by themselves (and neither should you). Find a role model, a mantra, a vision that makes you want to be a better person and don't you dare lose sight of it. Next, focus on the things that make you stronger and spend less time doing the things that make you weaker. If you get a lot out of volunteering with Habitat for Humanity, make it a goal to work on one house a month. If you find that when you go out you make bad decisions after too many drinks, cut back on going out or drinking so much. Next up, find your best area. While you might make an okay sales clerk, you might make an incredibly attentive laboratory worker -- go with what you're naturally good at, don't fight it. Stick with it. We are human, we are flawed, we are going to make mistakes, but keep on persevering. Maybe you fail five or six times, but did that stop the Little Engine? No, he kept trying... that's how he became the Little Engine that Could.  Next, learn and respond. How come you fell down five or six times? Find out what threw you down, take note of it, find a solution to it and overcome it. Let it go. While many of us brood over failures and kick ourselves for failing, there's only so much you can do after it's finished. Once you take note of what you did wrong and make a plan to overcome it, let go of your failure. The past is over and the future is in your hands. Next... charge towards greatness with all of your heart. Admit that you are a good person, you do have many talents, and go full speed towards your goals of greatness. You can do it. I know you can. 


  1. Rachel,

    Very well thought out and said. It got me to thinking about what i'm passionate about in life. Besides sports and family, there is nothing else that I am real passionate about. I am a communications major trying to go into some type of sales. I'm not passionate about sales, but I know that I don't want to sit at a desk for 8 hours a day. My dream would be to move to some carribean island and be a surf instructor or something of that nature, but i know that that is not very realistic. But then I think who is going to stop me? It often worries me that this is a bad thing that I don't have something i'm real passionate about. I look at so many other people out there that say they have "a calling" to go into this or that. I admire that and one day I hope I can find something that drives me to be my absolute best.

  2. Good to Great, what an interesting phrase. Not only is this a possibility for businesses, but we as individual people can do this. Just think we have all always strived to be good people, but what if we all strived towards being great people? Would our community be a better place? Why does good always have to be the summit of the mountain, when there is always higher altitude to gain?