Granted, greatness is relative, but for each, personal, definition that “great” holds, there is a part inside of us that wants to achieve it.
Sometimes the pursuit for greatness is unintentional. We will gradually begin morphing our ideas, our values, and our dreams into one collective mindset that equals greatness, and it becomes who we are. It shapes us, and we may not even realize it.
Other times the pursuit is very intentional. We work our butts off to be great, and we know we’re doing so. We put all of our efforts, our blood, sweat, and tears, into the one thing we believe will give us greatness; satisfaction.
That’s the thing, too. We desire greatness because it gives satisfaction. It gives us a satisfaction in ourselves and our work—we accomplished something, we became something, we reached something.
In essence, none of this is a problem, either. It is good to have goals and it is good to achieve them. It is good to be pushed towards something more. But sometimes I wonder why we all do the things that we do. Even as I write this, I want it to be great.
We want our stories to be great. We want the experiences we share, the memories we make, the words we compose, to all be great. We begin to seek the approval of men in what we do, and based off that approval, or lack there of, the idea we have of what it means to be great transforms a little bit more.
I’m not even too sure what my point in all of this is, except that it’s something I’ve been thinking about. I want to know that balance between who I am and who I still want to become. But I don’t, under any circumstances, want it to be a selfish pursuit for what I believe is going to make me great.
I don’t want to see someone else and their life and wish it was my own. I don’t want to wonder why I am not a certain way or why the things that make me uncomfortable, make me uncomfortable. The reason we become insecure in who we are and the things we do, is because we begin to compare ourselves to people and lifestyles that, internally, we deem greater than our own.
That is a place where we will go to war every day if we allow it. It comes down to Who defines us and what defines us. I want to live a life worthy of the calling I have received—not the person next to me. God is the Great I AM, and I would like to become great in His eyes, not the world’s.
Greatness to me is having the ability to let love in your life and give it back. It is living wholly and authentically, it is letting the relationships you have with people reach a place of depth. It is believing in, trusting with, and pushing forth the ones we care about; pushing them towards a greatness that far exceeds the world’s standard. It is a taking the time to have a conversation, and it is absolutely taking the time to listen. It is believing that every moment, and every encounter, holds significance, and thus taking advantage of that.
Be great. But be great in the ways that greatness isn’t usually defined.
I have concluded that I’m an idea person. But not the good kind, where ideas lead to plans and plans lead to action. No— I get an idea in my head, idealize it to death, and then rid myself of it. It is a terrible habit, and it gets in the way of so many opportunities that are just begging me to grab hold of them.
It’s like I’m a dreamer caged by reality. I will allow myself to consider something incredibly plausible until it either becomes too real, or until one shadow of a doubt creeps in—and then it’s over. My ideas become plagued by what-if’s and no-way’s and never’s, which creates a constant itch for change but no actual remedy to stop it.
The dreams aren’t necessarily big ones, either. I start thinking about food journalism and the idea of a food blog, I make it perfect in my head, but then I never follow through. I considered transferring schools so that I could be pushed in journalism seriously, but the second it became real I stopped the pursuit. I’ve always wanted to study abroad, but never thought it was possible without the option of a music program—and then I found a perfect one in Australia. Once disbelief and excuses claimed that idea, though, all that was left was an unfinished application and the realization that I am not taking charge of…well, of anything.
I thirst for adventure, but I always opt out of the risk involved. I only venture to a certain degree, and always maintain a specific amount of caution. I cannot think of one thing that I have thought of doing, and could have done, but didn’t bail out before the cost became too high.
Not anymore, though. Ideas do have the potential to become fantasized dreams with no ounce of reality, and I am the first to admit I am guilty of that. But, ideas also have the extreme possibility to open up those doors that would have otherwise remained cracked if the risk hadn’t been taken to see what was behind it. Maybe I explore a few doors and there is a cement wall immediately following it. Maybe a few others have a path that starts out promising, but ends up leading nowhere. But maybe, just maybe, there are a few doors that make the way towards the very real, tangible idea that had only been but a thought in my head beforehand. Either way though, experience is gained and lessons are learned.
Starting small, with just enough challenge, just enough risk, will probably be my first door. That might mean being vegan starting on the January 1st. Why? Because it’s an idea for something different, for something that is hard enough that I have to be intentional about it, but simple enough that it is accomplishable. I would like to finish my Australia application, too. An application is just an application, and there is no reason to not tackle that first step. I’d also love to access creativity more. That means writing more, whether it’s for me or for a blog. That means making a meal. It means arranging fresh flowers in a vase or making a handmade birthday card. It means loving every minute of the little things; the moments in creation that are often taken for granted.
It means having an idea, running with it, believing in it, and pursuing truth throughout the chase.
I think I will consider this a New Year’s Resolution…or two or three.
“Nobody will stop you from creating. Do it tonight. Do it tomorrow. That is the way to make your soul grow - whether there is a market for it or not! The kick of creation is the act of creating, not anything that happens afterward. I would tell all of you watching this screen: Before you go to bed, write a four line poem. Make it as good as you can. Don’t show it to anybody. Put it where nobody will find it. And you will discover that you have your reward.”