“Greatness is earned. It is not a gift; it is a reward.”
— Reggie McNeal
It is often believed that individuals can be born great. Perhaps, that was something Shakespeare thought of. But there is not a single person who has become great on this planet who was actually born that way. Every soul who has any courage to become of considerable weight in the world must earn it. Greatness does not come without its costs and pains.
Great men and women become great by learning and growing, by making good decisions in times of crisis, by rising to the occasion to fight a war or to settle some significant dispute. They are useful and effective in some way. They write books, they sing songs, they give speeches, they preach sermons, and they engage the little voices in their heads that tell them they can’t or they’re not good enough, or they’ll fail. They do battle with these negative voices — and with pessimistic people too — and they WIN.
Above all this, however, great men and women SERVE and SACRIFICE. They are defined by what they do for others. They do not attach themselves to power, position, and prestige so closely, but to blessing, loving, and giving to others. They are great not for the sake of being great, but because they are willing to risk doing what it takes “to be a diamond in a rhinestone world.”
You do not need to wonder if you can be great. You can. The question is: Will you choose to be great? Will you do what it takes to orchestrate your life around doing things that will benefit others, help others, bless others, inspire others, serve others, and empower others. If so, you are making the first steps to greatness.
“Great men are not born great, they grow great . . .”
— Mario Puzo