Dare to be Great

Today is the first day of my new life. As I sit anxiously restless in my seat, glaring at the Monday morning rush of traffic through Pearson International, I think more and more about greatness. What is it that makes people successful in life? What exactly does it mean when they state, “Dare to be Great”? Which ingredients encompass this sense of accomplishment?

After spending part of the weekend sifting through motivational videos on YouTube, I’ve managed to mash the compilation into 3 common elements:

  1. Heart – You have got to be willing to take risks. I have worked with numerous people who were miserable at their jobs, sitting at their cubicles for too many years complaining how life has done them wrong. Yet, they chose to do nothing about it. You have got to be passionate and committed to what you do. When this no longer is the case, perhaps it is time to move on.


  2. Attitude – We are programmed from a young age how to react to situations. Family and friends instill beliefs into our core and we project this image – or persona – of who we think we are. Later in life, some of us compare ourselves to others and say that they’re just lucky, or that they had help from the right people, or they were born with such talents. Then there’s another group of people with a different mindset – who continuously struggle to move forward, no matter what roadblocks they face along the way. They use negativity as fuel to drive their passion even further. When life knocks them down, they don’t complain, but rather take a more proactive and powerful approach. They are resilient.


  3. Talent – There are the few who have natural born talent. From singing to sketching to athleticism, some people are given great gifts. However, being talented just simply is not enough if those abilities are not used effectively.

Success does not derive from any of these characteristics alone, but the interconnection between them. I would like to think it is a combination of the three, albeit not an equal mix. In several interviews, Will Smith often stated that, “I haven’t particularly considered myself talented. Where I excel is ridiculous, sickening work ethic. While the other guy is sleeping, I’m working. While the other guy is eating, I’m working.”

When it comes to attitude, various studies have shown that optimistic people (or dreamers) are typically more successful than pessimists (or critics). The great news is that optimism can be learned by challenging your negative self-talk. By making a conscious effort to eliminate your negative self-talk, you coach yourself away from making poor decisions. Couple this with reinforcing yourself with positive self-talk and action and you slowly begin to put a different perspective on situations.

As cliché as it does sound, we are what we repeatedly do. If we want to change who we are for the better, we simply have to change what we are currently doing. Simple as it may seem, this often presents a challenge for people who think they may not be ready to make changes.

“Your playing small does not serve the world. There’s nothing enlightened about shrinking so that other people won’t feel insecure around you.” – Marianne Williamson

No matter what it takes, if you’ve got the die-hard desire to become something better in life, then go for it full throttle. From eliminating toxic people from your life to cutting out bad habits cold-turkey, do whatever is absolutely necessary . Over time, you may discover that you’re one step closer to greatness.

 Mohammad Ali - Greatness

Dare to be Great was last modified: January 12th, 2014 by Paulo R

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