After a while, we may forget what it is that made us great. Everything we’ve done is a stepping stone to something better and bigger than ourselves.
It could be argued that sometimes this stepping stone turns into an abyss for some people and in turn destroys them through fame or success. We fall into the trap, and become proud and arrogant, forgetting where we came from.
For example, a great walkman that has been played in the time since it came out went way beyond its origins. The legend and reputation that the Walkman has gained, was not built around what it was originally intended to do. It became something more than what it was supposed to be: a video player. It became a symbol of the modern age.
The same thing happened with Michael Jackson. He took the music of the ’60s and made it his own and was then finally made into something much greater than that.
In the pursuit of greatness, we failed to do good. We thought we had arrived, only to find out that when it seemed all was done, something better emerged. But we didn’t look back at what we were before. We saw only the end of the line, forgetting all that happened before that.
The traps of pursuing greatness
The trap of pursuing greatness is the same as the other traps of chasing fame and money.
We are led to believe that following our desires will make us great. But this is not true.
To be great, you must do good. The most important thing in life is not to do good but to do well.
“To be great, you must do good. The most important thing in life is not to do good but to do well.”
How greatness is measured
To measure greatness, first you must define what it means to be great. This should not be an easy task. For example, a school might have a student council president who is great because he or she does what he or she is told. But he or she may simply go along with whatever they want without question. This is not really greatness, but it is a good example.
“In the end, you must be the judge of how well you have done in life.”
You cannot just assume that your accomplishments will define who you are. You must look back on every decision and every action to see what you have truly created. These will define who you are as a person.
What happens when you forget where you came from?
You become delusional, full of yourself and your own greatness. This can lead to disastrous consequences. It could lead to a misunderstanding between yourself and your roots. It could lead to losing a sense of balance. And in turn, lose yourself by forgetting what was great about it in the first place.
This is what happened to Michael Jackson. He started to become bigger than any of the music he created. It was his own music that made him great, but once he became bigger than the music, he lost sight of the real reason why it worked so well in the first place.
Greatness became an end goal, rather than a means to an end.
What can we do in order to avoid falling into this trap?
Build on yourself, rather than success. Be humble, stay grounded and always remember that you’re just a human being with a lot to learn.
When backing to your origins, you will always find that they were what made you great in the first place. Go back to them and learn from them. When you do it right, the journey will be even more amazing than the end goal. However, when we become arrogant and forget where we started from, the journey can become a disaster.
Never forget that there will always be someone better at something than you. Stay humble and know your place, because you are simply a human being with a lot to learn.
There is always more to do. In the pursuit of greatness, we stretched beyond our limits as far as we could go, only to find out that what was so great in the first place, is so much bigger and greater than what we thought it was. We always feel like there is more to do and more to become. But in the end, what we have done is what has made us great and we can rest assured about it. In the end, you must be the judge of how well you have done in life.
How to use this article
Send this article to people when you want them to realize that your accomplishments will not define who you are as a person. There will always be someone better than you at something. Always remember what you started with.
People should also send me this article if they become too big for everything, forgetting where they came from.