Greatness comes in many forms. Genius is a form of greatness. The ability to rise to power and to an occasion are indications of greatness. Great success and humility found in the same frame should also be considered a form of greatness. But what is greatness? How can we achieve greatness? Is greatness something we are born with, or is it something that we must acquire, or learn, much like a skill?
Greatness is a measure; the culmination, or total sum of an individual. It is not granted easily and usually is never attained as an express goal. Greatness is the byproduct of an individual's endeavours to succeed in his/her own right, in the face of adversity. It is the synthesis in our complete and unerring focus towards exceeding all expectiations.
"Shoot for the moon. Even if you miss, you'll land among the stars."
Indeed, Brown's message is a recipe for greatness. Perhaps the easiest way to describe greatness is to describe its antonym. The polar opposite of greatness is mediocrity. Individuals who strive just to get the job done, who have no finess, lack much to be desired with respect to the topic at hand. Have you ever met a great lazy person? The sentence is practically an oxymoron. So how can we achive greatness? Quite simply, love the job we do, so that when we do it, we do it with care and in such a way that we exceed all expectations every time we do it.
Excellence is striving to achieve your goals one day and once you have achieved them, beating them the next. This is perhaps a far cry from just success. Success is about never giving up. Excellence is not simply about not giving up. It's about outperforming everyone, everytime, all the time.
Indeed, Shakespeare said it best.
"Be not afraid of greatness: some are born great, some achieve greatness, and some have greatness thrust upon them."
William Shakespeare, Twelfth Night
Some are born great, and some achive greatness. This is true, but those who are born great must remain great. Those who have greatness thrust upon them must rise to the challenge. Those who are great shine with a light of their own inspiring those around them.
So, don't try to be great and don't try to achieve greatness or you will be like the fool Malvolio. Strive for greatness in what you do. Greatness is like an art form. It comes from within and has no definite form until it has taken shape. Focus inwards and free yourself from the shackles of criticism - be your own critic. And of course, shoot for the moon and land among the stars.