Redefining Greatness

by Jermaine

Think about how you want to be remembered

I believe in personal greatness!

I believe that somewhere inside of every person there is a measure of greatness stored. Not to be confused with Andy Warhol’s 1968 claim,  “Everyone will be famous for 15 minutes.” With the invent of the internet, Youtube, and other social networking tools it is very possible for most individuals to be famous (or infamous, take your pick).  Yet, I believe that fame and greatness are different. Though greatness may lead to fame, fame is not a prerequisite for greatness. Greatness leaves a legacy.

There are countless people who leave little to no legacy. There are even more people who are remembered more for their missteps and blunders than they ever were for their good deeds or positive qualities. However, this in no way compels me to back off of my argument.


Because I know the premise for my argument is true. I believe that each person has greatness simply because each person has life. Having life gives us an opportunity to perform great things. God hand-crafted each of us with unique qualities, characteristics, and skills. We are all priceless originals! If you haven’t noticed, that’s great.

So how can I explain the weirdo’s and losers you know? It is an issue of extremes. First, many of the people not displaying greatness are those stuck in survival mode. In survival mode you are generally doing one of two things in response to stress: (1) fighting to make your life better -or- (2) running from impending danger. This is known better as fight or flight.

Think about it. How many people do you know that spend most of their waking hours stressed out? Stressed because their rent is due. Stressed because their refrigerator is empty. Stressed because they hate their job. Stressed because they don’t get along with the people in their social circle. Or worse, stressed because their trying to keep up with the Joneses.

I submit that unmanaged stress can kill inginuity, hope, zeal for life, and… wait for it… greatness! But where does the stress come from? A lot of the stress comes from our society. If we are diligent in our self examination we will begin to see that once we pass the basic needs of life (shelter, food, water, etc.) trying to acquire excess can be pretty stressful. Acquiring excess actually follows the law of deminishing returns.

The other hindrance to greatness is my arch enemy, laziness. Laziness says “It’s ok to be average.” Laziness says, “That will do” when the job is still incomplete. Laziness says, “Don’t make waves.”

I said all of that to say that my final word on self-investment for this week is to do a self-evaluation. I don’t care if I end up famous but I’m committed to becoming a great father, husband, son, sibling, and community member. I want to do my part to help preserve this crazy world we live in. I want to give more than I take. In this sense I want to be great. I won’t let stress or laziness stop me from continuing to invest my energy, effort, and life-force into this goal.

At the heart of every life there is a legacy being formed. I pray you take the time and put forth the necessary work to make your legacy great! Invest in yourself by investing in your legacy. How do you want to be remembered?

There are countless ways of attaining greatness, but any road to reaching one’s maximum potential must be built on a bedrock of respect for the individual, a commitment to excellence, and a rejection of mediocrity.

~Buck Rodgers