by Demola Rewaju
The fear of failure is the single biggest reason many people never become great. From childhood, we are trained to get marks only when we get it right – Add to this the fear of public ridicule when you get things wrong and it will be more understood why many never try.
Some posts on this blog stay in my mind, on my phone or unfinished on my laptop for several weeks before they get posted. Sometimes it’s waiting for my brain to pick up something my mind knows I have missed before putting it out. Some just come wholly out of the blues and include things I never knew most times. This one belongs to the latter group and I hope it blesses everyone who reads. The key with this one is to find the connection – see that each habit links with the other.
1. They Develop a Bigger View of Themselves – People who do great things often see themselves as more than mere mortals, as more than just another person doing just another task. They consider themselves a part of history and on the path of destiny. They see themselves as God sees them, as very important in the grand scheme of things. Nothing for them is ordinary; every step, every moment we feel that they believe they are bigger than the position they occupy.
WORD OF CAUTION: Arrogance is not a sign of greatness and those who do great things are usually very humble but in their humility, we sense that they are dignified. They do not see themselves as naturally better than others. They know that they are where they are because they simply have put in what it takes to get to where they are.
“Believe deep down in your heart that you are destined to do great things.” – Joe Patterno
2. They Believe Great Things Can Be Done – That is why great people make a habit of studying the lives of those who have done great things. Autobiographies and biographies recount stories of people just like us who eventually did great things despite the obstacles they encountered. The biggest motivation books are the life stories of those most similar to us who achieved greatness.
NO WORD OF CAUTION – The only price to pay for believing in something that does not eventually happen is that people may ridicule you. The reward of believing is greater than that of unbelief.
“The future belongs to those who believe in the beauty of their dreams” – Eleanor Roosevelt
3. They Welcome Failure – The fear of failure is the single biggest reason many people never become great. From childhood, we are trained to get marks only when we get it right – Add to this the fear of public ridicule when you get things wrong and it will be more understood why many never try.
Those who do great things habitually attempt great things without fear of failing. They understand that failure is a necessary part of success. To do great things, one must attempt them and to attempt them requires a mindset that has no fear of failure or public ridicule.
WORD OF CAUTION – Learn from every failure and you will have succeeded even when you failed. Also, don’t get addicted to failure, don’t come to expect it. Constantly doing the things you are good at and succeeding will motivate you faster than failure sometimes.
“I can accept failure – everyone fails at something. But I can’t accept not trying” – Michael Jordan
4. They Ignore Criticism – Criticism carries the sense of negativity and it is only in literature that it has some elements of the positive – an evaluation, not fault-finding which is really what it is anywhere outside the literary field. If I say to someone: ‘criticise me’, I am asking him or her to find faults with me and why would I want to do that? As humans, we are plagued with the knowledge of our own deep faults by ourselves without the extra burden of others constantly reminding us of it. The word ‘criticism’ and its derivatives are from the Latin word ‘criticus’ and the Greek word ‘kritikos’ which both refer to a judge. A critic in the pure sense of the word is one who passes judgement over another – a power those who do great things do not give to others.
WORD OF CAUTION: The difference between well-meaning advice and criticism is seen in how the person comes across. If the price of the advice is that it leaves you feeling down or discouraged then you are better off without it. If the advice comes with a determination by the person to reinforce your good sides and let you know you can become greater, it is not a criticism, it is a well-meaning advice you should take.
“There is no just and serene criticism as yet.” – Henry David Thoreau
5. They Do Small Things – In the quest for doing great things we often ignore the things we consider small yet this runs contrary to the nature of things – even the greatest of men was born a baby before growing into maturity. The biggest failure of greatness is when the small things bring them down. Those who do great things master the art of the small things, those things that seemingly do not matter in the great debates of the day. Friendship, family, health etc are things that create an equilibrium in the life of those who do great things and they find equal pleasure in playing with the little kids as with listening to the crowd roar with approval. The man who gives billions to world aid charity once gave kobos to beggars on the street.
WORD OF CAUTION: The ‘small things’ here refer to the mundane tasks and events of life not ideas and ambition. Also, there is a certain greatness in repeatedly performing little duties that are crucial to the survival of a team – the goalkeeper who makes only one crucial save is as important as the striker who got the single goal in the attainment of victory.
“Great things are done by a series of small things brought together” – Van Gogh
6. They Do Great Things – You do not have to be great to do great things. Whoever you are and whatever your lot in life, you can always make a great difference in the life of those around you. Make people smile greatly, make them laugh greatly, motivate them to greatness and you are already doing great things. A lump of sugar, ice cold water and a wrap of groundnuts will make a great difference for the person who is having garri for a meal and it doesn’t cost so much. Those who do great things keep their eyes open for how they can do great things for others. They notice the person who seems lonely and they engage them in conversation; they remember people’s birthday and try to post the best messages on their facebook wall – greatness is a matter of degree and you can do great things at any level for those below you.
NO WORD OF CAUTION – Don’t wait till you become great before you do great things.
“Anyone who thinks they are too small to make a difference has never tried to fall asleep with a mosquito in the room” – Christine Todd Whitman
7. They Don’t Stop To Count Them – Those who do great things don’t wait stay at the same point talking about how great they did because they know they will be easily overtaken. Failure is never permanent and success is never ending. The beauty of greatness lies in the renewed effort to do new things not looking back with nostalgia at one brief shiny moment.
Don’t wait for feedback before you move on – once your heart affirms that you have done something great, move on to the next thing.
NO WORD OF CAUTION: Those who do great things don’t stop to count them.
There’ll be time enough for countin’ when the dealin’ is done.” – Kenny Rogers ‘The Gambler’
Have a great week, no matter what.
Demola Rewaju blogs from www.demolarwajudaily.com
Op-ed pieces and contributions are the opinions of the writers only and do not represent the opinions of Y!/YNaija.