Day 2 of my retreat had me curled up on the cozy window seat, staring at the water, pondering what Greatness actually means.  This was not something I’d given a lot of thought to in the past.

Still, I figured I should know.  My  father had achieved Greatness.  Not because he co-founded a famous company.  But because he made it possible for large numbers of people to get quality tax preparation for a fraction of the price.  I grew up with Greatness.  I saw it every day, living, breathing, expanding, succeeding.  As  I started reviewing what my father  showed me, I came up with a formula for Achieving Greatness:

1.       Greatness refuses to be limited or controlled in any way by fear.  (Fear is to greatness what ants are to a picnic… annoying, inevitable, and best ignored)

2.       Greatness follows ideas that come from seemingly nowhere.

3.       Greatness doesn’t act alone. It has partners, collaborators, a team.

4.       Greatness is humble, not to be confused with Grandiosity.  Grandiosity comes from the ego and is; as A Course in Miracles tells us, “always a cover for despair.”  Greatness is sourced from the soul and is always a desire to do what it came to earth to do.

5.       Greatness sees the world as it’s playground and every problem as part of The Game… a lawsuit is no more serious that misplacing a stapler.

6.       Greatness takes its mission (not itself) very seriously, and always puts that mission first.

7.       Greatness truly enjoys Greatness, not just for itself, but for its positive effect on others.

8.       Greatness is not out  for money or fame.  Fame may occur or not — it’s totally irrelevant.  But money is mandatory…  sufficient income is necessary to eliminate any distractions for achieving its goals.

9.       Greatness isn’t perfect, and is more than willing not to be.  Greatness feeds on self trust (the definition to self-trust:  knowing you can clean up what you mess up!).

10.   When pain enters Greatness, it’s meant to be a wake-up call.

11.   Greatness is kind, but tough, and politely endures criticism.  While Greatness doesn’t need be liked, it demands to be respected.

12.   The Arc of Greatness involves many mistakes, failures, wrong turns… they are the steppingstones to  Greatness.

13.   Greatness is passion made manifest.  The biggest pitfall to Greatness – doing what you should vs. what you love.

14.   Greatness requires responsibility, rejects mediocrity, and resides in the unknown.

15.   When Greatness dies, it doesn’t go away. Greatness always leaves  behind witnesses.

Woody Allen had it right when he said: “The only thing standing between Greatness and me, is me.”

Coming next: Getting out of the way of Greatness.

Barbara Stanny

The leading authority on women & money
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