Every day, in every moment you get to exercise choices that will determine whether or not you will become a great person, living a great life. Greatness is not something predetermined, predestined or carved into your fate by forces beyond your control. Greatness is always in the moment of decision! What a revelation in such a simple thought by Jeff Olson in his book, the Slight Edge.
Many a times, we are looking for the “silver bullet” or the “magic pill” solution to make us great at what we do, great at who we are, great at what we achieve, what we look like etc. We are looking for the quantum leap to take us, in an instant, from where we are to where we want to be. The many unscrupulous schemes offering instant solutions such as “losing 30 kgs in 30 days”, “Make money while you sleep” and “Order your MBA through the post”, prey on this way of thinking.
A favourite saying that rings true for me is: “We don’t always get what we want, but we always get what we choose”. It drives home the fact that, we design our lives through the choices we make in the moments of truth. Our results and outcomes are produced by choice, not by chance…and there always is a choice presenting itself in any given situation. Which road do I take at the fork..the left or the right? All those left or right turns, had a destination and you have arrived! Maybe its not where you wanted to be? Question is: “What was on your horizon when you made the decision – if anything? What was your primary motivation, when you made it? ”
Allow me to use Gandhi or Nelson Mandela as examples to prove the point. They did not become great people overnight and had statues erected in their honour, after having made some random decisions. A lifetime of decisions and choices, in line with what they had on their horizon i.e. a world free of colonialism and a world free of racial discrimination, inspired them to be great in the moments of truth.
Well, Nothing changes until you move...
Obviously nothing you can do about the past. Just accept it, forgive yourself and ask forgiveness, if needed. But no reason why the future should look like the past. Exercising your choices in the moments of truth onward, will have a direct influence on where you will be a few days, weeks, months or years from now on.
The biggest thing you can do right now is to first decide what you want. Establish a destination on your horizon – something you are aiming at. What exactly do you want for your career, your income, your health, your relationships? Can you write down One “destination” for each of these? Now “Greatness” starts : Make sure that all decisions and choices are in line with that goal or destination. Exercise Greatness in every moment of truth. Collectively, all those little, daily decisions, will ensure your arrival at the chosen destination.