How do you define Greatness?
Some people define greatness as the number of trophies on their shelves. Some people define greatness by digging into history books. Others define greatness as how quickly they climb the ladder of promotions or accomplishments at work. Others define greatness as popularity or fame. There are numerous definitions of greatness that float around our human minds. Yet, I am not asking you how others define greatness. I’m asking you. How do you define greatness? Have you ever really took some time to think about this? Have you really? If so, that is fantastic! If not, maybe, if you are like me, it would be wise to consider this concept today. As parents, we can have a huge impact on our children’s future and how (or, if) they will define, strive for, and achieve greatness in their lives.
To unite our unique definitions, I can confidently state that the vast majority of mankind will agree that throughout history and into our present time, nobody has ever achieved greatness within their comfort zone. Nobody. Let that sink in for a bit. What does that mean in regard to you, me, and our children? It means, we have to get used to the idea, the reality, and the process of getting through our “uncomfortable” zone….successfully. Sure, it’s easy to think about, but how likely are you to endure? The further into your uncomfortable zone you get, the more stressed, anxious, and anything but chill. Will you display it? Maybe. Maybe not. A lot of that has to do with whether or not you live with a fixed or growth mindset.
The growth mindset will aid you in “training” yourself for greatness. Greatness is an honorable title to be given. It’s not something that you “try” to do. You won’t achieve greatness by just “trying.” This is something that you will likely fail forward toward multiple times. Persistence, resilience, grit, and the ability to push through the nay-slayers and haters is required to achieve a great status. Greatness is something you train for. It is. Don’t believe me? Check out 1 Corinthians 9:24-25. Paul speaks of “strict training” to be rewarded the “crown that lasts forever.” Check it out.
Endurance is another obvious requirement to achieve greatness. Without endurance, you will toss in the towel before you have a chance to really wipe off your face. It’s crucial. Endurance requires resiliency, grit, and a lot of intrinsic motivation to fuel it. Everyone has intrinsic motivation hardwired into them, but not everyone finds their unique on/off switch for it. Why? Because, our passion is what flips the switch, and many people have no idea what they are deeply, truly passionate about. They know what others stand for and join forces, but what is it that they personally truly care about? What where they born to do? What where you born to do? What’s in your spiritual DNA? What’s your personal calling?
“…and let us run with endurance the race that was set before us,” – Hebrews 12:1
God set a unique race before you. Holistically speaking, you have the spiritual, mental, and physical capabilities that God personally crafted for you to achieve the race that He set before you! Your race isn’t mine and my race isn’t yours. We have different callings, different talents, and different gifts. Our differences are what what make us beautiful to each other and make us powerful together. For example, what attracts me to my husband isn’t our similarities but our differences. His strengths are not mine, thus I find his strength in various areas very comforting and even sexy. Music is powerful and is a universal language. It uses various harmonies to communicate a message to us and honestly doesn’t even need words (lyrics) to move us emotionally. Harmony is nonexistent without a diverse number of keys. Harmony is not conformity but diversity in sync. Likewise, a harmonious marriage or really any relationship be it friendship or business. I think many of us have forgotten this reality.
As the Head of School at Acton Academy Salado, I am determined to instill into my own children and their peers the notion that they were born to be heroes and heroes are great. What does this mean? This means that they will be continually trained for greatness. They will be pushed out of their comfort zones to expand their potential. They will become truly confident by earning true confidence. Not the social media type of keyboard confidence, but the quiet and powerful confidence that comes from the personal experience of facing adversity head-on, enduring it, conquering it, and becoming intrinsically stronger and more resilient.
My children and their peers will learn to fail forward, discover their unique gifts/talents, find their personal callings, and embrace the fact that they were born to change the world. These heroes will persistently strive for excellence while living harmoniously within their social settings. They will not succumb to peer pressure or live to please others. They will reflect the masterpieces that God created them to be instead of being a mosaic of what everyone else’s opinions and thoughts of them are. (Parents who try to live through their children will not survive at Acton Academy Salado). Acton Academy Salado heroes will be equipped with a growth mindset, resilient persistence, passionate intrinsic motivation, endurance, and every other character trait needed to enable them to achieve mastery and greatness with every step of their calling.
Would you rather try to be great or train to be great? What do you want for your children? What do you want for yourself?
Again, I ask you, “How do you define greatness?”
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