“Perfection is a term that humans will never achieve a consensus on, because it exists mainly in our imaginations.”

This is the opinion of Kerri Strug who won a bronze in the 1992 Barcelona Olympics and gold in the 1996 Atlanta Olympics. John C Maxwell says that to strive for perfection is to set you up for disappointment.

No-one will ever reach perfection in his or her life time. What we can work towards… No, what we HAVE TO work towards is Excellence!

Another word that I came to love is the word Greatness. According to the Urban Dictionary, greatness is an acquisition of status by the people who have contributed to an organization, group, or purpose that is greater than them. It is defined by the deeds of people that make this world a better place. To provide a purpose to those who have no purpose, and to sustain it, mitigate it from damage, and praise it in any way they can, while still maintaining their own dignity and greatness.

Greatness begins and ends with the realisation that you have value.
Life has a way of panel beating us with experiences that are often out of our control. Experiences that often cause us to doubt ourselves, cause feelings of failure, or losing perspective. Like diamonds, pressure and heat have the potential to bring the best out of us.

In the hands of a master diamond cutter, the value of a rough diamond is not only made more visible, but also multiplied! We are forever in the process of being cut and polished. By becoming more aware of who we are, and what happens around us, we can personally be instrumental in the polishing and cutting process. We should consciously allow others we trust to assist us through feedback, mentoring and coaching to shape our personalities and characters toward our potential.

BALANCE LEADS TO GREATNESS

Greatness is when someone realises his or her true value, and has the following four very important areas of their life in balance:
They know where they are going:
They have decided who they want to become, what they want to do, and what they want to have and be in the future. They have a clear picture of the end result, as well as the reason why they want to go there. Call it a dream or a vision. A picture that is clear. An end goal that motivates them to move into action. If we don’t know where we are going, we might just end up somewhere else. If our people don’t know where we’re going, they will help us get lost. We seldom (if ever) get into our cars to drive anywhere before we have decided on an end destination. We never go into a super market without at least an idea of what we’re looking for (as a husband, I normally receive a shopping list). We’d never even consider playing a game of soccer without goal posts… and still many of us live our lives without a thought of where we want to end up… Think about it: “Why are you here? What difference would you like to make in your life time, where and why?

They face their realities and live the Truth:
“Many people are so heavenly minded, they are of no earthly good”
-Anonymous-

No dream has ever paid the rent!
There is no sense in chasing a dream but fail to pay your bills! Some are out to save the world, but neglect their own families. Dan Miller reminds us of a few realities we need to face:
Not having “date nights” or saying “I love you” daily will put your marriage at risk of failure.
Spending 65 hours a week at your job will put your emotional well-being at risk of failure.
Eating Twinkies and Big Macs and not exercising will put your health at risk of failure.
Financing a car or spending more than the equivalent of one month’s income in cash will put your financial health at risk of failure.
Spending no time per day on spiritual and personal development sets you up for the risk of failure.
Expecting a company to continue giving you a pay check puts you at risk of failure
Taking responsibility, and having self-discipline, ensures the right behaviors to plan and implement one’s action plans towards one’s dream. Sustainable success is always hard work. Be real! Know your immediate responsibilities. Pay your dues. Know your strengths, and weaknesses.
They have courage to take risks:
Some people tend to try and plan so carefully to eliminate any form of failure, not prepared to risk losing. Show me someone who has never taken any risks in his or her life, and I will show you someone who has never really lived. In certain situations when we don’t know what the future holds; fear threatens to paralyse us. One of the biggest reasons why we don’t follow through on our dreams is fear.
Fear of the unknown!
Fear of Rejection!
Fear of Disappointment!
Fear of Failure!
Fear of Ridicule!
This often is only False Evidence Appearing Real (as the old saying goes), and become excuses for not taking the risk. We need to pay attention to our fear, because it does ultimately try and protect us from hurting ourselves, and we should therefore not ignore the nervousness. Just ensure that they are well calculated risks, that hold the potential of moving you forward, upward towards deeper meaning, personal growth and ultimately, greater success!
Take that chance! Make the move! Show courage!

Lastly…

They know life is NOT about Themselves:
We are not here for us. Life is about other people. What make us human is the need to belong, to be accepted, and the need for significance … to make a positive difference… especially in the lives of others. How tragic is it to be ambitious, and have a vision, and in the process of achieving it the very people we say we’re doing it for become collateral damage as a result of me losing perspective. When I ultimately reach my goals, there’s no-one to celebrate with, or the price I paid was a relationship that used to be important to me. Besides going about our dealings ethically, we should ensure that our vision/dream/goals have others in mind. We need to further ensure that the ones we care about most are:
included in the dream
they are aware of it, and
It aligns with their own dreams, and therefore excites them.
If these three important points are not there, your own people will be the reason why you won’t make it the way you plan to. They will complain, and push you off course. BUT if ALL three of the above bullets are present, they will cheer you on, support you and team up with you to reach your (and their own) dreams.

Good luck on your journey to greatness!!
Stefan Lessing
Resource: Leadership Diamond to Greatness (Peter Koestenbaum)