I love sequels.
I’ve been thinking about talent and greatness yet this week. Oddly enough, I presumed that the two belonged together when I wrote last week’s blog, Talent & Greatness. I find myself converted on this matter.
Merriam Webster Online defines talent as “the natural endowments of a person.”
Great, on the other hand, is defined (for the sake of this discussion) this way:
By these definitions, I would consider myself a talented musician, but not a great musician. I have always had a love and inclination towards music. But I have always only ever been a mediocre musician, with the ability to do what I desire (play and write) while lacking the freedom of excellence. I can lead you any worship song and many hymns; but I cannot play Mozart.
How, then, does one transition from being talented to being great? I think greatness requires time, energy, and commitment. We cannot presume to be great unless we are willing to work for it. It may cause us to stumble and fall on our faces many times over, but it will force us to learn and grow.
It’s hard, becoming great. It demands humility and hard work and hours of seemingly pointless exercise.
I’ve been thinking about greatness mostly in terms of writing. I have so much respect for individuals who can share their writing and allow others to critique it with red pen! But isn’t that how a piece of writing is perfected? Isn’t that how our writing grows?
The good news is that I think we can spur one another towards greatness. And therein is my challenge to you (and me). Twofold.
- Be the iron to sharpen those around you. Don’t be a jerk, but be honest and offer challenges that help them to grow in their strengths.
- Look for those individuals who will be that iron in your life, and don’t be too proud to accept teaching. Not all teachers have impressive backgrounds and degrees to qualify them.
What do you think? Can we do these things? Can we shift from talent to greatness? Have I missed something?