What is greatness? Is it measured by how many goals are scored, by how much money is in the bank, how many properties are owned or how many times a face appears on a magazine? Too often, we confuse fame with greatness. Is the measure of greatness about spectacle or deed?
I am convinced that greatness is often quiet, unassuming yet confident and is born from authenticity and passion. Many in the music world were taken aback by the announcement that Esperanza Spalding was recognized in the category of best new artist. After all, who was she, where did she come from, why hadn’t we heard of her? There was outrage that much hyped Justin Bieber, also an impressive talent, had been passed over for this seemingly obscure Jazz singer. Quite an accomplishment for a young woman, the first Jazz artist, to be recognized in this way.
Now, it’s likely true that she was as surprised as everyone but isn’t that the point. She is authentically and passionately driven by her love for her instrument and the music she so brilliantly creates with both her bass and her incredible voice. She is truly greatness in the field of Jazz.
I have the privilege of knowing a woman who is equally as great. She is in her sixties now, has a huge and dedicated following and I have often heard her referred to as the Grandmother of Folk. She has engaged and delighted audiences all over the world, she has dedicated her life to her love of music, she has communicated with love and humility with her audiences for over four decades now. Although she would never see herself as great, there are many who would challenge that assessment.
Greatness is that place where we stand and believe in ourselves without hesitation or question. We achieve our greatest accomplishments from being true to self, focusing on that one true thing that makes us connect fully with the world around us. Greatness is a state of being and knowing that allows us to continue on that path to giving everything that we have to a life that deserves to be well lived.
As a coach, this is the aspirational journey I would love to travel with you. What better than a goal to be the greatest you can be? No matter how loud or quiet you choose to live it!