I write a lot about this desire we all have inside of us to be great, and that answering that call to greatness means not settling for anything less. I think this is a message people my age really need to hear, and that more of us should strive to answer this call to greatness.
But what about when we fail? What about those times when we don’t even have the will to try to be great anymore? What about those times when we prefer the comfort of our mediocrity, or worse, we prefer the allure of things we know will ultimately be bad for us?
It is easy to make the blanket statement that we need to get back up after those times we fall; that no matter how far we have fallen or no matter how long it has been, we are still called to be great. But what does that really mean for someone in his or her weakest, most vulnerable, most hopeless moment? How do you find the courage to be great after a period of days, weeks, months, or even years of being nothing short of pitiful?
I think you start by admitting your shortcomings. It is nothing short of false to think that those who are called great have no faults or weaknesses of their own. The only difference between a great person and a small person is that a great person acknowledges his or her weaknesses, thereby making them a source of strength.
No soldier would approach a battle by himself, hidden in the darkness. Yet this is exactly how we face our greatest struggles. When we hide the things we struggle with, when we try to sweep them under the rug and act like they are not there, we end up becoming enslaved to them. We are not only concerned with beating them; we are also concerned that no one else sees the fight. Like the soldier in the battle, we need to face our enemies in the light of day, and with the help of our fellow soldiers, our friends.
It is these friends we surround ourselves with that will give us the desire to keep fighting when we get tired, or when we start to think that greatness is too high a goal. The good friend will remind us that there is no such thing as a mediocre soldier; the mediocre soldier has two choices: be killed or become great.
So when you fall or you get tired, reach out to those people who care most about you and ask for help. Think no one cares about you? Think again. If you really can’t think of anyone, use the contact form and send me a message, because I care about you. Really, I do. We all need help. No one becomes great on his own.