Reaching the “TOP”

(Unsplash: Samuel Scrimshaw)

When it comes to greatness and wanting to be the best, I stand firmly first in line. Since childbirth I was always fighting to not only be great but to be the best!

Each day we are bombarded with videos, motivational quotes and inspiring messages from people like Jeff Bezos, Elon Musk, Bill Gates, Le Bron James, Tom Brady, Oprah Winfrey and a list too long to name here . We admire them from afar wondering what their lives must be. Most likely believing that they are the happiest people in the world and that these types of people have life completely ‘figured out’.We grow to envy their success, admire their discipline and oftentimes covet their lives.

Yet are we willing to live the way they live?

Truth be told. This level of success that these people achieve comes at an enormous price. Most often in the form of broken relationships, severe mental discipline, loneliness and saying no to a lot of other joys and pleasure. I am not saying that what they sacrifice is wrong. For them that is what they are willing to give up for a personal greater joy. But what are you willing to give up for your greatness? The real question actually being. What does success look like to you and what is the price that you will pay?

At an early age I desired to be as inspiring as these people. Applying the self-discipline I read about that I would require. Only years later discovering about the ‘real’ sacrifices to be made.

Discipline and sacrifice is not always the same.

It is at the ripe age of 25 where I discovered that greatness does not equal fame. Nor does it appear in the form of money and in a worldly view of success. Neither does it mean to be the best in a particular field. It simply means to give the best you can, using what you have and making choices with the information available to you at the time.

Greatness and true success has evolved from a “worldly” perception into a reality of inner peace, enjoying what one does and focusing on a broader range of interests and personal loves.

And the great joy of it all. Never did it even come close to damping my ambition by no means at all. On the contrary. It refueled my ambition and competitive nature tenfold, only now I am challenging myself to become better and giving myself time to do so. Knowing Rome was not built in a day I choose to be gentler with myself and allow myself the time to learn, I get to learn more everyday and enjoy it a bit more than I used to.

Becoming great means to become more of who you were created to be to enable you to serve with a greater ability. “He who wants to be great, must be the servant of all”. That being said. Reaching the top means, bending down to the bottom. Putting on an apron to serve, rather than a halo to be praised.

My opinion and new perspective? Learn from others, but do not compare yourself to them. Enjoy your own journey rather than watching someone else’s. It is not yours to go through.

So don’t fret about the “1%” life. Rather enjoy what you have in the present moment. Every day is truly a God given gift. How we live it is our heart’s response to what we believe about this amazing gift.

You don’t have to be great to get started, but you have to get started to be great. — Lesly Brown

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André Nel

I am a freelance writer with a passion for life, with a focus to teach people how to increase the quality of their lives and help grow leaders.