Dare to be great. Not just good but great. There’s this set path that we’re “supposed” to be on. A template life. Anyone who strays from this is considered a failure in some way.
If you don’t graduate college in 4 years.
If you don’t get a job right after school.
If you take time to follow your dreams and desires.
If you somehow stray in any way you are looked upon as an eccentric failure. My most “successful” friend was the one who dropped out of college to start a mortgage company. When he dropped out people judged. His subsequent success needs no excuses. A friend of mine from work once told me about a friend of his who was one of the best break dancers he ever knew. Break dancing was his passion. It was what he was good at. But it was a risk to pursue his passion, as the chance of him making it in this profession was slim. So he settled. He got a pretty good job at a pretty good company making a pretty good salary. He could have been great. He could have failed. He’ll never know, because he never tried.
My great uncle once told me a story. There was a young boy named Timmy. His parents bought him a pony for his birthday. All the parents in the neighborhood talked about how great his parents were. They worked so hard. They loved their son so much. They bought him a pony. He was the happiest kid on the block. “What great parents.” Then Timmy fell off his pony. He broke his leg. It never healed properly. Timmy would now walk with a slight limp for the rest of his life. “What horrible parents,” everyone said. “How could they have bought a pony for Timmy at such a young age?” World War II rolled around. Everyone Timmy’s age was drafted. A lot of them were killed. But Timmy wasn’t drafted. He had that limp, and was ineligible. That pony his parents bought him when he was 6 years old that he fell off of causing a lifelong injury ended up sparing his life. Or did that injury stop Timmy from becoming a national hero? It’s easy to look back and judge your actions based on how the outcome turned out. It’s impossible to know how decisions made today will pan out in the future. Why wonder though how things might have turned out? The most successful people are the ones who dare to be great. Those who say shut up to the voices in their head that tell them, “to settle and be safe and not step outside their comfort zone”.
Failure needs explanation. This failure instills a fear in us which prevents us from taking the necessary risks to be great. Tell that fear to shut up! We were once told as children that we could grow up to be anything we wanted. I wonder when that optimism died? Live a life without regret. Follow your dreams. Take that chance. Do what you want. Dare to be great!
There once was a pretty good student
Who sat in a pretty good class
And was taught by a pretty good teacher
Who always let pretty good pass.
He wasn’t terrific at reading,
He wasn’t a whiz-bang at math,
But for him, education was leading
Straight down a pretty good path.
He didn’t find school too exciting,
But he wanted to do pretty well,
And he did have some trouble with writing
Since nobody taught him to spell.
When doing arithmetic problems,
Pretty good was regarded as fine.
5+5 needn’t always add up to be 10;
A pretty good answer was 9.
The pretty good class that he sat in
Was part of a pretty good school,
And the student was not an exception:
On the contrary, he was the rule.
The pretty good school that he went to
Was there in a pretty good town,
And nobody there seemed to notice
He could not tell a verb from a noun.
The pretty good student in fact was
Part of a pretty good mob.
And the first time he knew what he lacked was
When he looked for a pretty good job.
It was then, when he sought a position,
He discovered that life could be tough,
And he soon had a sneaking suspicion
Pretty good might not be good enough.
The pretty good town in our story
Was part of a pretty good state
Which had pretty good aspirations
And prayed for a pretty good fate.
There once was a pretty good nation
Pretty proud of the greatness it had,
Which learned much too late,
If you want to be great,
Pretty good is, in fact, pretty bad.
Poem by Charles Osgood.