Being Good vs. Being Great
It’s a thin line isn’t in?
A thin line indeed, and one that makes a bold difference. It’s never been easier to be good, and never been harder to stand out. As Al Pacino would say in his famous speech delivered in Any Given Sunday,“Life is a game of inches."
Too many people are good, and not enough of us are great. At the end of the day, the good get a high-five, a smile, and a polite nod. The great get their picture put up on a wall, and their books get introduced in the school curriculum.
But the goal shouldn’t be to be great to be remembered, loved, awarded and become dirty rich. The goal should merely be to be great, because you owe it to yourself, and because you can. Being good feels good, being great feels fantastic. Being good is nice, being great is game changing.
What’s the difference between good and great?
That's a question we will always remain curious about. An answer we will never fully comprehend, but some tools seem to help some tilt in the right direction.
1. Fully present.
In his book Tools of Titans, Tim Ferris breaks down the habits of 200 top performers he interviewed on his podcast. Actors, chess prodigies, politicians, sport stars. The one single thing he found was the most common? 80% of them had a daily form of mindfulness/meditation practice. If you fail to give a task, person or any given moment your complete and undivided attention, how can you expect to be great?
2. Risk takers.
If you can’t step outside your comfort zone, don’t plan to be great.
3. Going All-Out
Brené Brown mentions repeatedly in all her writing a reworded version of Thomas Jefferson’s quote: “If you’re not in the arena getting your ass kicked, I don’t want to hear from you.” Brenée refers to "all-out" individuals as “whole-hearted”. Those who go all out, those who are wiling to show their true nature, who are authentic, are those who strike us as great.
4. One thing at the time
Gary Keller introduces his book One Thing with the following russian proverb:
"If you chase two rabbits, you will not catch either one”
Multitasking is a nice illusion of accomplishment. What it really means is two half-ass jobs instead of one great job. In the interview we conducted with famous Sydney chef Jordan Toft, he mentioned working in the top restaurants taught him many things, and amongst the most important was “Do it right, or do it over again”.
Focus on one thing, and become great.
5. Strive for excellence, not perfection
Perfection is a dangerous thing. Who do you know achieved it? That’s right, no one. Perfectionist people can have a hard time completing anything, because, when is it really perfect? It could always be better. If you fail to see how it could be better, make it visible to 1,000 people, and watch them critique and destroy something you deem perfect.
Excellence, on the other hand, is a fair journey. Excellence pleases many, but not all. Excellence creates a tribe, and leaves out those who just don’t get it. Excellence is not earned, but rather, something you are always earning.