October 27

Where does greatness come from?


I’ve always wondered what percentage of greatness is innate–God-given. Of course, hard work, studying, focused physical training, time, even visualisation all matter a great deal, but how much is natural and how much is made in the gym or the film room… or in the mind?

So, that also applies to how you’re guided. How much does coaching matter? Does an artist or an athlete fare better when there’s a guru correcting or measuring each step along the way? Or do they not really need this buffer to freedom, and would do better by being able to spread their wings as naturally as they could?

The idea that the distance between what you want and where you see yourself hinging upon this minutia is incredible–that the difference between Michael Jordan and that guy at Rucker Park who’s seemingly born to play basketball, but whose name we don’t know (and will never know) had more to do with minor details and choices–and not God-given ability–is somewhat frightening when you think about it.

I don’t know what percentage of greatness is what we do and what percentage we are born with. I don’t know how many more points we get or how much better we get by obsessing over something versus if we relaxed and relied on pure gifts alone. I really don’t know how much better or further we get by what we do. And I don’t know if we would get to the same place if we just relaxed and let nature take its course.

Nobody has “the” answers, and let’s be honest, none of us really knows what we’re doing. We’re just doing what we feel spiritually called or summoned to do at the time we’re doing it. Meaning, we can only control what we can control.

In my opinion, we’re all born great at something. Some of us figure out what that is early on, some acknowledge it a little later, and others… well, they never embrace or realize what gifts they are here to offer the rest of us. So whether God-given, perfectly coached, or obsessive commitment, if you never acknowledge or believe in your greatness, none of it will ever pay off. And that is even more disappointing.

Featured image by AJ Nakasone


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