Inner Success

The Price of Greatness

Have you ever thought about yourself as being great? Are you a great mom, a great teacher, a great wife, and / or a great money -maker? Take just a second and declare what it is that you are great at…. Go ahead. Say it out loud. I am a great ____________ !

Now hear me telling you how great you are – you are crushing it! You are so freaking great!

Two things are happening in my life to bring up this topic for discussion.

First, I have been watching ESPN’s Michael Jordan documentary “The Last Dance” and I have seen a glimpse into what sacrifices Michael Jordan made to be great. In one of the episodes, his team mates implied that for Michael to be Michael, he couldn’t also be your friend. He couldn’t be “the nice guy” because he had to be the guy who pushed you – challenged you – expected more from you than you may have expected for yourself.

While Michael knew his tactics were tough love, we could see it broke his heart when he heard these words. It was like he heard these truths in his soul for the first time. He realized he had paid the price of close friendships and the reputation of being the nice guy to be great. Have you ever thought about what sacrifices you have made in relationships or jobs so that you could be great at what you are great at?

If you are a great daughter, did you pay the price of pursuing your professional goals so you could care for your ill parent? If you are a great salesperson, did you give up nights at home while your children grew up so you could be the top salesperson? ( to pay their college tuition of course)

Oftentimes we see people through our admiring lens. We look at their greatness and think we want what they have. Then we realize the price they pay for that greatness is not actually a price we are willing to pay. There is a quote that if you want to lead the orchestra, you must be willing to turn your back to the audience. I am in the early stages of writing a segment for a book discussing the price I have paid on my journey.

The hardest part of writing the segment is actually admitting that I could be seen as great. I don’t see myself as great, and you may have that same complex. Michael Jordan was great. Each year he set out to break a record or separate himself as great in the record books. I am not sure how we measure our own greatness, so often we don’t even recognize we are great at something.

As I write my story of the price of greatness, I look at the journey and acknowledge so many of my weaknesses, my shortcomings, and my downfalls. I recognize so many of them are a result of my pursuit for greatness. It is a healthy acknowledgement that I have paid a price in some areas of my life to excel in others.

Oprah once challenged us to turn our wounds into wisdom. I would like to challenge you to take time and reflect on the price of greatness you have paid in your life. Then take one more step and share this post with someone to celebrate them. Tell them you appreciate the price they have paid to be a great …… boss, mom, friend, husband.


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