It’s an interesting question that I present to you today, what defines greatness? I’m sure I’ve probably asked this question a few times over the course of this blog, but it’s something I keep asking myself. I’ve talked about destiny briefly, is greatness tied to destiny? Is greatness something that is inexplicably written into who you are or do you create the situation which you become great from?
There are a number of different possible answers to this question, none of them are really the right one, because greatness comes in different forms. Some people would attribute success to greatness, and in some ways that’s entirely true, but in other ways it can have nothing to do it.
Maybe one of the best ways to explain greatness is as a state of mind. For example, someone could be kind of okay at something, not fantastic but marginal enough to pass by with people who don’t know anything about the subject thinking that person is absolutely fantastic at it. It’s not that they’re great, it’s that they put forth a mental confidence and people around it are affected by that mental ‘field’ of sorts. I once read about Steve Jobs and workers were explaining how he would have this expectation that what he was saying was the only right way to do it, this particular person termed it as “Steve’s Reality Distortion Field”. He would get people so fired up about a job or new feature that they would get carried along and after he left realize just how difficult what he just got them to do actually was.
I’d like to go a little bit further with that idea and suggest that everyone has a reality distortion field, but that some peoples are stronger than other peoples. I’ve seen this evidenced throughout my own interactions with people, but also in public settings. Some people have strong personalities. What is really interesting is when two people with pretty much equally strong personalities get into a conversation with each other. They either rub each other up the wrong way because of the differences in their Reality Distortion Fields, or they love talking with each other.
I find this interesting because you could perhaps almost guarantee that a lot of people in that room with those personalities perceive them of having their lives together and being great at what they do i.e. “They are a great person,” but I honestly believe there is more to greatness than just being a stronger personality than someone else.
Like I said at the beginning, this is something I’ve been thinking about for a long time and I don’t have the answers, but hopefully this has helped someone else. I’m looking forward to pondering on it, and seeing what else comes up. I’ve only touched on some aspects which I believe exist, but there is so much more to greatness, and I think we’re only just scratching the surface of the Psychology around it.