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Embracing Greatness: Celebrating Individual Achievements and Inspiring Excellence

April 27, 20246 min read

After all, in the pursuit of greatness, there is no room for mediocrity.” - Stephen J. Morris

Introduction:

This is my unpopular opinion. One of the most common things I hear is, "We have to be careful when celebrating individual achievements. It's unfair to those who aren't as good, and it might discourage them." So here is my question: why? 

Why have we sunk to a state where we exalt mediocrity in those who shun hard work? How did we come to believe that overlooking traits like work ethic, discipline, and the pursuit of greatness is acceptable? The reality is we're not all cut from the same cloth. While many, myself included, fantasize about gracing the fields of the NFL or the courts of the NBA, the truth is harsh—I lack even the faintest resemblance to the skills of the most average NFL player, let alone the stars. And you know what? That's perfectly fine.

8 Reasons

"Greatness is not measured by what a man or woman accomplishes, but by the opposition he or she has overcome to reach his goals." - Dorothy Height

While acknowledging our individual strengths and weaknesses, it's essential to recognize that there will always be entrepreneurs and individuals who surpass us in various aspects. Personally, I am continuously inspired by figures like John C. Maxwell, David Goggins, Cameron Hanes, and my close friend Chris Granger, who excel in their respective fields. Instead of dwelling on this reality's perceived unfairness, I celebrate their achievements. I actively seek to uncover the secrets of their success, understanding what sets them apart and how I can integrate their strategies into my own endeavors, leveraging my unique strengths along the way.

Each of us possesses unique strengths and weaknesses, a blend of advantages and disadvantages that shape our individual journeys. While I may never match David Goggins' incredible feats of endurance, I prioritize maintaining my physical fitness to the best of my abilities. However, my approach differs from Goggins' intense pursuit of physical challenges; I'm not fixated on competition or pushing my body to its limits. Perhaps I exert myself more than the average person, but honestly, it's not a metric I concern myself with. Despite not aspiring to emulate Goggins' physical prowess, his relentless determination serves as a constant source of inspiration for me. He has helped instill in me a mindset of resilience, one that I strive to embody in every facet of my life, fostering an "unbreakable" mindset that propels me forward each day.

While I may never possess the eloquence of speech that Mr. Maxwell effortlessly wields, his example inspires me to hone my communication skills and strive for mastery in my field. John C. Maxwell's teachings emphasize the perpetual pursuit of knowledge—a journey where growth extends beyond the professional realm into the very fabric of our personal lives. Similarly, I acknowledge that I may never attain the level of intentionality and discipline exhibited by Cameron Hanes, nor do I believe he expects me to mirror his exact path. Instead, what I glean from Hanes is the importance of perseverance, of relentlessly pursuing my goals despite the challenges encountered along the way. His steadfast commitment to "keep hammering" serves as a poignant reminder of the value inherent in resilience and unwavering determination.

When I shared these sentiments with my close friend Chris Granger, he humbly disclaimed any mention alongside the esteemed individuals I've cited. Reflecting on his reaction prompted me to revisit my initial impressions of Chris, which admittedly weren't favorable. Until now, I struggled to articulate the reasons behind my unease, often dismissing it with a vague "I don't know." However, upon deeper contemplation, I've unearthed a revelation: Chris embodies the epitome of the man I aspire to become. He effortlessly juggles roles as a businessman, husband, father, and entrepreneur—a multifaceted persona I yearn to emulate. In essence, my initial aversion stemmed from an unconscious recognition of the stark contrast between his achievements and my current reality. I will forever be grateful that Chris is such a good friend. I now have access to one of the men that I will never be, but at least I get to learn from almost every day. 

Each of the four men I've mentioned embodies distinct qualities that I aspire to integrate into my own life someday. Instead of lamenting the disparities between their accomplishments and mine, I celebrate them. I meticulously study what sets them apart and endeavor to adapt their exceptional traits to complement my strengths. Embracing this mindset fuels my drive, instills motivation, and ignites a sense of inspiration within me. Contemplating the exemplary individuals whom I deeply admire propels me toward the pursuit of my fullest potential. It's a perpetual voyage—one for which I am immensely grateful, cherishing each day as an opportunity to inch closer to the echelons they occupy.

For some individuals, greatness doesn't manifest in the conventional workplace setting. Take my mother, for instance. She wasn't a corporate executive or a high-earning professional, but that doesn't diminish her greatness. In fact, she epitomized leadership and power in her own right. Managing our home and nurturing her children was her domain, and she approached it with the same diligence and dedication as any successful CEO. She understood her purpose and defined greatness on her own terms. Her legacy lies in raising four remarkable children, ensuring we were provided for, cared for, and educated. Amidst it all, she imparted a crucial lesson: life isn't fair and never will be—and that's perfectly okay.

Why is this crucial? Because despite our chatter about greatness, our actions often diverge from our words. We deceive ourselves with empty praise, falsely believing we embody greatness while our behaviors betray us. To foster an elite team, one must lead with unwavering excellence. It entails recognizing and celebrating greatness while inspiring others to reach for their own heights of achievement. Naturally, not everyone will be willing to put in the effort, and that's alright. Inevitably, those who aren't committed will weed themselves out, leaving space for those truly dedicated to the pursuit of excellence.

Some might argue that celebrating individual achievements excessively could breed a culture of competition and comparison, leading to feelings of inadequacy and discouragement among those who may not measure up to societal standards of success. Focusing solely on individual accomplishments may overshadow the importance of collaboration and teamwork, which are essential for fostering a supportive and inclusive environment. However, when individual achievements are celebrated in conjunction with fostering a collaborative spirit and recognizing the collective contributions of all team members, it can inspire a healthy sense of inspiration and encourage individuals to strive for excellence while fostering a culture of mutual support and camaraderie.

Let's challenge the prevailing notion that celebrating individual achievements is somehow unfair or discouraging. This perspective reminds us that greatness is not determined by comparing ourselves to others but by embracing our unique strengths and aspirations. As we strive for excellence in our own lives, we need to draw inspiration from those who have achieved mastery in their respective fields. Whether it's in the workplace, at home, or within ourselves, greatness is not defined by external standards but by our relentless pursuit of personal growth and fulfillment. So, celebrate the journey, embrace the challenges, and dare to reach for the extraordinary. After all, in the pursuit of greatness, there is no room for mediocrity.

Stephen J. Morris

By: Stephen J. Morris.             

April 29, 2024

Founder & CEO

Renowned Leadership

©️ 2024

Individual achievementPursuit of greatnessPersonal growthLeadershipMotivation
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