The Greatness Formula…

I want to be clear about this whole “greatness” thing…I don’t consider myself great.  Not at anything.  YET.

At this juncture of my life, it’s about the chase.  It’s about reading about others who have studied the chase.  It’s about listening to people on TV, online, and in person talk about how they have observed greatness come to fruition.  And lately it’s about analyzing those traits and characteristics, especially in myself, that seem to be necessary steps towards the pursuit of greatness.  A formula, if you will.

Over the past 6 months, these texts have most impacted my search for those traits.

  • Mindset by Carol Dweck
  • Toughness by Jay Bilas
  • How Champions Think by Bob Rotella
  • Training Camp by Jon Gordon

Cover art    Cover art  Cover art   


The reading of those books, combined with the years of reading, listening, and studying that I have done, has led me to my “greatness formula.”  I think that formula and the pursuit of greatness looks different for all of us, so there is certainly some variation in the characteristics based on the person.  Here is what I need to master for that pursuit to become a reality:

  1. Optimism – A consistent positive outlook that enables me to drown out all the negatives, worries, and doubt.
  2. Mental Toughness – A deep level of grit, determination, and persistence.  That ability to handle and almost relish in adversity.
  3. Depth of Knowledge – Sometimes there is no substitute for knowledge.  Know what my area of focus is and read, discuss, and listen to everything possible.  I must identify gaps or areas that I need to know more of an develop an action plan to address those.
  4. Work Ethic – GRIND.  Be early, stay late.  There are times where I find myself behind the current skill level of others, but that doesn’t mean I can’t level that playing field by outworking them.
  5. Vision – A clear picture of who I want to be, how I am going to get there, and what I stand for.

This section from Rotella’s book is one I keep coming back to, “I would venture that most people are talented in something, whether they realize it or not.  What sets merely talented people apart from exceptional people can’t be measured by vertical leap, or time for the forty-yard dash, or length off the tee, or IQ.  It’s something internal.  Great performers share a way of thinking, a set of attitudes and attributes like optimism, confidence, persistence, and strong will.  They all want to push themselves to see how great they can become.”

Sometimes all of this leads to more questions.  How many of these traits are intrinsic vs. can be learned or taught?  Which of these do you have?  Which do you need?  What is your plan to get there?  I’m just glad to feel like defining this formula makes it feel like I’m one step closer.

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