The Seeds of Greatness

As I drove back home from one of my workshops yesterday, I was listening to some Member of Parliament talking about the Conservative Party’s policies. Yes – I know – dull as ditch water. But there was one phrase that stuck out to me, the MP said that David Cameron would be able to “demonstrate his greatness” by organising a referendum.

“Well,” I thought to myself, “are we referring to the same David Cameron (UK Prime Minister) here?” And, of course, we were, so I realised that the MP and I must have a completely different notion as to what the word ‘greatness’ means.

But what I wanted to discuss today is the idea that we all have the ability to become great. Of course, it is true that we will not all become great; that probably includes David Cameron. But I do genuinely believe that we all have the seeds of greatness within us. Let me explain why I believe this to be so.

There was an item on the UK news some years back concerning a man who became an accomplished artist after suffering a stroke. The stroke somehow had the effect of ‘rewiring’ his brain and, as a result, he is now a completely different person. Somehow, this one example has stayed with me, though it is, by no means, an isolated case.

As I looked into the issue of how we can be changed as the result of experiences such as stroke, I realised that we all have the seeds of greatness within – that is also something that Tommy McHugh effectively says in the above video.

For me, the evidence is convincing. The ability to be a completely different person with access to a completely different set of talents and capabilities lies dormant within each of us. You can be an artist, a musician, a dancer, a mathematician and not only can you be any of those people, you can be truly great!

My suggestion is that you do have the raw ability though, of course, you may not have access to it. As Tommy says in the video, in years to come, perhaps they will invent a cap that you would put on your head and it would be able to activate those parts of your bran that have the ability to make you into whatever you want to be.

For the time being, whilst we do not have access to that kind of technology, I wonder how our brains become wired to make us into the people we, presently, are. If we could understand that, then perhaps we might also be able to understand how to change that wiring and activate our own potential for greatness. I feel this is an area I would like to research further and perhaps I might write about, more extensively in the future.

For now, I just want to leave you with the thought that “you are not what you think you are, but what you think, you are!”

2 thoughts on “The Seeds of Greatness

  1. Will Edwards Post author

    Hi Ellen

    I think it is an interesting quote. From my own experience – not an athlete, but played sport all my life – I know that I don’t think about what I am going to do. In the sports I played, the action happens too quickly for conscious thought, so I think the responses are all, in effect, ‘programmed’ by previous experience. Playing squash, for example, a ‘lob’ is my programmed response to a ‘drop shot’. Not rocket science, I know, but I don’t consider options on the way to the front wall.

    Will 🙂

  2. Ellen

    Hi Will,

    This is an interesting story and article and a question that I’ve often wondered about myself. It just so happens that I came across a quote today that seems related, so I thought I’d share it. It’s by George Sheehan from his book, This Running Life (great book, I might add!):

    “The natural athlete, as swimming coach Doc Counsilman discovered, usually doesn’t know what he is doing. When Counsilman asked his world-class swimmers about their technique, they gave him answers which subsequent underwater photography proved all wrong.” (p. 126, 1980 edition in case there are others)

    I have lots of thoughts about that quote, but I’ll leave it as is without commenting…


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