October 5, 2015

“Secrets to Greatness”

  Recently I read “Secrets to Greatness” from the Fortune Magazine for one of my classes. The article talks about what is it takes to be great. After reading this article, I gained a new perspective on greatness and talents. Though many of us are naturally gifted in one or two things, we can become great in more. From the article, these three principles stood out to me the most: (1) Hard Work, (2) Practice and (3) Feedback. I took a closer look at my life and how I have applied or am currently applying these principles.

Hard work. The first thing that came to my mind was physical hard work, like building a house. As I thought about it hard work is simply hard work mentally, physically and emotionally. When I lost my hearing at age six it was hard work to re-learn to hear with the Cochlear Implant. Sixteen years later people now comment on how remarkable my hearing is. Little did they know the countless hours I spent working on building my hearing. It was a mix of physical, mental and emotional hard work. Work meant climbing each mountain that came my way, letting the tears flow when things got hard and simply believing that it is worth it. My hearing did not come naturally, but it came the way I needed it.

In the article it talks about “practice makes perfect” and relates this to individuals who achieved great measures of greatness through practice, like many star athletes. I remember as a child I would stand by the light switch and flick it…just to hear the sound it made and make connections. I would also fall asleep by the radio at night listening to songs over and over. Each one of those moments helped me become who I am today. One of my favorite sayings is. “I am not perfect in everything, but perfect in trying.” When I get discouraged, I simply remind myself to keep being perfect in trying, again and again.

Feedback often comes across as intimidating or awkward. It takes a desire to want to accept feedback and then practice receiving feedback. When I was about 10 or 11 years old, I kept saying “Lagwen” instead of “Language” and I was frustrated, as I could never say it right. One day while my mom and I were driving around, I asked her to help me learn to say it right. We spent a good amount of the drive practicing it. She would give me feedback on how I was doing and if I needed to improve in an area. After that experience I have been able to say it right. I found feedback to be another way to invest time in helping someone else improve or grow. Another one of my favorite sayings is, “There is no growth in your comfort zone and there is no comfort in your growth zone.”

To be great does not come easy. It takes time, practice and some growth pain. Working full-time and doing school part-time has displayed different growing pains in my life, but it has been worth it.