Greatness… While there is no specific unit of measurement for such a thing, people strive to achieve whatever they deem fits the description of the word. Despite the term lacking a definite, universal meaning, people toil day in and day out to acquire it. The acquisition of such a thing typically comes after a long period of painstaking work. We exert ourselves to the point that the work we do becomes a burden. Our labor sometimes burdens us to the point where we want to quit; our labor becomes so routine and methodical that we can forget what our end goal is or, worse yet, why we are making such an effort. But the tenacious toil on… still seeking, continually searching for, that individually defined objective.
There are two types of success—lasting and temporary. The latter is typically associated with awards, achievements, and accomplishments, while the former is usually found through positions, jobs, and roles. Temporary successes may be short lived, but they prove we have the ability to achieve lasting success. Many times, the accumulation of temporary successes will result in a lasting success.
If a basketball player consistently scores the most points on her team and is still able to give out double digit assists, that individual will likely be selected as the team captain. If a factory worker is continually able to surpass his quota on the assembly line, that person may be promoted to floor manager. If a soldier is able to frequently outperform his squad mates, he may be promoted to sergeant. In all of these situations the person was able to find temporary success, and by doing so regularly, received a form of lasting success. The work leading up to both was no doubt burdening to the individual, and the recognition that followed was absolutely a blessing, but the process doesn’t stop there.
When we reach the point of success we are blessed. At this point, many of us simultaneously give and receive praise. We give to those who helped us and receive from those who admire us. Our blessings become something we cherish, something we don’t ever want to lose, and we hold them tightly.
After fighting the burden of achieving greatness, then basking in the blessing of having it, we hit a wall that’s existence isn’t known until it is ran into. This wall is the next level of burdens. These are the struggles people only face after having their successful, glory filled moment. The burden of acquiring greatness is known to all who have ever desired it; the burden of having greatness is known only to those who have achieved it. Two burdens arise after greatness has been achieved, and each correlates to a type of success. They are the difficulty of continually seeking more success, and the difficulty of performing the job that came with the previously acquired blessing. It is a euphoric feeling when we achieve greatness, but keeping up with the pace of that unspecified, ever evading goal is tiring and difficult to do.
Regardless of where we are in life, we will always be burdened. It is human nature to desire success, which is why we constantly strive for it even during times that it seems so far away. At all times we should be striving for more. To settle is to go against our nature. If you achieved an award you desired, bask in the glory momentarily then roll on to the next one. If you acquired an officer role or ranking job position, be grateful then focus on the job at hand. If you receive a bonus for an outstanding performance, be thankful then work to repeat yourself. We can never stop striving for more. Whether we are shooting for the stars or just searching for contentment, we must all keep striving. No matter where we are, we will all be surrounded by people who are burdened. We will carry our burdens just as everyone else does. The only cure is to seek our next blessing, and then repeat the process. At no point should it be easy. But it is the difficulty that should propel us to do more. We are all capable of finding and doing ‘more.’
Ease can be found in a life of mediocrity. Difficulty will be found in a life of greatness.
Austin B. Berenda
Austin B. Berenda