“It is not strength, but the duration of great sentiments that makes great men.”
- Friedrich Nietzsche, Beyond Good and Evil
Beyond Good and Evil is kind of weird book of philosophy. Nietzsche rambles a lot, going off on random tangents about music or women that have nothing to do with the central point of the book.
But there's some real gems in there, like this one. When I first read it, I set my Kindle down and thought about it for a good 10 minutes at the cafe I was in.
The idea is, intense but short-lived thoughts don't get you very far. Intensity of purpose is good, but if it lasts for not long, you won't do very much with it. You'll see inventors, innovators, champions in any domain - they tend to put a lot of time and practice into their craft consistently. It's going for at least a light run when it's raining and you feel like hell. It's practicing a little.
All of us dream from time to time of great things. I think almost anyone could accomplish some amazing things. But most people let those dreams fade after a few minutes, shrug, and go back to their lives. It's keeping in your mind at least a little, consistently, that makes you great.