Got a brilliant comment you need to read. Huge realization shift for me once I saw it. In "Self-Control and Enduring Success," I wrote -
"You know, the victors – the ones who build the really enduring victories – they’re often not the most brilliant or charismatic or brave. They’re the ones who are most patient, who are most rational, who have the most self-control."
Spike Morelli replies -
"As I read that a thought formed around modern culture and patience, rationality and self-control: none of them is very glamorous. In fact you could probably go as far as saying they are stigmatized and thought of as boring. On the other end impulsiveness and ambition are associated with dynamism and I'd argue have an overall positive perception with the large crowds/new generations. I'm wondering if this is leading to larger percentages of early high achievers never reaching their true potential and therefore overall detracting from our societies."
Wow. Brilliant observation Spike. Yes, indeed. Well, I'm a fan of ambition - I define ambition as just "how much you want," and I find ambition and self-control to be totally compatible and harmonious. But impulsiveness and raw emotion and narrative and theatrics tends to be more exciting than the things that actually work for enduring success.
Indeed, how much do we lose by not building the fundamental blocks of real tangible lasting success? How much society lose?
A lot. A whole lot.
Great comment, Spike. Great observation.
Every time there is a major disaster in America, I hear people saying something along the lines of "[insert politician] should have been more upset." This always bothered me. Why would I want a political figure who cannot keep a clear head?
I think the problem with politics is that they've shifted from 'Power to the Visionaries' to 'Power to the Money'. In previous centuries, politics were more driven by vision, dreams, idealism - even if it had a materialistic element to it, it wasn't the same as today. Now, instead of politics controlling businesses and people, businesses are controlling politics and people.
There is a brilliant film about the shift that happened in the last ~20 years: 'All Watched Over by Machines of Loving Grace' ( http://www.bbc.co.uk/iplayer/episode/b011k45f/All_Watched_Over_by_Machines_of_Loving_Grace_Love_and_Power/ ). It is partially about the computers' role in society, but mostly about the ideology that led to this shift.
I think this is a very important part of the malaise affecting modern western society at the moment.
In business, chasing the quick buck is is rewarded even at the expense of the long-term sustainability of the business itself. Just look at all the businesses that stood for a century or more then collapsed in the last 20 years.
Politics in western countries, while always susceptible to short-term thinking has in the last few decades become completely blind to anything beyond the next election campaign. Where are the visionaries of the 18th and 19th centuries that built what we have today?
But, as with all challenges, I think this is just an opportunity for those of us willing to work to a longer-term timeframe. Patience IS a virtue - just not one that is immediately rewarded (not that this is a problem for the patient person).
In response to yesterday's "Tokugawa’s Generals, and Being a Great Follower," I wrote that greatness is something you define for yourself. I asked, what's your definition of greatness, then? We can think about it. The reader clarified -
I wrote down a list of great men and realized what I meant by greatness. Glory, recognition by other human beings. From conquerors, to musical virtuosos, the great men are those that are supported by the wave of existing people. Great men are those who did something that is today recognized as valuable. Great men are those that are known by "everyone". That is how I think fame should be seen. That is how I am seeing it as of now.
Something that jumps to the eyes is that it requires other people. If you are great then at least someone must be not great. I guess being successful in life is different from being great. If living a successful life is minimally having 2 kids with more opportunities than you had and a strong family then once achieved, your are successful. Greatness I think could be seen as recognized success. Perhaps self-recognized success can make you see yourself as great...
If everyone is successful and recognize that their success and others are great, then everyone is great, hence no one is great. (or otherwise said, to my belief, the word "great" loses value as "awe-some" did) Well that is how I see it. Everyone is successful in something, not all are The Great. Where were the risk-taking warriors? As I now understand, they were fearful. Then again I suppose they had to stop someday throne or no throne. Having acquired the belief that to rebel is a bad ROI.
I have great legs. It's a fact. No matter how much weight I gain or lose they will always be phenomenal. All throughout high school I fussed over my waist-line, my hips, my feet, everything!...Except my legs.
The truth is they probably aren't the best looking in the world, but the secret is I believe they are. No I can't tell you how to stop your body-criticism, but I can tell you that words have power. I was at a pool party in the 6th grade when the mother of the birthday girl pulled me aside. She handed me a piece of pizza and one of the most enduring compliments I've received to date: "Liliana, you have some great legs!" It wasn't anything over the top and she didn't keep me from scuttling back to the pool, but for some reason I chose to hang on to her words.
Later that year we had our winter social - which usually would have terrified me because I was a die-hard tomboy with a no-dress-policy - but I looked at myself in the mirror and thought "I do have great legs". After that, I strutted around in my little party dress and had the best night possible. And every dance, party, date, etc since, I've always found confidence in myself because even if everything went wrong at least I still had great legs.
That mother probably doesn't even remember me, let alone the comment she made. However, her words affected my self-image in the best way possible and I'm thankful for her taking me aside to tell me what she did. It's the simplest, little things that can truly resonate with someone. You may not realize it but words hold immense power. The words themselves, not the person speaking them. It wouldn't have mattered if the woman was a complete stranger, I still would have nurtured the delusion that I was a knock-out.
So I challenge you to find a way to give someone a simple but sincere compliment. It may seem like an insignificant thing, but you never know how your words will touch someone. And with that, remember that negative words can be just as powerful, but in a detrimental way.