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Greatness Comes through Toiling by Yusuf Mehdi

Greatness Comes through Toiling by Yusuf Mehdi

There is an African Proverb that says,
“Great people are not born great; they become great when others are sleeping”.

The saying is old but it holds true even today. When we listen to the success stories of great people, we sometimes ponder as to how did they become so great and how did they achieve so much in the lifetime. Not everybody is lucky enough to achieve greatness! Lucky Enough???

Is it really ‘luck’ that helps great people achieve greatness?

Are these people born with all the virtues which help in getting success?

The answer is a big ‘No’.

Great people are not born great; they become great by their great deeds. These successful people are the ones who toil hard while the rest of the world sleeps. If we are not achieving success, there got to be something missing on our part. Failures are inevitable and the best teachers. Failures are very important for learning, but if we are failing time and again, there certainly is a fault in either our strategy or the delivery. The following five aspects differentiate between successful people and ordinary people:

1. Dreaming Big:

One should not be averse to dreaming big. Aim high and then try to achieve it with commitment. It is said that “Aim for the stars, if you miss, you may land on the moon”. People who are successful today, dared to dream big yesterday. Somebody who’s afraid of dreaming big in the first place, can’t go far. For majority of us, our dreams start disappearing the moment we come under ‘stress’ of being realistic. Our goals start getting smaller and smaller as a result of what others have led us to believe what we can achieve. The successful people don’t get bogged down by what others tell them what they are.

2. Making dreams come true:

Making efforts towards achieving the goals and towards fulfilling the dreams is as important as dreaming. If you aim for the stars, it becomes imperative that you have the courage to have a powerful flight. Dreaming and then doing nothing won’t help at all. The great people, dream big in the first place, and secondly, they put in as much efforts as possible to make their dreams come true. There is nothing called ‘unrealistic’ dream if you pursue to achieve it with passion. Any dream which is not accompanied by hard work becomes unrealistic.

3. Not letting others dictate terms

The successful people are the ones who are self-motivated and are never bogged down by others. People around us tend to take charge of our lives and our dreams. They tend to limit our flight and dictate terms & conditions. We must listen to all, but do what we perceive right for ourselves. Most of us limit our dreams on the basis of what others have led us to believe that we can achieve – usually due to their own disappointments. We have to get out of that mind-set and have faith in ourselves in order to achieve what we really can. And we can reach the stars indeed!

4. Staying Focused & Staying Positive

A fidgety mind is an enemy within. The successful people first fight off this internal enemy and stay focused on whatever they do. Being focused also helps you maintain positivity which is the key to happiness and satisfaction. Moreover, a focused mind is more goal-oriented. Greatness may be achieved by focusing on your target with optimism in your heart. Great people do this! They don’t crib or complain even in the face of adversities and stay focused to get out of the trouble. You may try some yoga and meditation in order to discipline your mind.

5. Welcoming Risks and Embracing Failures

This is something that makes one stand apart as a winner. The people, who are successful today, welcomed risks with open hands and embraced their failures. These are not the ones who were served success on a platter. They strived hard, struggled, fell many times, learnt from their failures, and continued to work towards achieving their goals with a focused and positive mind. It is very important to take risks in life otherwise one wouldn’t know about his/her actual potential. At the same time, if one fails, he/she should embrace the failure; admit the fault and learn from the mistake. Failures are wonderful as long as these function just as minor speed breakers and not as major roadblocks in the way to success.

So, Cheer up! Come out of your comfort zone and try something new today. Dream to be the brightest star in the sky!

Hold fast to dreams
For if dreams die
Life is a broken-winged bird
That cannot fly.
Langston Hughes

About the Author


Prof. Yusuf Mehdi is a Cambridge University certified English Language Teacher.