Author Topic: Everyone has the innate need deep down to be 'great'  (Read 2340 times)


  • 5 O'Clock Shadow
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Everyone has the innate need deep down to be 'great'
« on: March 29, 2017, 02:51:04 AM »
Do you agree or disagree that deep down everyone has the desire to be great?

Do something great, be a great person, etc.


  • 5 O'Clock Shadow
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Re: Everyone has the innate need deep down to be 'great'
« Reply #1 on: March 29, 2017, 03:36:54 AM »
I don't think so, I think many people are just happy having an honest job, and popping out a couple of kids (or maybe no kids but this is a goal in many/ most lives)

I am an early Gen Y/Millennial  so I used to always have that feeling like isn't there something I could do to be different or special or do something great to change lives (always being told I was a special snowflake my whole life etc). But as my life has gone on I realised that I really never worked hard enough to do anything like that. Many people do work hard and never achieve "greatness" but I guess it's all about how you define it and also the deadline you put on it!

Also a lot of people might start out thinking that they are destined for or longing for greatness but realise that it is unlikely that they will be the next Bill Gates or Richard Branson, or in fact that that is not what is important to lead a good life.

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  • Walrus Stache
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Re: Everyone has the innate need deep down to be 'great'
« Reply #2 on: March 29, 2017, 04:31:34 AM »
There will come a time when even the Facebook servers go cold, dark and quiet, or at least humanity spans so far across the universe that wireless internet cannot transmit your photos of food, cats and luxury beach resort fast enough for the galaxy to stand up and take notice.

Until then history will record all of us, warts and all.

Frankies Girl

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Re: Everyone has the innate need deep down to be 'great'
« Reply #3 on: March 29, 2017, 04:34:20 AM »
Disagree. Could care less about being famous or great or whatever. I'm sure there are dozens of others just like me. DOZENS.

I have no drive/ambition to be something. I worked hard when I still worked, but that's over with now. I'm a lazy bum that does nothing worth mentioning most days.

Hell, I don't even want to have a gravesite or funeral or anything when I'm gone (donating the ol' body to science and then dispose of it and dump the ashes in a convenient garden), and I am leaving 100% of my worldly goods (including investments which could be quite a haul) to charity, but it's not going to be named so they remember me like "the FG scholarship fund" or anything.

I just want my time here that I've got left to be enjoyable and as problem-free as possible. I want to be content, and fame/renown or whatever recognition from the outside world doesn't figure into my contentment.


  • Magnum Stache
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Re: Everyone has the innate need deep down to be 'great'
« Reply #4 on: March 29, 2017, 04:35:24 AM »
Disagree. It's just too broad a statement.


  • Handlebar Stache
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Re: Everyone has the innate need deep down to be 'great'
« Reply #5 on: March 29, 2017, 06:46:28 AM »
Much too broad of a statement.

I don't think everyone has a desire to "be great", but I think everyone has the desire to make an impact.  To be more descriptive, I'll share a sermon I heard at a UUI Church a few years ago.  It really made an impact on me to view life in this way:

When I think of the human experience, sometimes I picture it as a great symphony that has been playing since before we first began to write things down. And as we are born, we pick up our instrument and join in.  And everyone is playing the music of their understanding and their experience, but everyone is also playing off of everyone else, like a vast improv.

We inherit at first the melodies that surround us when we are born, the melodies of our communities and our culture, the melodies of our family and our ancestors, and these may be the predominant notes we play for our whole lives. But as we age and grow, we also learn to unlock the music of our own soul. And as we play our own notes, maybe hesitantly at first and then more confidently, we can’t know what happens. It is not up to us. Maybe we sing our song for awhile, and it is good and beautiful, and the song dies out. There will be other songs.

But maybe we play our notes, and they get picked up in some other section, maybe a few bars or maybe just the sense of our verve and attitude, or maybe the entire melody is picked up down the line, and when we are no longer playing, still the music of our soul is echoing throughout the symphony, here and there in the players who have been moved by it, who carry it forward and add their own inspiration. And in this way it spreads out throughout the piece.

There are melodies that have been echoing throughout the symphony for generations, each one the unique song of a human soul, and perhaps they will someday fade and perhaps not, but we each get our chance to play however briefly, and for a time however briefly it is our playing, all of our playing together, that sustains the entire piece.

We can’t know how long we have to play. We can’t know who is being moved by our song. Now, maybe we’ve reached a point where we feel we’re not as sharp as we used to be, maybe we feel we’re tired or scattered or worn down or worn with grief, and our playing is off. But I believe if we are living each moment with integrity, then the richness of our soul shines through in the playing no matter what.


  • Magnum Stache
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Re: Everyone has the innate need deep down to be 'great'
« Reply #6 on: March 29, 2017, 07:17:29 AM »
I don't like the word "great," because it sounds like ego and power.

But more than anything, I want my life to have mattered.


  • 5 O'Clock Shadow
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Re: Everyone has the innate need deep down to be 'great'
« Reply #7 on: March 30, 2017, 06:27:36 AM »
I'm currently struggling with this "need to achieve/be great" idea. For years I compared myself to others, stressed about not being as ________ as others in my peer group. But learning more about FI helped me stop caring so much about my professional identity. I work a job - they pay me enough money to support my family and save for retirement...who cares about anything else, right? I began to value time over money and happiness over [perceived] success. Stress dropped and I enjoyed the newly reduced number of shits given.

...But then someone younger and less experienced got promoted and became my supervisor. I thought it wouldn't bother me, but it kinda did. All those feelings of insecurity crept back up. So now I'm back to wondering if I'm squandering talent and letting complacency take over. (And if I am, is that bad?)


  • Pencil Stache
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Re: Everyone has the innate need deep down to be 'great'
« Reply #8 on: March 30, 2017, 09:37:16 AM »
A monk once told me, "It is all planting trees in the void."

So no, not all people share the drive to be "great" - by whatever nebulous definition you choose to give that word.


  • Stubble
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Re: Everyone has the innate need deep down to be 'great'
« Reply #9 on: March 30, 2017, 05:34:35 PM »

But, I think we all have our own definition of "great".

We're all striving for something.  Whether that be fame and fortune or just happiness. 

spokey doke

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Re: Everyone has the innate need deep down to be 'great'
« Reply #10 on: March 31, 2017, 07:00:01 AM »
I think it is natural for people to feel the need for meaning and fulfillment in life, and that can take a number of forms.  I guess you could call all those forms 'being great,' but I think that might be stretching the meaning.

There is a theory of motivation (self determination theory) that is based on the assumption that we all have a biologically driven need for a sense of belonging, competence, and autonomy.  'Being great' seems a bit simplistic in comparison, while at the same time capturing some aspects of the idea.