“What is it that makes you good, but keeps you from being great?”
This question really provoked my thinking last week while I was sitting in a meeting of transformational leaders on the Dalmatian coast of Croatia.
My friend, the inspiring and prolific writer Gay Hendricks, believes many people achieve their zone of competence in life and stop there—without ever discovering their zone of genius. When we find something that works for us, we tend to do more and more of that. We lose sight of the capacity we have to learn, grow, and expand. And we lose sight of the possibility of experiencing the thrill of living at our very best.
We reconcile ourselves to good instead of daring to be great.
Success often stops us from being as great as we can be. We settle for yesterday’s success without continuing to reach for what’s next, without continuing to stretch into new territory. The key to greatness lies in trying new experiments and experiencing new failures as we go outside our comfort zone. Greatness asks that we be willing to be a beginner again, For the very discomfort and awkwardness we feel as we put ourselves into unfamiliar territory can often springboard us to exuberance.
I believe we all have the capacity for genius. Part of what makes life so fascinating is that the domain of our genius will be something we can claim and keep re-claiming as uniquely ours.
Some years ago, Tiger Woods was interviewed by Ed Bradley on 60 Minutes. Tiger, at the very top of his game at the time, had decided to work with his coach to take apart his golf swing and completely rebuild it. Ed asked the question on most people’s minds. “Why would you change what is clearly working for you already?”
Tiger’s answer? “Because I want to be an even greater golfer.”
And he certainly did go on to become that. Now Tiger faces a new challenge: his body has changed and his back injury is forcing him to alter his game once again. All the same, he is pursuing his next level of greatness.
I invite you to ask yourself where might your success have created an upper limit for you? And how might you turn that ceiling into a springboard?
Where is being good keeping you from daring to be great?