It seems contrary to common sense, but people who seek after greatness are often sorely disappointed and become depressed as a result. What society deems “greatness”, often implies a great deal of risk on your part. Bertrand Russell wrote long ago that the pursuit of greatness never satisfies a human being. He wrote classically about a great conqueror Napoleon Bonaparte who envied and sought the greatness of Julius Caesar. He would have painting and sculputuress up of Julius Caesar. Julius Caesar himself sought the greatness and power of Alexander the Great doing the like in terms of honor. And Alexander the Great yearned for the greatness of Hercules, who didn’t even exist.
I just now read an article about a relatively famous, rich, and successful celebrity from girl rock band called “The Spice Girls”. The singer was the one who played “Sporty Spice”. Even at the height of her fame, she said happiness eluded her. She kept saying that she would be happy if this and this task were done, but the “In” box never became empty, and kept on pushing back her present moments. There was always something else. You say to yourself, after I get through this month I’ll be happy. Then at the end of the month, you say, if I can get through this summer, I’ll be happy. Then, at the end of the year, you say, if I can just get through next year…
If you seek after some future event, like future success or future greatness, you are doomed to live in the future and not in the present. You will be constantly yearning. Always going, but never arriving. This doesn’t mean don’t do anything. This simply means just do the best you can, and just let things be. Don’t stare at the top floor of your office building and say, “Once I become the CEO I will be happy.” First off, that may never happen because there are so many factors that will be out of your control. Second, even if you entertain the possibility of the remote possibility you get there, you will then look to even bigger companies that you can become the CEO of.
This disease of more never ends. It never ends because the mentality that you had which led you to strive never lets you arrive at your destination. You become, just as pitiful as that hamster you saw running around just to stand still in the hamster wheel. He is going nowhere. And the faster he runs, the more he just stands “still”. Ever hear of that expression, “Running to stand still?”
There is a famous saying I first heard Wayne Dyer utter and that is There is no way TO Happiness, Happiness is the way. Don’t chase after love…be love. If you keep on thinking that tomorrow will make you happy, when tomorrow comes, you will look towards the next tomorrow. Just be aware that this is another created fiction. The “now” and “present” is all that you have. The future and past exists only in your mind. If you move and try to live in the future and some future greatness, then your mind is living in a fiction (you really have no idea what tomorrow will bring). Every day will be filled with striving, never arriving. Every moment will be rushed, you’ll never be at ease, because you are so obsessed over trying to succeed. Just choose to be happy in the now, that is all there is and all there will ever be. If you reach the CEO status, then fine, let it be. But if in many years time you are still in the same position, don’t begin to spin your wheels and idle, you will only disturb yourself and ruin your present moments.