Everyday Greatness For Everyone

28 10 2009

everyday_greatness_coveyI don’t know if its the mid-life crisis thing or not, but I’ve been dwelling a lot on what real impact my life is having in this world. Am I all that I should be or could be? Is “greatness” achievable for me? What is greatness, after all? In lieu of being able to afford a new sports car, I guess my crisis and the unanswered questions are all I’ve got.

We tend to over-label greatness in our world. We throw the word out on so many cheap things that the truly great things of life get ignored. Those things are, after all, the little things, the EVERYDAY things that ordinary people do when they make choices to be and do something extraordinary. These moments may or may not be immediately recognized or honored as great, because the world is often looking for other kinds of stuff on which to place the label.  In the end, however, when the smoke clears and the label-maker is broken, it is these stories that will stick with us.

That is exactly what Stephen Covey is doing in his book, Everyday Greatness. He is compiling a collection of stories that reveal hidden greatness and ask us to make choices in our own lives that will push us toward the same. The stories are all compiled from that trusted pile-o’-goodness The Reader’s Digest, and each chapter has several stories that relate to one attribute/characteristic/action that Covey reminds us is a facet of true greatness in our lives. Chapter subjects include responsibility, courage, integrity, gratitude, vision, respect, empathy, perseverance, balance, and simplicity, among others. Each chapter also comes with great quotes (and I love quotes) as well as insights and commentary from Covey to draw the point for us in a practical way.

The book is not a “read-through” kind of book so much as it is a “I-have-a-quiet-moment-to-read” kind of book. The stories are short but poignant and provide us with big things to consider in a brief moment of respite. The book as a whole is humorous, sad, moving, and inspirational – a Reader’s Digest on steroids. As such, it is a great collection that reminds us (even us in our mid-life crises) that greatness is often overlooked in the actions and choices of everyday people just like us, and so we all have the opportunity to live greatly.

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2 responses

28 10 2009
Andrea

Is Stephen Covey giving you commission on his books? If so .. let him know that you just sold another one!

30 10 2009
Kent Dekker

Hmmm. Did the book intentionally, volitionally, take the steroids or did it just make a mistake? LOL

I’m here to say that you taking the time to read and recommend the book is also an everyday greatness. It didn’t get past me, anyway. Definietly our concept of who is an ordinary person and who is extraordinary is another of those BADLY blurred lines. Did you give that boy a sip of your drink today rather than send him away? You are extraordinary in my book. Did you go to work today, put in a good day’s work, earned keep for your family, and returned home somewhat tired, somewhat bored, somewhat fearful of what our government is going to do tomorrow to make your life more difficult? Then you demostrated responsibility, courage, integrity, gratitude, vision, respect, empathy, perseverance, balance, and simplicity.

Eternity with God, the ultimate prize for running the race, has already begun. Enjoy the journey as much as you look forward to the destination. Life is good – although I really have nothing else I know to compare it to. It is all I have known, but still it seems to be something extraordinary.

The union of cells producing this being and forever changing the world – whether famous in books or just in the lives of the other beings with whom we come in contact. Simply EXTRAORDINARY, FANTASTIC, and INTRUIGING. Extraordinary if for no other reason than the price that was paid for it.

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