‘Abraham Lincoln’s principle for greatness can be adopted by nearly all. This was his rule; whatsoever he had to do at all, he put his whole mind into it, and held it all there until that was all done. That makes man great almost anywhere.’ – Dr. Russell H. Conwell
I don’t know about you, but I wasn’t born to simply melt into the mass called humanity. You and I were born for something more than to mesh into the fabric of the family called mankind. We have been born for greatness. Not for the selfish satisfaction of fulfilled ambition, but rather for the addition of significance and contribution to the breathing multitude called homo sapiens.
And here are two powerful ways to ensure that greatness shall be our portion as we follow in the footsteps of the great man Abraham Lincoln.
Put Your Whole Mind Into It
Concentration. Focus. Application. Dedication. Commitment.
All of the above are key words to equip you in the process of putting your whole mind into it. When I sit in one of my favorite chairs, as I am now doing, writing this article, while listening to music being pumped out of my iPhone and into my ears via earphones, I am totally engrossed for an hour or two creating but one thing - ‘magnificence’.
That’s what it takes.
I lock myself away, in a sense, from all distraction and put my entire mind into the process of creating yet another piece of writing that will change a life – yes a life in Kenya, Paraguay or Spain. Maybe even change another life in London, New York or Beijing.
Why do I do this?
Because my life was changed dramatically as I sat and read the words of Peter Daniels while I locked myself away for 3 days in a motel room in search of my destiny at the age of 28. And then in my thirties I was introduced to the great Ralph Waldo Emerson as I discovered his original volumes in the basement of a local university’s library.
I remember crying as I read and devoured each page – for I was a man desperate to live above the ordinary. I was determined to discover my destiny. I was drowning in the company of the status quo and knew that deep within me was something more.
The words written by these men saved my life, saved my marriage, and saved my sanity.
And then through the ups and downs of the years – through failure and success – they have sustained me. Why? Because these men chose to, at one point in their life, ‘put their whole mind to it.’
Hold It All Until It Is All Done
This is why I have, waiting for me on my office desk, a blank sheet of paper filled with a list of just 6 things that I need to do each day, that will move my life and my business forward.
It is a prioritized list.
I start with the most important thing on that list and do not move on to number 2 until I have completed number 1. Once number 1 is done I strike it off. I then commence with number 2 until completion and then strike it off. To strike off is to establish progress and provide a sense of fulfilled satisfaction. And so on until number 6 is in my sights and also struck off completed.
Before I turn off my computer though, I take out a fresh sheet of paper and write my list ready for tomorrow. If for some reason I didn’t complete any tasks written on my list I simply transfer it to tomorrow’s list, and once again prioritize.
But the power is in the completion – holding it all until it is all done.
I teach this principle to everyone who works with and for me, and thus production is multiplied exponentially as a direct result of that established discipline.
Can you think of anything else that makes men and women great?
Motivational Memo: To be great is to cause others to be grateful.