In 500 BC there was a Greek sculptor that was hired to carve several statues for the front of a building. When he was finished, his employers noticed that the backs of the statues were carved with as much detail as the front. They asked, “Why would you put as much time and effort into the backs of the statues as the front, when no one will ever know what the backs look like?” The sculptor said, “They may never know, but I will know and God will know.”
So why choose Greatness? It is not necessarily harder to build something great as it is to build something good. Those who have attained greatness don’t necessarily exert more energy, the difference is awareness and intentionality. They don’t waste their time, energy and effort on things that are not aligned with their purpose. They are crystal clear on what they can be the best in the world at and they focus on things that fit within their Hedgehog circles.
Although the sculptor will never receive any fame or recognition for the backs of the statues, he will have the satisfaction of creating something based on a higher standard. It is impossible to have a great life without meaning. If you have meaningful work, you might gain the deepest of satisfaction, that your time on earth has been spent well, and that it mattered.