There’s the pursuit of success and the pursuit of happiness. But there’s also the pursuit of greatness. You can be successful, rich, and happy but not be great. And you’ll know it because you’ll feel that lack of greatness deep down inside. Many people aspire to be the best in every category in life. If you play basketball you hope to be the best basketball player. If you write articles on a blog you hope those articles are the best. If you’re looking to find a significant other, you search for the best of them all.
That constant drive to be the best in life is what we call the pursuit of greatness. We all have this pursuit in us but it’s not always easy to see. Some people are humble or shy and don’t beat their chest proclaiming they’re the best. But in their heart, they still want to reach that true greatness. And it’s hard to be the best version of ourselves because there’s so many things trying to hold us back. So we have to find things to motivate us to be the best day in and day out. What motivates you to be your best?
Here’s a short story on what motivates me to be my best.
A few years back and it was the beginning of a lifelong journey. Dwayne and I decided to commit to one idea. We were going to build an online learning platform for kids and teens. It was named Sparketh. And this time we were going to stick with it all the way through from beginning to end. But as two college kids with no experience ever building a real business, it’s safe to say we were at the beginning. And that was fine by us.
We got to doing what we do best… learning. We read books, asked our peers, and watched tutorials. It wasn’t easy but we had a clear vision of what we wanted to build and how we wanted it to work. It was going to be the very best learning platform for kids and teens. And there would be no better option when it came to learning drawing and painting. After we learned enough about making a WordPress site, we put our heads down and got to work.
We made a homepage, a courses page, and started working on the landing page. It was going well. And right around this time we just sealed the deal on a high-profile convention in Atlanta that was catered to our target market. Everything was going smooth as butter and couldn’t be any easier. I started recording the first course and made some creative edits to spice it up. We worked around the clock on the weekends and late at night. Six months later we were right where we wanted to be.
The site was eighty percent complete and we had the first course officially rendered and ready to watch. All we had to do was upload the videos to our wordpress site and see how it all played. And that’s when we were brought back down to earth. The video was good but it sucked when you played it on the site. It was slow and glitchy, and there was too much confusion on the page. Not just that, it was hard just finding the course and navigating through to the next lessons. The overall user experience was horrible.
And to make matters worse, we were less than four months out from our launch at the big Atlanta expo. There was only two options… We could leave the buggy site as is, and just focus on creating more courses while hoping parents didn’t mind… or we could fix all the problems and make the site better. And without hesitation, I picked the latter. We decided we’d fix it and make the amazing platform we set out to make. So we scratched the entire old platform, learned php, html, and css, and build a new one from the ground up.
It was just how we wanted it, a hundred times better than the old one, and all done in the span of four months. That’s the story of us choosing to be our best rather than settle for less. And that’s how I live my life in almost everything I do. I want to be the best all the time. And the thing that motivates me is my curiousity. If the best is possible what happens when you reach it? What happens if we release the perfect platform instead of a mediocre one? How will the users feel? The same goes for life. What happens if I become the best version of myself instead of average me? I don’t know for sure but as long as it’s possible I’ll be working to find out.
Thanks Dwayne for committing to greatness with me that year!