Great minds have purposes; others have wishes. – Washington Irving
What does that mean?
This is another Twitter-friendly quote. A slightly longer version of the quote goes like this: “Great minds have purpose, others have wishes. Little minds are tamed and subdued by misfortunes; but great minds rise above them.”
This quote is reminding us that our expectations are a big part of our results. If we just wish for things, but something challenging is in the way, it’s not going to happen. After all, it’s only a wish, only a dream. If it doesn’t happen, well that’s OK too, I guess.
You’ve known people like that. They don’t get much of what they want, do they? You’ve probably also known some of the other type of people. Those who have a purpose in mind, and are willing to work around, over, under, or through any obstacle in their way.
Some do it with the highest ethics, and others with the lowest. You can imagine which path I believe we should take. But those people get things done. The question before us today is are you a person who does, or one who wishes?
Why is having a purpose important?
Unless you’re a teenager, of course. Just joking. I was one of those teens who was never all that motivated to do much of anything. I had a few things I liked, and if I wasn’t in the mood, I didn’t do much. I had no idea what I wanted, and had no real purpose.
Fortunately, that changed when I flunked out of college and had to fight to get back in. Sometimes it takes a good boot to the head to figure things out. For others, it’s part of them from an early age. The result, either way, is the same. Some people make things happen, while others wonder what happened.
The people with a purpose are the ones who know what they are doing, and why they are doing it. With both, you have direction and a driving force. Without both, you’re not really going to have a purpose, are you? And without a purpose, what are you likely to accomplish in your life?
Where can I apply this in my life?
Most people think, and you may already have formed this opinion as well, that this quote is just about work, and climbing the corporate ladder. But I see this as an attitude towards life. It is an approach to determining what you want to get done and why you want to do it, and that applies to every aspect of your life.
Allow me to explain. If you have no purpose, what will you accomplish? If you have a purpose, like helping others, you will get something done. How much you do will depend on your motivating force, your Why. What specifically you do to help will be dependant on exactly what you want to get done.
It might be work related, but I know plenty of people who work for money, and their purpose in life, their passion, is something completely different. Yes, it would be nice to be paid for what you really like to do, what you call your purpose, but it doesn’t always work that way, right?
Why does having a purpose make you a great mind, or make your mind great? Few people have a purpose, and most have wishes. By being at the top of the list, you are, after a fashion, great. Since our purpose is driven by our mind, the greatness can be attributed to the mind, thus “great minds.”
We all have something we want to do. We all have something driving us from inside. The reason why could be anything from simple enjoyment to vanity or anything else. The point is we all have something. Most of us have several somethings. The question is what are you doing about it (or them)?
Take a moment and consider what you like doing, and why you like doing them. Grab some paper and write down the top four or five. Include both the what and the why. Are there any patterns in what you have? I had two basic groups of things, helping others and selfish pleasures. What about you?
Fortunately, at work, I get to do a little of both, as well as play with computers. Have you given any thought as to how you might mix work with your purpose(s)? At first, I didn’t really see the connection, but I can at least help others with their problems and share techniques with them.
Another thing to consider is your why. How powerful is your reason why? If it’s not very powerful, you’re slipping dangerously close to wishing, right? That’s probably not where you want to be. Can you come up with reasons why which are more motivational? It doesn’t have to change the why, just intensify it.
As with life in general, there is a lot of gray area, and what is best for you might not be the best for me. You’ll have to figure out what you are going to do, but at least you have now thought about it. Thanks for taking the time to examine your life.
Now, are you going to do it on purpose, or are you just going to wish something would happen? It’s up to you. Become great, even if it’s just in your own mind. 8)
From: Twitter, @TheIlluminati
confirmed at : http://www.brainyquote.com/quotes/quotes/w/washington149291.html
Photo by archer10 (Dennis)
Happy Birthday to Washington Irving, born 3 April, 1783.