The Art of Becoming Great

Listen and I will tell you how to become greater than the world.

First, become small. As small as you can without disappearing altogether. Tighten your arms around your knees and shut your eyes tight and think “smaller smaller smaller.” Don’t get excited as you begin to shrink–only remember that you will never be tiny enough.

Second, eat a balanced breakfast. Balanced does not mean, in this particular case, you should eat a collection of nutritious, physician-approved food items. It means eat something you enjoy. Eat tuna salad and egg rolls and grilled cheese. Eat cold cereal or raspberry jelly or pie. If you’d rather, eat nothing at all. Drown yourself in coffee or peanut butter milkshakes if that pleases you. Keep in mind that by “eat,” really I mean eat, drink, laugh, shower, run, kiss, cry, sleep, do. And by “breakfast,” I mean lunch, dinner, midnight snacks and all the times in between.

Third–and this isn’t so important, but could hasten your becoming great by a good deal–don’t have too much fun. Beware of turning up the music, of dancing with closed eyes and blissful abandon. Beware of singing too loud in the shower and reading good books for long periods of time. Don’t work so hard that you get many things done and don’t laugh so hard that laughter is the only thing you can hear. Because then, you will miss armfuls of things. You will miss the people who choose to dance beside you and they will get tired and give up and eventually find another partner. You won’t notice the harmonies trying their hardest to join in with your song and when their throats are hoarse and their voices thoroughly ignored they will close their mouths and forget how to sing in the first place. And in the end, you will only have things that have gotten done and there will be nothing good left to do.

Fourth and finally, ignore this. Ignore me. Ignore my advice. Because–and this is key–if you spend effort–even the littlest bit–trying to become greater than this world, trying to become greater than a few, trying to become great at all, then you are wasting your time. And no one can teach you how to get that back. It can’t be done.

 So stop trying, and be. Stop learning, and do. Stop listening, and live. There is no becoming great. So stop becoming, and be.



  1. jamieayres · November 24, 2013

    So poetic!

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