The G in our acronym MAGIC stands for Good is the enemy of Great.
We often think that the opposite of good is bad. As in:
If I buy my wife diamond earrings for our anniversary. Good
If I buy her a mop. Bad
And while good and bad may be opposites the enemy of great is good.
Jim Collins, author of Good to Great: Why Some Companies Make the Leap… and Others Don’t says
“Good is the enemy of great. And that is one of the key reasons why we have so little that becomes great. We don’t have great schools, principally because we have good schools. We don’t have great government, principally because we have good government. Few people attain great lives, in large part because it is just so easy to settle for a good life.”
As I described earlier Success is…
- Knowing your purpose in life,
- Growing to reach your maximum potential, and
- Sowing seeds that benefit others
You can see by this definition why success is a journey rather than a destination. No matter how long you live or what you decide to do in life, you will never exhaust your capacity to grow toward your potential, nor will you run out of opportunities to help others. When you see success as a journey, then you never have the problem of trying to “arrive” at an elusive final destination. And you’ll never find yourself in a position where you’ve accomplished some final goal – only to discover that you’re still unfulfilled and searching for something else to do.
I have been a professional magician for over 25 years. After about ten years I had settled on a pretty good show. It got a good reaction, it got good audience response, and it paid the bills.
Then I was challenged by my mentor to take out the weakest piece in the show. I said it was a pretty good act now. He said that it could be better, that I should always be striving to make it better. A good show was not good enough.
He asked me to find the weakest piece in my show and replace it with something stronger. And then three months later, do that again. I asked, “When will I know that I’m done, when their are no weak parts?” He said, “Their is always a weakest part. That’s the point Greg; you can always improve.”
This point was driven home to me when I got a chance to spend some time with Andre Kole. Andre is one of the greatest illusionists and inventors in magic.
We were talking about performance and connecting with the audience and he said, ” I am always reminding David to remember to take in the whole audience, the balconies, the loges.” He was talking about David Copperfield. Now if David Copperfield was being coached and trying to be better, then I had better not settle for a good show.
Is it a great show yet? I’m not sure but it is better than when it was good.
Greatness is not a function of circumstance. Greatness, it turns out, is largely a matter of conscious choice, and discipline.