I was watching a motivational video, that I’m going to share at the end of this post, when I asked myself that question.
Am I good enough to be great?
Now, I’m not going to put on this facade as if this isn’t a question that I haven’t asked myself the vast majority of my life because it is. I’m man enough to admit that I’ve never looked at myself as “that guy.” You know who that guy is. He’s the one that exudes confidence when he walks into any room, has a loyal following of people who are excited just to be around him, usually has a great career, marries a beautiful woman, drives a nice car, has immaculate taste in clothing, stays with a fresh haircut, pays his tithe, visits his grandparents every weekend, floss his teeth, and is just all around perfect.
I don’t consider myself “that guy,” because I’m someone who has the Ron Johnson Syndrome. You do remember Ron Johnson from A Different World, right? I binge watch that show on Netflix and I realized that he’s someone I connected with the most out of all of the other characters. He wasn’t Dwayne Wayne (who ended up with Whitley Gilbert and became the star of the show), but he wasn’t Terrence Taylor either (Colonel Taylor’s son, who eventually fizzled out of the show). I looked at Ron as someone who had so much more potential than what his character was painted out to be and it made me wonder. What if he was the guy that the producers of the show ran with, instead of Dwayne? What if he was the guy to end up with a great job and a beautiful wife? Would the series still be this popular and widely missed?
I never looked at myself as someone who could be “that guy” because I didn’t know if I had it in me to be “that guy.” You can say that it was a lack of confidence, skill, charisma, or maybe all of the above. I was never extremely shy as a kid growing up, but I was never the extremely popular one either; made good grades in school, but I was never a straight-A student; played sports, but I was never the star athlete; got the “aw, he’s cute” from a few girls, but I was never the one that all of the women wanted.
I know you’re probably thinking to yourself, “Broderick, you sound so superficial right now.” But isn’t that what makes you great? Being “that guy” or “that girl” who has those characteristics, or at least most of them. Doesn’t society define your greatness based off of what you do and not who you are? I mean, I can be a kind-hearted guy, but I’m not great unless I’m a kind-hearted guy with status. Right?
So how do I know that I’m great if I don’t have all of those things? And who are the people who are going to tell me how great I am? Will it be my family, friends, colleagues, strangers…or myself?
That’s when I answered my own question. I’m the one that’s going to determine whether I’m good enough to be great. No one else. I’m the one that’s going to turn me into “that guy” who has the confidence to take on any task, walk into any room, and overcome the many obstacles that await in this chemistry problem we call life. And how am I going to do that? By loving myself and embracing every characteristic that makes me different from the next person. Regardless of what my title may be in the end, my greatness will be defined by the power that I’ve given myself and not what someone else has given me.