Greatness lies not in being strong,
but in the right use of strength.

Henry Ward Beecher


The first element of greatness is fundamental humbleness (this should not be confused with servility); the second is freedom from self; the third is intrepid courage, which, taken in its widest interpretation, generally goes with truth; and the fourth—the power of love—although I have put it last, is the rarest.

Margot Asquith


To be great, be whole:  do not exaggerate or exclude anything of
what is yours.  Be entire in everything.  Put all that you are into the least that you do.  Be like the full moon, living aloft and shining everywhere.

Fernando Pessoa


Human greatness does not lie in wealth or power, but in character and goodness.  People are just people, and all people have faults and shortcomings, but all of us are born with a basic goodness.

Anne Frank

Greatness is a transitory experience.  It is never consistent.  It depends in part upon the myth-making imagination of humankind.  The person who experiences greatness must have a feeling for the myth he or she is in.  That person  must reflect what is projected upon him or her.

Frank Herbert

Few people have courage enough to appear as good as they really are.  Most people confuse greatness with power, despite the fact that greatness has nothing to do with power.

Julius Charles


Greatness consists not in the holding of some future office, but really
consists in doing great deeds with little means and the accomplishment
of vast purposes from the private ranks of life.

Russell H. Conwell


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What is greatness?  Greatness is when you have found
out that you are not great, but everything else is.

Yogi Bhajan


Great people never make bad use of their superiority;
they see it, and feel it, and are not less modest; the
more they have, the more they know their own deficiencies.

Jean Jacques Rousseau


One becomes great exactly in the degree to which
he or she works for the welfare of one's fellow people.

Mohandas Gandhi

There can be no greatness in things.  Things cannot be great.
The only greatness is unselfish love.

Henry Drummond

I believe that the first test of a great person is his or her humility.
I don't mean by humility, doubt of one's power.  But really great
people have a curious feeling that the greatness is not of them,
but through them.  And they see something divine in every other
person and are endlessly, foolishly, incredibly merciful.

John Ruskin


Is it so bad, then, to be misunderstood?  Pythagoras was misunderstood,
and Socrates, and Jesus, and Luther, and Copernicus, and Galileo, and
Newton, and every pure and wise spirit that ever took flesh.
To be great is to be misunderstood.

Ralph Waldo Emerson

Wherever you find a great man, you will find a great mother or a
great wife standing behind him--or so they used to say.  It would
be interesting to know how many great women have had
great fathers and husbands behind them.

Dorothy L. Sayers
Gaudy Night


Not everybody can be famous but everybody can be
great, because greatness is determined by service.

Martin Luther King Jr.


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Your greatness is revealed not by the lights that shine
upon you, but by the light that shines within you.

Ray Davis

The mark of a great man is one who knows when to set aside the
important things in order to accomplish the vital ones.

Brandon Sanderson
The Alloy of Law


Doing what needs to be done may not
make you happy, but it will make you great.

George Bernard Shaw


Our key to greatness lies not in our ability to project ourselves to
others as if we are putting ourselves onto a projector and creating
an image of ourselves on a projector screen. Rather, our key to
greatness lies in who we are which we can give to other people in
a way that when they walk away from us, they are able to say in their
hearts that they have taken away something with them quite extraordinary.

C. JoyBell C.

If a person has any greatness in oneself, it comes to light, not in one
flamboyant hour, but in the ledger of one's daily work.

Beryl Markham
West with the Night


You don’t achieve greatness in life by being surrounded by mediocre
people with mediocre values.  Choose your company wisely.

Amy Chan


There is no one great man.  Only millions of men and women in
possession of tiny pieces of greatness, which when put together,
when assembled in the aggregate make the whole.  I am a piece
of a very large jigsaw puzzle.  One of the corner pieces.  The one
you go for first--important for a time, different from most of the
others.  But then, in the end, in the big picture, just one of many.

Mark Dunn
Ibid: A Novel

As human beings, our greatness lies not so much in being able
to remake the world--that is the myth of the atomic
age--as in being able to remake ourselves.

Mohandas Gandhi


Greatness of spirit consists not in soaring high and in pressing
forward, but in knowing how to adapt and limit oneself.

Michel de Montaigne

The True Measure of Greatness
Randall S. Weeks

A young student once asked his old teacher, "Teacher, what is the true measure of greatness?"  The teacher looked far away into the mountains and gave the following reply:

Some measure greatness in height and weight, but great people are never so tall as when they stoop to talk to a child or bend their knees to help a hurting friend.

Some measure greatness in physical strength, but great people are never so strong as when they shoulder the burden of the downtrodden stranger.

Some measure greatness in terms of financial gain, but those who show generosity to their family and friends, they are the ones who are truly rich.

Some measure greatness in applause and accolades, but those who seek opportunity to serve in the quiet places of the world, theirs is the higher reward.

Some measure greatness in commitment to achieving in material ways, but those who spur others on to reach their goals is great indeed.

Great people have vision and do not keep the truth to themselves.

Great people have passion for life and are not ashamed to show it.

Great people expect the best from others and give the best of themselves.

Great people know how to work and how to play, how to laugh and how to cry, how to give and how to receive, how to love and how to be loved.

There are many people who are by the world called "great," but those who bear honor in their hearts, who can, in the evening hours, lie upon their beds and peacefully close their eyes, knowing that they have done all that is within their power to live their lives fully and fruitfully, those are truly great people.

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The great people of the earth are but marking stones on the road of humanity.

Giuseppe Mazzini

It is the test of greatness in a person that he or she should be able to
see greatness in others, and give them ungrudging credit for it.

John Ruskin


They are the great people who use earthenware dishes
as if they were silver; and they are equally great who
use silverware as if it were earthenware.



Great spirits have always found violent opposition from mediocrities.
The latter cannot understand it when a person does not thoughtlessly
submit to hereditary prejudices but honestly and
courageously uses his or her intelligence.

Albert Einstein

The price of greatness is responsibility.

Winston Churchill



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(Found online images come from a variety of unattributed
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Yes, life can be mysterious and confusing--but there's much of life that's actually rather dependable and reliable.  Some principles apply to life in so many different contexts that they can truly be called universal--and learning what they are and how to approach them and use them can teach us some of the most important lessons that we've ever learned.
My doctorate is in Teaching and Learning.  I use it a lot when I teach at school, but I also do my best to apply what I've learned to the life I'm living, and to observe how others live their lives.  What makes them happy or unhappy, stressed or peaceful, selfish or generous, compassionate or arrogant?  In this book, I've done my best to pass on to you what I've learned from people in my life, writers whose works I've read, and stories that I've heard.  Perhaps these principles can be a positive part of your life, too!
Universal Principles of Living Life Fully.  Awareness of these principles can explain a lot and take much of the frustration out of the lives we lead.



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