Fuzzygalore has been one of my favorite motorcycle bloggers for years. Her posts aren’t always motorcycle-intensive and that’s part of the charm. Fuzzy writes and posts pictures of life as it happens, and we love her for it. I’m going to take a page from Fuzzygalore’s book and forget about motorcycles for this one. If you like history and high hopes, this might still be for you.
Greatness and the Struggle
Surround yourself with people who take their work seriously, but not themselves, those who work hard and play hard. – Colin Powell
My closest friends are four of the most successful mid-twenty-something-year-olds that I know. Two of us bought our first properties on at 23 years old. Four of us are full-time or part-time entrepreneurs who set our own work hours and work rates. We all come from humble backgrounds, mostly immigrant parents, and work in different industries. We’re young, hyper-ambitious, and work fiendishly.
The world is yours.
It really is, but we’re never satisfied. My friend Coco (not her real name) is a phenomenal worker, leader, and a fixer for a large international company. She’s paid more and receives more weeks of vacation than most 26 year olds can imagine. Despite that, she confesses: “I’m not exactly where I saw myself being a few years ago.”
I suspect it’s that attitude that separates the complacent from the rebels, the sheep from the sharks: We’re always planning on doing even better, so we keep working.
A 2,000 year old story about a Roman you might know…
A Roman in Alexandria, Egypt found himself before a grand statue of Alexander the Great. The Roman was 32 years old, the same age as Alexander at the time of the conqueror’s passing. When Alexander passed at 32 years old he left behind an empire that spanned across most of the “known world.”
The Roman reflected on his own life at 32 years old: he had no empire, in fact, in comparison to Alexander, the Roman had nothing. The Roman wept as he looked at the statue because he thought history would never remember him the way it would remember Alexander the Great.
That Roman lives in all of us.
We’ve all seen greatness and wanted to achieve it. We’ve all wanted to take ourselves up a notch. We’ve all compared our accomplishments to those of others. We’ve all fallen short of our goals.
… but sometimes hard work pays and dreams come true.
So who was the 32 year old Roman crying in front of Alexander’s statue 2,000 years ago? His name was Julius Caesar. Like Alexander he would go on to change world history and set in stone a legacy that would last until the end of time. Caesar hopped on a ship, went back to Rome, go to work, and made his dreams come true.
More importantly, Caesar, the crying Roman, not Alexander, was the greater man.
Why? Alexander was able to accomplish so much at such a young age because he was the son of an Emperor. He inherited an empire. All Alexander had to do was grow his empire and maintain the status quo to be successful. Julius Caesar was not so fortunate. He had to risk everything and fight like a dog through war fields and political arenas to gain and expand his empire.
Your own statue of Alexander…
To my readers and friends:
You might not be where you want to be, or where you saw yourself, and that’s okay. Don’t be afraid to have larger-than-life expectations. Don’t be afraid to cry. Don’t be afraid to work like a slave in order to triumph like an Emperor. Do all of this and you’ll be destined for greatness. You will earn your own empire. I have faith in you.