Such was the advertisement placed in a London newspaper in 1912, by Ernest Shackleton, a British Antarctic explorer.
My question is: Who on earth would respond to such an advertisement? Small wages, harsh conditions, imminent death... The only positive thing in this ad is a dubious hope for honour if success is achieved, which is not likely by the sounds of it.
There's something in us that longs to live a life of greatness, isn't there? Who aspires to mediocrity? We may fall into it, but I doubt there is anyone who intends to live a life that makes no difference and leaves no mark on the world.
I'm sure there are countless studies on what constitutes greatness and how to achieve it, and I won't add to the wealth of academic studies. I do, however, want to note a few characteristics that stand out among the "great" men and women I know:
- They were willing to take great risks.
- They went against modern thinking, conventions and even wisdom at times.
- They failed many times before they succeeded.
- They never gave up.
I have to wonder... if we believe in others as much as we believe in ourselves - if we encourage them and believe that success is possible no matter what challenges arise - if we are open to new ideas and "absurd" ways of doing things... of what great achievements will the world be able to boast?
The potential for greatness lies in each one of us.