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  • Thrive Detroit

Learning from Greatness

“Legends aren’t born, they rise”--Anonymous

What makes the great, great? Those exact words are actually the title of an excellent book, “What Makes the Great, Great,” by Dennis Kembro.   The title says it all because it was about just that—the qualities, characteristics, and personal attributes possessed by those the world considers of stellar quality and character, who have achieved great success in their lives. After reading this book, I was more inspired than ever to leave a legacy of greatness and somehow and in some way leave the world a better place than I found it.  If you have even an inkling of desire to do the same, then the three tenets that follow can serve as your lamppost, guiding you every step of the way as you venture closer to your true destiny.

PUT GOD FIRST– So often we hit the ground running full speed into the day without guidance or direction, having forgotten to acknowledge the Source and express sincere gratitude for everything we are and everything we have. I have learned that when I make time to commune with God and meditate on his Word, I am most at peace and miracles seem to follow me everywhere I go.

BE A PERSON OF GREAT INTEGRITY– This is a word I hear tossed around a lot, and perhaps many people don’t have full grasp of what it means to truly have integrity, but it is a quality I find rare. One possessing true integrity is honest, selfless, impeccable with their word, and makes a conscious decision to try to do what is right all the time.  As Oprah put it, “Real integrity is doing the right thing, knowing that nobody’s going to know whether you did it or not.”

MAKE EXCELLENCE YOUR MINIMAL STANDARD– Webster’s Dictionary defines “excellent” as very good; eminently good, first- class. states that the meaning of “excellent” is “possessing outstanding quality or superior merit; remarkably good; extraordinary; superior.”  What more really needs to be said—if you reach for the moon, whether you touch it or not, at the very least you’ll have stardust in your hands.

It is my belief that if you rise to the occasion, master these fundamental life principles, and exemplify them in your life in everything you say and do, you will leave a legacy of greatness to your family, friends, society, and the world as a whole.  Remember, Detroit, the change we desire to see in others—in our communities, in the world—begins with us, each of us individually. That being said, let’s rise to the occasion together. See you at the top!

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