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Isn't it true that as we achieve greatness, people get uncomfortable and leave?
I'm no authority on greatness, but of the people that I would consider great, I feel the opposite. Great people aren't the people who have loads of insight or the most talent or the profound ability to make others feel small. They are people who inspire others.
I like how one guy I've had the pleasure of working with was willing to do the dirty work, but gave me the vote of confidence to jump in a new machine and perform useful tasks. Great people have a can do attitude, and it's contagious. When they come around, it feels like the sun is coming out. When they are not around, their presence is missed. Cliff is one of those guys. He doesn't try for attention. He doesn't have to. The guy is a magnet. Cliff is a scruffy Tristan of a pipeliner (if you remember Brad Pitt in Legends of the Fall). He's a team player who inspires people to give 100% and love every minute. People follow him, not because he has profound insight or the ability to do everything better than everyone else. No, people follow him because he's a cowboy. He will make a hard job look easy and break a few rules in the process, but he does the little jobs too, modelling the attitude that doing less prestigious jobs won't take away greatness. Sure greatness is a subjective thing and everyone has greatness in them, but I like Cliff's style.  I wish I knew about it sooner.  I don't think it's greatness that drives people away, but maybe the craving that one might have for greatness. That craving can make people with genuine greatness loathsome to be around because they go to work trying to generate more prestige than they've earned. They might boss people around or play the Know-it-all. That style doesn't sit right with me or the other guys in my camp.  If you want to be great, mix bold with wise and a smack of humility, and I'm sure you will be doing things in circles you wouldn't have dreamed of a year ago. Wiping bums or dressing wounds maybe. (Not the circles you had in mind?)  If you make a few enemies along the way, that could mean a few things, not necessarily a sign you are on the right track, or the wrong one. People who are confident are willing to tell people off when lines are crossed.
I wish I had a little more of that. 
Great people make a difference right? Pushing for change in something can conflict with preservation or other interests. 

  What I know now is that feeling scared is part and parcel with walking the line that Jesus talked about with his circle of dudes, and a little inner tremor has been no stranger to me in the last year where great things have happened. Where I've met some of the Great. They come along and breed volition. It's not a call for human idolatry, but a service for the little warriors in the rest of us that need vision and a little faith to bust out. God Speed you crazies.
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:iconsahasa:
Sahasa Featured By Owner Jun 17, 2014
This is a very interesting subject!

Regardless of how we define 'greatness', I personally feel that it might say a few things about the personality, hopes, dreams and fears of the people, who are either leaving, or staying in the face of 'greatness'. Personal experiences of a person seem to be very likely to influence their decision making in these cases. Whether they want to stay around such a person or not.

What is considered (or the definition of) greatness for one person, might become a painful, shaming or bitter experience for someone else. Like you said. The craving for what seems to be success. Or greatness. Or a talent.

When a person sees someone else achieving the goals they have set for themself, with seeming ease (or perhaps with no ease at all but a very strong mindset!), this can cause pain. So much pain, that it turns the witness away, bitter. And demotivated ("I will never be able to..." etc. thoughts in that vein.)

If the witness is of another disposition, it can do the opposite and attract them to this 'greatness'. They want to know more, they want to find out. They are motivated, they want to fight harder to reach their goals too. ("If this person can do it..." etc.)

So it seems that it doesn't lie only in the 'greatness' itself, or the person that displays it... But that it lies in the witness's 'being', their heart if you will, how they respond to it. Not everyone will leave. Not everyone will be bitter. I don't know where the turning point is. What makes someone leave or not. It could be something trivial. It could be a thought pattern that has been deeply embedded in the being. It could be anything.

It's a shame, that we're petty enough to let ourselves be turned away from something great because of pain, or the past. Greatness is an opportunity for learning, for the future.

Build the wall. Huggle! 
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:iconruethefox:
RuetheFox Featured By Owner Jun 16, 2014  Hobbyist General Artist
Your right. By trying to be great, we can't really achieve anything. But i did not understand the last copule of sentences.
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:iconn8grafica:
N8grafica Featured By Owner Jun 16, 2014  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
I'll paraphrase the last couple sentences.  Greatness to me isn't a projection of superiority or traits that give them worship.  What makes great people so great is their ability to reinforce the will power in others. That's what I mean by 'breeding volition'. Take Arnold for example. He transformed bodybuilding by getting the movement going.  Jesus, same thing. He started a movement, then it got handed off by an unlikely group of guys, and girls.  The movements take off, in the face of opposition.  There is all kinds of great, but the leadership one impresses me the most, maybe because that's the one that seems most powerful, maybe it's because the power is mysterious to me.  It's also the one that produces the most damage when it goes sideways.  
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:iconruethefox:
RuetheFox Featured By Owner Jun 16, 2014  Hobbyist General Artist
Thanx! Ill think about that more often!
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:iconsukibelle:
sukibelle Featured By Owner Jun 16, 2014
i think it is true- that as we achieve greatness, people get uncomfortable and leave. i think at the root of it all, the unease and discomfort experienced in those watching the greatness in others stems from (what must have been there to begin with) something of an inferiority complex, or self-doubts. something along the lines of "wow.. there they are, being so amazing and ascending to new heights, whilst here i am, just.. being. doing nothing. i'll always be looking up at them now.. they've surpassed me."

at least, i think that's what it probably is. i think the desertion you speak of is likely a mask/cover up for human pride; from what i have witnessed, it seems to be the case that when someone achieves greatness, those around them that have not achieved greatness remove themselves from the situation because they are too proud to linger and look like the underachiever. stepping away takes away the possibility of people thinking that about them, its like a pre-emptive strike you might say.

what you said about craving greatness is also very true. in addition to all of what i've said, i think that there's a very deep jealousy in the ones that watch greatness and feel inadequate because its not them- maybe hidden or buried but in existence nonetheless. jealousy breeds bitterness and loathing, which again, might serve as the motive for someone removing themselves from the situation.

personally though, i feel the same way as you do (: i feel a spark of excitement in my heart when i meet someone that has achieved greatness; it feels good to stand in the light they cast onto me. warm, inspiring, encouraging, uplifting light. light that makes me feel like i want to be, and can be a better person. the kind of light that prompts growth, whether you like it or not- like the sun shining down on a flower. inevitable growth (: greatness is very subjective though, so whilst one person might view greatness as one having scaled mount everest, to me, someone who had mastered their mind would be (to me) among the greatest of all.
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:iconn8grafica:
N8grafica Featured By Owner Jun 16, 2014  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
The other thing is that any kind of mastery takes discipline. A commitment that takes sacrifice. Any athlete on an Olympic level, or musician is going to have a very specific social circle. It's just part and parcel with the work and time investment. Art isn't much different.  During the times that I was trying to push the quality of my end product, I had to furiously guard my mind against distractions and emotional weights that came from those trying to compete for attention. Those that aren't working to develop something that absolutely requires a spiritual and emotional calmness, won't get it, so changes have to happen.  
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:iconsukibelle:
sukibelle Featured By Owner Jun 17, 2014
that is very true. i think it's bitter-sweet though; because whilst its absolutely wonderful and aspirational for someone to achieve that level of dedication, discipline and commitment to any one thing, i think its also sad because a concentration of those three things in a person comes with extraordinary (and usually voluntary) isolation.

i used to be acquainted with a man in his early thirties; a very amiable and interesting gentleman- but whose profession was that of an oil painter. he was always so very engrossed in his work that there was barely time to get to know him (which i found very tragic). he would not allow himself to be distracted by anything when he was at work on his paintings, to the point where i truly believe the world could have come to an end and he'd still have his brush and palette at hand, completely nonplussed. 

i think that the people in the social circle of any kind of master of something must have either been in the circle before they mastered whatever they mastered. if they came into the life of the master at a later date, then they must have the gift of incredible patience and understanding. i understand completely the competition for attention. its sad that we can't do everything. 
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:iconn8grafica:
N8grafica Featured By Owner Aug 31, 2014  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
what was the name of the painter? If he was as committed as you say, I'ld like to check out his work
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:iconsukibelle:
sukibelle Featured By Owner Sep 4, 2014
i only knew him as 'fabio', the only other things i knew about him was that he lived in the UK and liked writing as well as painting. 
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:icondaffodillion:
DaffodilLion Featured By Owner Jun 15, 2014  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
Amen to that :)
(not trying to offend anyone religiously here)
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:iconn8grafica:
N8grafica Featured By Owner Jun 16, 2014  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
I think Amen just means "so be it". No offence in that one. 
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:icondaffodillion:
DaffodilLion Featured By Owner Jun 17, 2014  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
Oh. My old school told me it meant "I agree", and my new school never told me any different, so I thought it was appropriate. Sorry about that ^^;
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:iconn8grafica:
N8grafica Featured By Owner Jun 17, 2014  Hobbyist Traditional Artist

N8grafica Moments ago  Professional General Artist
Nothing to apologize for;) (Wink) "I agree", "so be it", "what he said" "as I have spoken". It all means the same type of thing. Totally neutral of anything religious.  Not that there is anything wrong with being religious.
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:icondaffodillion:
DaffodilLion Featured By Owner Jun 17, 2014  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
Aww, thanks :)
I agree too (see what I did there?), there's nothing wrong with being religious, with having something to believe in :)
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