To reach greatness, you must do a lot of sacrifices. You have to deal with a lot of nasty people, live with sordid memories and grieve over all your losses. You have to sacrifice just everything on to the crucible of life.

On the other hand, if you are not so ambitious, you can settle down with a normal partner, live a life without high dreams, and enjoy all the little things in life. The fresh air in your breath, the warm sun, the bright snow, the feel of sand under your feet in the beach, the wind brushing your hair and all that. .. The whole earth, the whole atmosphere, the whole sea, the lakes, the rivers, the mountains, the sky and the whole universe is in fact yours.

The second choice is so much better by all means. But why do some people still chase after the first choice, though the probability of disaster is very high? Why do they plunge headlong into attempts to do impossible deeds? Do they do it for having a meaning for life? Do they do it for love? From a nihilistic perspective none of these actually matter. Then why do completely normal people go on to do astonishing deeds and do great sacrifices on the way?

asked 12 Jun '10, 15:56

A%20G's gravatar image


I don't think that it's necessarily greatness that people chase but rather living to their full potential.

The first choice means moving outside our comfort zone and trying to be the best version of ourselves that we can be. This can prove to be extremely challenging and we can run into obstacles along the way. However by choosing this as a way of life we begin to feel alive in a way that those living a life of complacency ( or the second choice ) can't even begin to imagine - a bit like asking a car lover to compare the difference between driving a beetle or a ferrari.

The reason people choose the first as a way of life is because they came here to grow and expand and experience life - with all the ups and downs that it entails.


answered 14 Jun '10, 00:13

Michaela's gravatar image


edited 14 Jun '10, 00:47

No, the second choice isn't necessarily better at all. If I feel that my purpose of existence is something great, then I will probably strive toward it. If I achieve it, great. If not, I may go down trying and others may continue in whatever quest I was undertaking at the time of my demise.

Another thought is that they may not see the same probabilities. For some people, they believe that they can defy the odds and in some cases it may just work that way. Would that seem so illogical to you?

I would almost want to suggest taking a good look around at some of the things we have now and ponder if 100 years ago how many of these things seemed possible? Take cell phones, which are boxes that are powered internally and can communicate without wires. What would Alexander Graham Bell have thought of such an object as he created the telephone? How about all the medical advances we have now compared to just a few decades ago in terms of taking pictures of all kinds of things within the human body. What may seem impossible now may not be so tomorrow.

Some people may want fame, some may want to help others rather than seek glory for themselves or some may want a combination of both. Normal could be seen as overrated to some.

Abraham Lincoln's mother may have done a great deal of other things if we had the records of all the things that happened. How normal it all is could be debated for eons. After all, she did die when Abraham was 9. Her DNA lived on in her childern and there may be other stories you don't know about those children given that they lived so long ago now.


answered 12 Jun '10, 20:12

JB%20King's gravatar image

JB King

edited 12 Jun '10, 23:38

What did Abraham Lincoln's mother achieve in life, except raising her children? She was so very normal .. And yet, her job in life was so very important. It is not clear what is better and what is not. She could have instead tried to be influential herself, sacrificing all family and personal life for that ..

(12 Jun '10, 21:34) A G

I think the difference between both options is that of Living and Existing. Most of us yearn to Live i.e. reach out to extend ourselves and discover our full potential, but not many have the courage to stay on the path after a few obstacles come along our way.


answered 14 Jun '10, 08:45

I%20Think%20Therefore%20I%20Am's gravatar image

I Think Therefore I Am

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Asked: 12 Jun '10, 15:56

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Last updated: 14 Jun '10, 08:45

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