Primary Greatness

What does “Primary Greatness” mean to you?

In his book, The Leader in Me, Stephen R. Covey coined the terms,  Primary Greatness and Secondary Greatness.  After reading the book, I was inspired to reflect on my own beliefs about greatness.

To me, Primary Greatness is the highest good for humans.

Our culture tells us that Primary Greatness is exemplified by degrees, awards, accomplishments, high grade point averages, beauty, athleticism, salary. . . I could not disagree more!!  All of those things are simply what I call Secondary Greatness– nice things to have, but devoid of true meaning.   To me, primary greatness is much different.   

Primary Greatness is the greatness of character that is attainable to all of us.   Primary greatness is waking up each morning and answering the question, “How can I make someone else’s life better today?”   It is stepping outside of one-self and into the shoes of another. It is the ability to walk alongside someone who is in pain, without getting lost in their pain.

Primary Greatness is about having a mindful presence that touches the hearts of others effortlessly.  It is not about “doing”, rather, it is about “being.”

You do not have to compete with anyone but yourself to achieve Primary Greatness.   You simply have to step out of your own pain,  and contribute to another human being.

Julie Discenza M.Ed., M.S., LMFT

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