JSC Words of Wisdom #5: Greatness Moves in Silence


Good Friday morning, Everyone! It’s time, once again, for the JSC Words of Wisdom, a.k.a. #JSCWOW. Reminder, This will drop every Friday morning, more often than not, at 6:00 am Eastern Time. Feel free to share this on your favorite social media outlet with the hashtag — #JSCWOW.

For this week’s Edition, in my industry, it’s award season and it got me to thinking about how often — and loudly — people go out of their way to put themselves over. All success isn’t success and all gold ain’t real. This week: Greatness often moves in silence.

I’m a lover of just about all music (sorry — not sorry — Country Music), and I have a saying that goes “Everyone has at least one song that I can get with.” I’m no fan of Lil’ Wayne but he has at least five songs that I dig. Drake ain’t a guy you’re gonna hear in my rotation. Even he had a couple of tracks that I can tolerate. This might shock a few of you out there, but I’m not much of a fan of Kendrick Lamar. I’m just not. He’s never really appealed much to me. I love me some hip-hop, and I’m sure he’s a good enough guy, but this over-praise of him as the “GOAT” is laughable. He’s solid, but I’ve heard much better. That said, one song off his new album — do rappers even make albums anymore? — caught my ear for a couple reasons. The song: Humble.

imgresFirst and foremost, the simple yet effective beat will burrow into your skull like a parasite. It’s catchy as hell and it goes perfectly with his style. Secondly, the dude makes a reference to Grey Poupon Dijon Mustard and, in the video, he provides a quick homage to one of the iconic commercials of the 1980s. As a certified 80s Baby, I’m always here for that shit! And, the tertiary point made in the song, is about simply showing some humility. A lot of it is the typical “You ain’t all that!” talk, but it’s done in a more concentrated and nuanced way. For years, I’ve often talked about humility. Not in the “Don’t celebrate in the end zone/Act Like You’ve Been There Before,” boring ass fake “humility” routine. I mean it more in a “be cognizant of where you are and how fortunate you are,” kind of humility.

NIB-Tim-Duncan-R_jpg_600x345_crop-smart_upscale_q85One of my favorite NBA players of all-time is Tim Duncan (and, boy, could the San Antonio Spurs use this guy right now!). People, to this day, say dude was “boring” and showed no emotion. Yes. He did constantly walk around with what I like to call “Resting Meh Face.” Yes, he wasn’t the flashiest dude and he often dressed like an extra in an early 90s Spike Lee movie. But he is quite possibly the greatest power forward in league history. He was a multiple time NBA Finals MVP, a 15-time All-Star, and a five-time world champion. Dude got the job done. What he often didn’t do, though, was waste his time and ours putting himself over as the greatest. Others do that for him. Seriously, if Tim Duncan did a radio interview and you came in halfway through, would you even know it was him speaking? So, when John Cena dropped that above quote on the Miz back in March during a promo on Talking Smack, what he said resonated with me for one big reason: A lot of the world’s most successful people don’t go on and on about how great they are. They let others do that for them.

They have enough people telling them that shit every single day. No matter what it is you do, and no matter how often you lie to yourself and say you don’t care what people think, you want validation in some form or fashion. It’s human nature. But nothing does it for me more than having people I don’t know come up on me unsolicited and compliment me on my work. We all need that. What I also drew from Cena’s quote is that we need to keep working and pushing, and grinding away everyday to get better. Having confidence is essential, as is thinking highly of your work. But the path to greatness is often paved with a swagger that walks softly and carries a huge stick.

In closing, as we head into this weekend, focus more on you. What are you doing to improve in life. Don’t get caught up in the accolades. Because, if you’re great at what you do, you won’t have to tell a soul about it. They will tell you.

Until Next Time, That’s The Way It Is. Friday, May 19, 2017.

Take Care, God Bless, Always Dare to Be Different, and G.O.M.A.B. Σ

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