Greatness is commonly defined as the ability to achieve your chosen goals with excellence and high level of mastery. It means living your life on your own terms in the grandest way possible. If a person wants to be great in one thing, he must have a clear direction as to how he’s going to achieve it. Greatness should be done out of your own efforts too. You cannot be great just because the society, culture, or your family and friends told you so. You have to develop yourself and achieve a high level of mastery at one thing in order to be great. Do not be afraid of working with partners and collaborators as well because they will help bring out that greatness in you.
Although most people think greatness only means wealth, power, prestige, prosperity and fame, sometimes greatness can go beyond what the world is trying to make it be. Greatness is also being able to genuinely sacrifice something for someone else’s own good. For a person to be great, he has to be humble, politely endure criticisms, selfless, and not afraid to manifest passion. When you look at the needs of those who are around you rather than just yourself, you are great. If you don’t judge people based on their appearance, if you find a solution to other people’s problems, if you find the positive in every unfortunate situation, you are great. There is greatness when a person has kindness in his/her heart.
If you want to know more definitions of greatness, we collected the best greatness quotes there is today. We hope that aside from achieving your goals and being great with it, may you also practice greatness by being a good role model to those who are around you.
1. America’s greatness has been the greatness of a free people who shared certain moral commitments. Freedom without moral commitment is aimless and promptly self-destructive. – John W. Gardner
2. Kindness is the essence of greatness and the fundamental characteristic of the noblest men and women I have known. – Joseph B. Wirthlin
3. High achievers, we imagine, were wired for greatness from birth. But then you have to wonder why, over time, natural talent seems to ignite in some people and dim in others. – Nancy Gibbs
4. Whoever renders service to many puts himself in line for greatness – great wealth, great return, great satisfaction, great reputation, and great joy. – Jim Rohn
5. I often speak publicly, and when I do, I also get to listen to other presenters. The most memorable are the ones that hit an emotional chord with a tight story and a punch line. No fluff. Keep it creative and concise. Greatness exists in quality, not quantity. – Lewis Howes
6. Think like a queen. A queen is not afraid to fail. Failure is another stepping stone to greatness. – Oprah Winfrey
7. Success isn’t always about greatness. It’s about consistency. Consistent hard work leads to success. Greatness will come. – Dwayne Johnson
8. The greatness of a man is not in how much wealth he acquires, but in his integrity and his ability to affect those around him positively. – Bob Marley
9. The greatness of a community is most accurately measured by the compassionate actions of its members. – Coretta Scott King
10. The price of greatness is responsibility. – Winston Churchill
11. Some are born great, some achieve greatness, and some have greatness thrust upon them. – William Shakespeare
12. The greatness of a nation can be judged by the way its animals are treated. – Mahatma Gandhi
13. There is no greatness where there is no simplicity, goodness and truth. – Leo Tolstoy
14. It is a rough road that leads to the heights of greatness. – Lucius Annaeus Seneca
15. The test of leadership is not to put greatness into humanity, but to elicit it, for the greatness is already there. – James Buchanan
16. The Black skin is not a badge of shame, but rather a glorious symbol of national greatness. – Marcus Garvey
17. Being the best is great, I’m number one. But being unique is greater, I’m the only one.
18. Behind every great man is a woman rolling her eyes.
19. Behind every great man is a woman rolling her eyes. – Jim Carrey
20. Do not let other people take you to a dead-end, when you can find your own path to greatness.
21. I’m am not a great man. I am just a man, who has ideas and forces them on to the public, via the Internet.
22. You must remain focused on your journey to greatness. – Les Brown
23. The greatness of America lies not in being more enlightened than any other nation, but rather in her ability to repair her faults. – Alexis de Tocqueville
24. True greatness consists in being great in little things. – Charles Simmons
25. The final proof of greatness lies in being able to endure criticism without resentment. – Elbert Hubbard
26. Suffering becomes beautiful when anyone bears great calamities with cheerfulness, not through insensibility but through greatness of mind. – Aristotle
27. Few will have the greatness to bend history itself; but each of us can work to change a small portion of events, and in the total; of all those acts will be written the history of this generation. – Robert Kennedy
28. Monuments and archaeological pieces serve as testimonies of man’s greatness and establish a dialogue between civilizations showing the extent to which human beings are linked. – Vicente Fox
29. The true way to be humble is not to stoop until you are smaller than yourself, but to stand at your real height against some higher nature that will show you what the real smallness of your greatness is. – Phillips Brooks
30. Greatness is not guarding yourself from the people; greatness is being accepted by the people. – Mike Tyson
31. Greatness comes by doing a few small and smart things each and every day. Comes from taking little steps, consistently. Comes from a making a few small chips against everything in your professional and personal life that is ordinary, so that a day eventually arrives when all that’s left is The Extraordinary. – Robin S. Sharma
32. Here in America, we don’t let our differences tear us apart. Not here. Because we know that our greatness comes from when we appreciate each other’s strengths, when we learn from each other, when we lean on each other, because in this country, it’s never been each person for themselves. No, we’re all in this together. We always have been. – Michelle Obama
33. All greatness of character is dependent on individuality. The man who has no other existence than that which he partakes in common with all around him, will never have any other than an existence of mediocrity. – James F. Cooper
34. The difference between greatness and mediocrity is often how an individual views a mistake. – Nelson Boswell
35. Man’s greatness lies in his power of thought. – Blaise Pascal
36. Take those chances and you can achieve greatness, whereas if you go conservative, you’ll never know. I truly believe what doesn’t kill you makes you stronger. Even if you fail, learning and moving on is sometimes the best thing. – Danica Patrick
37. As human beings, our greatness lies not so much in being able to remake the world – that is the myth of the atomic age – as in being able to remake ourselves. – Mahatma Gandhi
38. The true greatness of a person, in my view, is evident in the way he or she treats those with whom courtesy and kindness are not required. – Joseph B. Wirthlin
39. Some are born great, some achieve greatness, and some hire public relations officers. – Daniel J. Boorstin
40. If we cannot see the possibility of greatness, how can we dream it? – Lee Strasberg
41. The greatness of a man is measured by the way he treats the little man. Compassion for the weak is a sign of greatness. – Myles Munroe
42. Only in America can someone start with nothing and achieve the American Dream. That’s the greatness of this country. – Rafael Cruz
43. There is greatness in the fear of God, contentment in faith of God, and honour in humility. – Abu Bakr
44. An ignorance of means may minister to greatness, but an ignorance of aims make it impossible to be great at all. – Elizabeth Barrett Browning
45. Your ego can become an obstacle to your work. If you start believing in your greatness, it is the death of your creativity. – Marina Abramovic
46. Greatness is a road leading towards the unknown. – Charles de Gaulle
47. Once you have come to know how great you are, then your mind, heart and soul will not let you give up.
48. The true greatness of the soul is to help others without expecting anything in return.
49. Every great man was thought to be insane before he changed the world. Some never changed the world. They were just insane.
50. Our greatness has always come from people who expect nothing and take nothing for granted – folks who work hard for what they have, then reach back and help others after them. – Michelle Obama
51. Greatness is not measured by what a man or woman accomplishes, but by the opposition he or she has overcome to reach his goals. – Dorothy Height
52. Greatness lies, not in being strong, but in the right using of strength; and strength is not used rightly when it serves only to carry a man above his fellows for his own solitary glory. He is the greatest whose strength carries up the most hearts by the attraction of his own. – Henry Ward Beecher
53. So many people have this idea: I want to achieve something great or be somebody great. And they neglect the step that leads to greatness. They don’t honor this step at this moment because they have this idea of some future moment where they are going to be great. – Eckhart Tolle
54. We’re all human. We have our foibles, we’ve made mistakes, and yet there is still greatness. – Michael Ansara
55. If you look up the definition of greatness in the dictionary, it will say Michael Jordan. – Elgin Baylor
56. The only greatness for man is immortality. – James Dean
57. I realize now that I’ve hoped to be great – as an actress, as a mother – because I want to embody the greatness of women who didn’t get to be all they could have been. Their dignity, their courage, and their brilliance make me strive to be better. They’re a part of me. – Salma Hayek
58. We must never forget that Black History is American History. The achievements of African Americans have contributed to our nation’s greatness. – Yvette Clarke
59. You can never let anything distract you from your main objective. My only goal is to be great. That’s all I want. That’s all I ever aspire to be. Greatness is something nobody can ever take away from you, no matter what happens. So I put all my energy and focus into my craft. – Larry Fitzgerald
60. Just do what must be done. This may not be happiness, but it is greatness. – George Bernard Shaw
61. I always knew I was destined for greatness. – Oprah Winfrey
62. Greatness comes from fear. Fear can either shut us down and we go home, or we fight through it. – Lionel Richie
63. The task of leadership is not to put greatness into humanity, but to elicit it, for the greatness is already there. – John Buchan
64. I believe greatness is an evolutionary process that changes and evolves era to era. – Michael Jordan
65. Many have had their greatness made for them by their enemies. – Baltasar Gracian
66. Illusions of grandeur are not the same as visions of greatness. – Edwin Louis Cole
67. Now and then, I had moments of greatness, but I never knew how to duplicate it consistently. – Ian Williams
68. Therefore let men withdraw themselves from errors; and laying aside corrupt superstitions, let them acknowledge their Father and Lord, whose excellence cannot be estimated, nor His greatness perceived, nor His beginning comprehended. – Lactantius
69. Man’s greatness consists in his ability to do and the proper application of his powers to things needed to be done. – Frederick Douglass
70. The real test of business greatness is in giving the opportunity to others. Many businessmen fail in this because they are thinking only of personal glory. – Charles M. Schwab
71. Egypt gave birth to what later would become known as ‘Western Civilization,’ long before the greatness of Greece and Rome. – John Henrik Clarke
72. Every day, people settle for less than they deserve. They are only partially living or at best living a partial life. Every human being has the potential for greatness. – Bo Bennett
73. At a certain point, you have to kind of realize that greatness is a messy thing. – James Gray
74. Some great men owe most of their greatness to the ability of detecting in those they destine for their tools the exact quality of strength that matters for their work. – Joseph Conrad
75. Other famous men, those of much talk and few deeds, soon evaporate. Action is the dignity of greatness. – Jose Marti
76. Be free all worthy spirits, and stretch yourselves, for greatness and for height. – George Chapman
77. There is as much greatness of mind in acknowledging a good turn, as in doing it. – Lucius Annaeus Seneca
78. We have, I fear, confused power with greatness. – Stewart Udall
79. Greatness is a spiritual condition worthy to excite love, interest, and admiration; and the outward proof of possessing greatness is that we excite love, interest and admiration. – Matthew Arnold
80. Great men are rare, poets are rarer, but the great man who is a poet, transfiguring his greatness, is the rarest of all events. – John Drinkwater
81. Leadership and greatness come to those who follow-through. Who stands for near-flawless execution. – Robin S. Sharma
82. Nothing liberates our greatness like the desire to help, the desire to serve. – Marianne Williamson
83. Do not despise the bottom rungs in the ascent to greatness. – Publilius Syrus
84. Run away from greatness and greatness will follow you. – Abu Bakr
85. The greatness of a man’s power is the measure of his surrender. – William Booth
86. Poverty is a veil that obscures the face of greatness. An appeal is a mask covering the face of tribulation. – Khalil Gibran
87. The young athlete who aspires to greatness, generally speaking, learns a number of things from several different coaches. The first one taught him the fundamentals; the second one instilled discipline in him and taught him more of the techniques that must be mastered to excel. – Zig Ziglar
88. I want to go out and chase greatness. That’s all I want to do. – J. J. Watt
89. Greatness can never be over because you can lay it down for a minute. – Timbaland
90. Goodness does not consist in greatness, but greatness in goodness. – Athenaeus
91. No university in the world has ever risen to greatness without a correspondingly great library. When this is no longer true, then will our civilization have come to an end. – Lawrence Clark Powell
92. Great men lose somewhat of their greatness by being near us; ordinary men gain much. – Walter Savage Landor
93. The greatness of a man is great in that he knows himself to be wretched. A tree does not know itself to be wretched. – Blaise Pascal
94. The place does not make the man, nor the sceptre the king. Greatness is from within. – Robert Green Ingersoll
95. We must not measure greatness from the mansion down, but from the manager up. – Jesse Jackson
96. Protection and patriotism are reciprocal. This is the way which has led nations to greatness. – John C. Calhoun
97. I am grateful that I didn’t let fear get the best of me. It only holds you back from possibilities and greatness. – Mariska Hargitay
98. Reach for greatness, nothing less. And make sure you have some fun along the way. – Steven Van Zandt
99. Greatness and fiasco is the same. You’re reaching for something just out of your grasp, and if you get it, it’s great, and if you don’t, it’s a disaster. – Noah Hawley
100. I always believed in myself, and even in the bad times, when I’d do bits of greatness here and there, it was those kinds of things that kept me alive and helped me to get to where I am now. – Robbie Lawler
101. You need a lot of effort and talent to produce greatness. – Tom Rath
102. The idea that you have to pursue greatness, it’s up to you; it’s your life. – Charlie Trotter
103. It takes a certain courage and a certain greatness to be truly base. – Jean Anouilh
104. Greatness, in the last analysis, is largely bravery, courage in escaping from old ideas and old standards and respectable ways of doing things. – James Harvey Robinson
105. When you close your eyes to tragedy, you close your eyes to greatness. – Stephen Vizinczey
106. To achieve greatness one should live as if they will never die. – François de La Rochefoucauld
107. No man is truly great who is great only in his lifetime. The test of greatness is the page of history. – William Hazlitt
108. Having a story is what people connect with, but the story alone doesn’t allow you to achieve greatness and results. It’s the day-to-day consistency of providing value to your audience. – Lewis Howes
109. Recognizing poor leadership is a vital skill to help you achieve greatness. – Lewis Howes
110. We shall never resolve the enigma of the relation between the negative foundations of greatness and that greatness itself. – Jean Baudrillard
111. Stick to your true north, build greatness for the long term. – Ruth Porat
112. Goodness makes greatness truly valuable, and greatness makes goodness much more serviceable. – Matthew Henry
You can’t cost-cut your way to greatness. – Ruth Porat
114. The past always seems somehow more golden, more serious, than the present. We tend to forget the partisanship of yesteryear, preferring to re-imagine our history as a sure and steady march toward greatness. – Jon Meacham
115. If you break an individual record, it’s because of the greatness that comes before you. – Abby Wambach
116. For the most part, boys are very physical. It’s not enough for them to be told they have what it takes and they have greatness. They have to discover for themselves. We learn by doing. The doing has to be somewhat physical. – John Eldredge
117. Difficulty, my brethren, is the nurse of greatness. A harsh nurse, who roughly rocks her foster children into strength and athletic proportion. – William C. Bryant
118. The greatness of a musician is measured by the degree of fanaticism he brings to his playing. – Daniel Barenboim
119. I’m willing to put my body on the line and stuff like that, just to get a taste of that greatness. – Jason Day
120. I grew up in a renaissance period, a very lucky time when the greatest music ever made was also the most commercial. We’ll never see that again, so for me, there’s only one criteria, which is greatness. That’s all I care about. Is what I’m doing reaching for greatness? Whether I achieve it or not, that is one hundred percent of my criteria. – Steven Van Zandt
121. It is incumbent upon us to understand our greatness and believe in it so that we do not cheapen and profane ourselves. – Meir Kahane
122. I don’t necessarily want to hear about my talent or my greatness as an actor. – Douglas Booth
123. Greatness does not approach him who is forever looking down. – Hitopadesa
124. There aren’t many people in the world that are as respected and loved when it comes to entertainment and as big as Pac. But the greatness that I adore the most is him as a man. – Demetrius Shipp, Jr.
125. Greatness for me is the ability to focus under pressure. – Anthony Martial
126. Marino was inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame in 2005, and his name always comes up when the conversation centers on the greatest quarterbacks of all time. But his greatness comes with an asterisk: He never won the Big Game. – Don Yaeger
127. It is not the greatness of a man’s means that makes him independent, so much as the smallness of his wants. – William Cobbett
128. There is nothing as special as watching greatness. – Sean Astin
129. The line between greatness and obscurity is very, very small. – Peabo Bryson
130. Recipe for greatness? To bear up under loss, to fight the bitterness of defeat and the weakness of grief, to be victorious over anger, to smile when tears are close, to resist evil men and base instincts, to hate hate and to love love, to go on when it would seem good to die, to seek ever after the glory and the dream, to look up with unquenchable faith in something evermore about to be, that is what any man can do, and so be great. – Zane Grey
131. True greatness is anonymous. Therefore the greatest man is nobody.
132. In this world of imperfection, humility is the tool for self-greatness.
133. Desire to become great will always force us to realize the greater power in us.
134. A great man or woman may not be seen in the pages of history, but they are always found in the hearts of people they have touched.
135. Great things never come from comfort zones.
136. When you look in the mirror what do you see in yourself? You should see survival, greatness, passion, hunger and faith. You are a conqueror, so put on your best look and be great.
137. You don’t have to be great to start, but you have to start to become great.
138. Put that smile back on your face. Don’t ever let anyone bring you down. You are more than destined for greatness. You just have to be willing to go through hell, to get to where you want to be. It’s not about how hard you get hit, but about how hard you can get hit, and stand back up, and say ‘is that all you got’?
139. Greatness is not manifested by unlimited pragmatism, which places such a high premium on the end justifying any means and any methods. – Margaret Chase Smith