The Problem with Greatness

Posted on: April 21st, 2015 by Dr. Spencer Baron No Comments

Woman in the stretching yoga position

Secrets of the Mental Game

The Problem with Greatness - Balance

Why do we keep hearing about all these “great” people having such screwed up personal lives?

  • “Priests and pedophilia”
  • “Heads of government and sex scandals”
  • “Influential business leaders and embezzlement”
  •  “Professional athletes and infidelity”

And so on ….

It may very well be due to “Shakespearean’s Tragic Flaw,” a condition where your greatest talent can be your greatest fault.   This behavior was purposely exhibited in the characters that William Shakespeare illustrated in his scripts for heroes like Thanes or Generals in the army, as in Macbeth, Othello, and Antony, or from royalty, like King Lear, Hamlet, or Cleopatra, each eventually fall from grace.  This personality trait was brilliantly used to help the common people identify with the wealthier upper class.  If the elite, aristocratic ruling class, who were generally looked upon with favor and prestige, could sin much like the commoners did, then no one group of people were more superior.  This accounts for the popularity in mindless, celebrity gossip magazines, websites and TV shows.

You can apply this principle to almost any “great” person in history. Why do they also have such problems in their lives? They are usually well known for doing just ONE thing great!

Have you ever been referred to a doctor and told “he’s the best,” only to find out he has the worst bedside manner?  Ever know a comedian that is absolutely hilarious, yet experience difficulty during a relaxed, calm, constructive, serious moment?

At a recent teacher/parent conference, our son’s teacher walked up to us with an enthusiastic grin and said, “We finally figured out what was wrong with your son.” For a moment, we were overtaken with a chilling sense of apprehension, while braced for the answer.

“He has a 143 IQ,” she then started to laugh.

The teachers explained why they were anxious to work with our son due to one very fundamental reason … he is very socially integrated. In other words, his Emotional Quotient (EQ) is also very high – he gets along very well with others. This is not the natural combination of attributes among geniuses. This child has balance, whereas, both sides of his brain, left for logic and calculation and the right being creative (artistic) and emotional, are balanced.

The key component to achieving all around “greatness,” is BALANCE.

Out of balance is being known as a “nice person,” alternately this may make one easily taken advantage of.  Another example is one who always does something for others, is also the same person who may not do anything for themselves.

In an astonishingly coincidental and unrelated moment, my public relations consultant was describing “Shakespearean’s Tragic Flaw,” while the day prior to this discussion, the title and subject of this article was created. It was a spiritual sign!

Her education provoked this commentary and question, can you be “GREAT” and balanced at the same time?  You can have moments of greatness and moments of balance.  She wonders if, “Balance may prevent greatness.”

If you are in balance, can you be great?  The answers lie in the ability of one to be genuinely in touch with the element of balance and to also stay committed to what is also important to a normal, functional (versus dysfunctional) life.

Where do you exhibit balance? Or do you exhibit a loss of balance?

Please comment and share, you never know how much despair someone may be in. They may find this dialogue enlightening.

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