Monday, May 30, 2016

Great Minds: Discipline

Great minds don’t think alike. In fact, they don’t think like anything or anyone else. While they share similar traits and often draw similar conclusions, great minds are great because of their unique direction, discipline and drive.

Having a great mind has little to do with I.Q and much more to do with big picture thinking.

These thinkers live in the present, learn from the past while looking to the future.

People like Dr. Bennet Omalu, Shirley Anita St. Hill Chisholm, Dr. Linus Pauling, Confucius or Kongzi, Leonardo Da Vinci, William Wilberforce, Harriett Tubman, Alexander Hamilton, Lin-Manuel Miranda and Bebe Ross Coker.

I could keep listing names and would love to, but that would take my brain in other directions; directions that may end up someplace great, and yes, I digress.

But the focus of a great mind stays to task and wanders at the same time. It is disciplined to the point of distraction and focused to the dismay of those who love them.

We often celebrate the speeches of the great minds of Dr. Martin Luther King, and Nelson Mandela but we forget the rigorous, painstaking work that goes into them. (It has been said that for every minute King spoke, he spent at least an hour in preparation.)

Nelson Mandela caused a great deal of worry and frustration because of the amount of time and work that went into his decisions. What looked like waiting to the last minute to some, was utilizing all resources and seconds for the good of everyone.

Great minds like Winton Marsalis, Ludwig Van Beethoven, Ella Fitzgerald and Prince often played the same note over and over and over again, and then they played it some more.

The focus required to get things just right takes as much discipline as learning to play for the first time.
Great minds do not stop at talent or ability. They know that money is not enough and that the last performance, no matter how brilliant must be improved.

Great minds do not think alike, but they are all disciplined and focused.

 Great minds belong to hard workers.

 These minds give birth to ideas and principles that last throughout the ages. Their art and artistry remain masterful and their principles and policies bring compassion and comfort for decades beyond their lifespan.

Great minds often come from poverty and hardship and have most certainly endured suffering.

In the words of Dr. King, “Rarely do we find men (and women) who willingly engage in hard, solid thinking. There is an almost universal quest for easy answers and half-baked solutions. Nothing pains some people more than having to think.”

Great minds require and bask in great discipline and thinking. What looks like boring reading, writing, editing, artistry and research to some, looks like a beautiful day to the great thinker.

Be you, be wonderful and a great thinker.

Bertice Berry, PhD.

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