The Biggest Enemy of Being Great

“I have nothing against millionaires, but I want El Bulli to remain accessible to a greater number of diners who appreciate what we are creating here." - Ferran Adrià

"Good is the biggest enemy of great." - Gordon Byrn

Yesterday I watched a DVD about Ferran Adria and his restaurant, El Bulli. For those of you who aren't familiar with the man, he is creator of a subset of the culinary arts referred to as molecular gastronomy. I was struck by two things about the man:
1) He is extremely passionate about food, more so than your usual chef--who are almost always extremely passionate about food, and
2) He went off and did something that was so out of the norm--which in hindsight was absolute genius--that he risked absolute disaster. Instead of playing it safe, going to culinary school, and getting a job working at a prestigious restaurant under a famous chef, went off and did something that was completely unique and groundbreaking.

In one of Gordon Byrn's blog posts, he said that one of his mentors mentioned that being good will hold you back from being great. If a person feels that they are good, they are going to get attached to that comfortable feeling of acceptance, and are less likely to go off and do something groundbreaking. It is very true that real genius is almost always misunderstood, and often times leads to dysfunction in other areas of one's life.

Okay, all this stuff is well and good, but where I really think my world and the world of Ferran Adria's cross is in the way of total disregard to perceived failure. When I take on new challenges sometimes I worry about being "wrong" or not "getting it fast enough." If I really want to do something great, I have to put these thoughts out of my head.  It is only when I step outside my comfort zone and feel some weirdness, discomfort, and awkwardness that I change and grow.
The fastest way to failure is not believing. The quickest way to success is believing and never stopping until you get there. There will be awkward moments and moments that take you outside your personality (comfort zone); however if you never experience that then you'll remain where you are, unchallenged, and never become better than good.  If you want to be great- believe you already are.


Post collaborated by Michael Munson & Bob Garon