Success is a long game — anyone who’s been working towards a dream knows this.

But this long-term outlook isn’t always very encouraging, especially when you’re entrenched in challenges, which can leave you feeling disoriented and discouraged to take any real meaningful action.

However, I’ve found a much simpler, modified perspective that has completely transformed the way I live and work towards my goals. And it all has to do with finding greatness in the moment.


Greatness is based upon the actions that you take moment by moment. Every time you choose to do the things required to be great you are great in that moment.

– Brian Moran

In The 12 Week Year, authors Brian Moran and Michael Lennington walk readers through their proven step-by-step process to getting more done.

At first, the book seems to outline a productivity/achievement system, albeit a highly effective one (and my personal favorite). But over time, the content goes into far more than the 12-week system — it expands into the real principles and strategies that lead to achievement in anything.

I’ve taken a lot from reading it. A lot more than what I got from most productivity-centric books I’ve read. However, one bit of wisdom has stood out as far more valuable to me than anything else:

Greatness isn’t results, or awards, or championships. Those things are the evidence of your greatness. The reality is that greatness is based upon the actions that you take moment by moment. Every time you choose to do the things required to be great you are great in that moment.

– Brian Moran

Moran and Lennington explain that greatness is simply a series of moments in which we perform at our best strung together. By seeking to do our best every minute of every day and then piecing together a week, month, year, and a decade in this way, we’re able to reap the rewards of the greatness we displayed over time.

While, to the outside world, success often seems to happen overnight, those who put in the work always remark on the contrary — that success was found in the quiet moments of practice, pushing themselves to the limit each and every day. This same sentiment is echoed in many high performers, including professional athletes such as Usain Bolt.

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Focus on finding greatness in each moment

Realizing our dreams and goals does ultimately require a long-term vision, but that can often be discouraging when we reflect on just how much we need to accomplish to reach our goal.

However, by shifting our mindset to this moment-to-moment approach, we can simplify the process and utilize a more dependable path.

Here’s a practical approach that combines several best-practices for maximizing productivity and performance:

  1. Find greatness in each moment: Don’t worry about maximizing your performance all day long, just pick one or two windows of about an hour or two where you seek to maximize your performance and then grow from there.
  2. Track your progress and performance: Track your performance each week and compare it to the previous week. How did you do? This ensures you’re making progress each week.
  3. Seek to go to bed each day thinking “I’ve done my best” (and accepting nothing else): Hold firm to your resolution to be at your best during those short windows of time. Find greatness in those moments and don’t let yourself go to sleep at night without knowing you did your best.

By using this process to maximize the effectiveness of this moment-to-moment mindset, you’ll simplify the path to realizing your dreams. It won’t be any easier, but you won’t face disorientation and discouragement when looking at the road ahead.

You’ll know exactly what you need to do: find greatness in this moment and worry about nothing else.