Primary greatness is who you really are—your character, your integrity, your deepest motives and desires. Secondary greatness is popularity, title, position, fame, fortune, and honors.

He taught me not to worry about secondary greatness and to focus on primary greatness. He also noted that secondary greatness would often—but not always—follow those who achieve primary greatness, and that primary greatness had its own intrinsic rewards, such as peace of mind, contribution, and rich and rewarding relationships. These rewards far outweigh the extrinsic rewards of secondary greatness—money, popularity, and the self-absorbed, pleasure-ridden life that we too often consider “success.”

Primary Greatness: The 12 Levers of Success – Stephen R. Covey


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