Am I the only one who asks myself "how do I become great?" I feel like I have been asking myself this question since I graduated from high school (which means I've been asking this question for a while). I want my life to mean something and for people to remember me. But I always come back to the "how."
Recently I came across the biography of Marie Curie, the first woman to win a Nobel Prize. Madame Curie was a great woman. Not only was she the first woman to win a Nobel Prize, but she won two Nobel Prizes. She was also the first woman to be a professor at Sorbonne, a college in France.
After reading about Madame Curie, I realized there were three things she did in her life that I could do to help me achieve my lifelong dream of greatness:
It almost seems contradictory that if you want to be great you need to help others become great. But through Marie's example we see that when you give, you end up receiving more than you sacrificed.
Marie and her older sister, Bronya, wanted more education, but they were not able to get it in their hometown, Warsaw. The girls banded together and made a plan. According to her biographyMarie would work to earn money for Bronya's school tuition. Once she was finished Bronya would work to pay for Marie to go to school as well. Marie sacrificed her time so her sister could get an education first.
Bronya repaid the debt and at age 24, and Marie was able to start earning her degree.
Today it is easier to get jealous than to offer help. We often find ourselves scrolling through our Instagram feed instead of talking to people. If we reached out, others would lift us in return.
It was in school that Marie met her husband Pierre Curie. They quickly fell in love. His parents gave them money for their wedding gift, and they chose to spend it on something simple — two bicycles. These bikes became a great tool to improve their marriage, spend time together and relax.
Today it seems that the only way to relax is to go on a beach-side vacation. But you can find simple things every day to escape reality like exercise, reading a book or going on a walk with someone.
Madame Curie had a lot of fight in her. She would rather do it herself than have someone else do it for her. After her husband died she refused his pension; she said that she could provide for herself. And she did. She became head of her husband's laboratory and the first woman to teach at Sorbonne. From her research at the school, she later went on to win the Nobel Prize in Chemistry.
We all handle grief differently, but Madame Curie knew what she was capable of and always tried her best. There is always something we can do every day to be a little better, and all we have to do is keep trying.
These three simple attitudes helped Marie Curie achieve greatness. By following these three things, you can achieve greatness too.