Stand on the Shoulders of Giants

Stand on the shoulders of giants. This quote has a profound meaning. Standing on the shoulders of a giant gives me clarity, confidence and confirmation to move forward. There are many lessons to be learned. Please the following article. Food for thought!


Stand on the shoulders of giants. 

I once had a teacher tell me to, “Stand on the shoulders of giants.” Not only are they words that I’ve never forgotten, but they are also words that seem to morph in meaning with each passing day. At the time my teacher’s point was to stress that the more you learn from people who are better and smarter than you are, the less fear and doubt will be able to prevent you from growing into a giant of your own. Conceptually, I understood this because I’d always been drawn toward gifted people due to my own inherent fascination with talent. It doesn’t scare me and it doesn’t make me run the other way either. Rather, talent intrigues me and I, like many, admire it. However, that’s not to say that I haven’t put myself down in the past or been intimidated by the abilities of others. I have. And it’s moments such as those when the idea of standing on the shoulders of giants is most helpful because it instantly turns a threat into an opportunity and, “What I’m not,” into “What I can be.”

I think about people and talent a lot, more so now that I’m older and have watched patterns of waste emerge on so many different occasions. It’s a conundrum for sure. Talent makes the world great and companies profitable, yet people and organizations alike fail to embrace it. Why is that? So much human potential just sits right there in front of us waiting to be tapped.

This question presents itself to me a lot too, mostly when I see people puzzled and wondering why they are not happy doing what they are doing. I, invariably go back to the giants. Something made these people afraid to climb. Or, someone made them fear something bigger than themselves.

I suppose it’s true that staying close to the ground is safer. And yes, it’s no doubt more secure too. But is that it? Does it just come down to a choice between climbing up or stepping down? Between reaching potential or not? Many people would say, yes. Going up is sufficiently harder than coming down and that is reason good enough to not even try. And while that may be the case sometimes, the validity of that argument depends on one’s perspective, and more importantly, on one’s goals.

If you want to touch the sky, choosing the giant’s shoulders is not harder.
If you want to stand as tall as you can possibly be, choosing the giants is not harder.
If you want to surpass your own limits, choosing the giants is not harder.
If you want to grow into the best version of yourself, choosing the giants is not harder.
If you want to be free of whatever holds you back, it’s the only way to go.

Article written by Donna Flagg (May 2010)