05/16/2014 09:02 pm ET Updated Dec 06, 2017

Eckhart Tolle On The Small Steps That Lead To Greatness (VIDEO)

We've been taught to dream of achieving greatness. But what does that mean exactly -- write the next great American novel, become CEO of a Fortune 500 company, compete in the Olympic Games?

According to spiritual author Eckhart Tolle, the pursuit of greatness is a paradox. Rather than achieving something grand, he says in A New Earth that the foundation for greatness is "honoring the small things of the present moment."

"So many people have this idea: I want to achieve something great, or be somebody great," Tolle says in the above clip from "Oprah and Eckhart Tolle: A New Earth." "And they neglect the step that leads to greatness. They don't honor this step at this moment because they have this idea of some future moment where they are going to be great."

Some regard Tolle's book A New Earth as one of the most influential spiritual books of our time, but Tolle says he didn't set out to accomplish this when he sat down to write. "There's not some idea I'm going to create a work that's going to change everybody's consciousness," he says. "No. I'm just true to this moment, what this moment requires. It's a blank sheet of paper and a pen and a stillness. It's a small thing."

"It's all a sequence of very small moments," Tolle says. "And by being true to the small moment, something great arises."

"Oprah and Eckhart Tolle: A New Earth" airs Sundays at 12 p.m. ET on OWN.

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