Excellence, what is it? By definition, excellence is "the quality of being outstanding... " Many people live with the assumption that only the really great people are excellent. Whoever thinks this is correct.
The really great athletes, business owners, authors, barbers, house cleaners, are all excellent at what they do. Anyone who takes life seriously enough to give full effort, all the time, demonstrates excellence.
How do we describe them? "Oh, I have a great boss," or "I know a great photographer." They're all great because they have chosen excellence, right where they are, with exactly what they have.
What is excellence?
- A Habit. Aristotle said, "We are what we repeatedly do. Excellence, then, is not an act, but a habit." When we perform to the very best of our ability, we are practicing excellence. We form habits through practice. At first it is an intentional effort. We have to be conscious of our performance. Eventually though, through practice, we become unconsciously competent. Because it's simply just what we do, who we are.
- An Attitude. It's easy to get a poor attitude when doing routine, mundane, and unexciting work. That's because the connection between attitude and excellence has been missed. When you have an attitude of excellence, you open doors of opportunity not opened to those with poor attitudes.
- An Association. Who are you being influenced by? Who are you spending time with on a regular basis? "As iron sharpens iron, so one person sharpens another." Proverbs 27:17. Are your regular associations sharpening you? Do they make you better? Evaluate if you're being challenged to excellence or settling for mediocre through your key associations. Surround yourself with people who inspire you to your best self.
How do you obtain it?
- Widely considered one of the greatest NBA coaches of all time Pat Riley said, "Excellence is the gradual result of always striving to do better." Emphasis on always. He didn't say when you feel like it. If it's sunny. If you're having a good day. He said, "always." He also said, "gradual result." Excellence isn't about perfection, it's about effort. Everyday, doing what you need to do, even when you don't feel like it.
Why it's important.
- You just never know who's watching and what it could mean for you. I experienced this in my own life. I have published my blog consistently for a period of time. Week in and week out, not knowing exactly who was reading it or who is checking out my website. I have always strived to provide consistent, valuable content regardless of the time and effort it took. I was approached last month by a magazine editor to write an article for their publication. She and others on staff, had been checking out my writing and decided I would be a good candidate to write for them. A very pleasant an unexpected surprise to me.
- Your quality of life depends on it. It was Vince Lombardi who once said, "The quality of a person's life is in direct proportion to their commitment to excellence, regardless of their chosen field of endeavor." When you make the commitment to excellence, your quality of life can't help but be enhanced. Opportunity happens upon you in unexpected hours. The satisfaction in a job well done flavors your days. No regrets. You wouldn't spend a lot of money on an average product. Don't spend a day of your life on average effort and results.
Decide today to choose excellence, right where you are, with what you have. It's your life, choose excellence!
Advance from average to excellent with a coach. Kaylene Mathews is the President and owner of KSMLifeCoaching LLC. She offers both personal and group coaching services as well as PeopleMap assessments and training workshops for individuals, groups and corporate teams in the DFW area. For more information visit: http://ksmlifecoaching.com/
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