12 Ways to Achieve Excellence
Monday May 23, 2011

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Excellence can be obtained if you:
…care more than others think is wise;
…risk more than others think is safe;
…dream more than others think is practical;
…expect more than others think is possible.

As we begin this week in May, I would like to dare you to strive for excellence.  And not only strive for excellence here or there, but in everything you make up your mind to do.  Sound impossible? Quite the contrary.

I believe it is very possible.  It is simply a matter of adjusting our focus, having clear priorities and eliminating time drains in our lives. And ultimately, it is deciding to focus on what we do well and strengthening these areas to the point of almost mastery and letting our weakest areas not garner our focus. Ironically enough, these so-called weak areas won’t become worse, and they, surprisingly enough, actually might improve a bit.

Here are a list of ideas of where excellence can be achieved:

1. Master one or two excellent meals for when guests are invited to dinner that leave you confident that the meal will be a success.

2. Before saying yes to a new job, responsibility or time commitment, make sure you have the time and the passion to do the best job you possibly can. By stepping back for a moment and evaluating, you will save yourself stress and frustration that could have been avoided.

3. Maintain discipline. Upon deciding to climb a mountain, run for 6 miles or hold a difficult pose in yoga, do it – complete the task. Unless you are in deathly pain, finish what you had intended to do, and in doing so you will gain confidence, strength and a healthier physique.

4. Accept that a project may take longer than expected or cost a bit more than originally budgeted. Be willing to complete a task to the best of your ability even if it takes a few more years while you save up to pay for the dream home you’ve always wanted. You will be much happier in the long run for choosing to have patience and achieve your desired result.

5. At work, always do the best you can and put forth positive energy, ideas and an outlook on projects that is infectious for creating a more healthy and productive work environment.

6.As long as you know you are doing your best, don’t beat yourself up when you make a mistake or fall short of your goal. The only regrets are instances where we know that we could have given more of our best selves or should have done something, but took the easy road.  As long as you know in your heart you did the best at the time, learn from the lesson and move forward.

7. Don’t waste time. When asked to do something, or trying to complete something that is on your to-do list, get it done, do it well and move on. Procrastinating is not going to make the task disappear.

8. Immerse yourself in relaxation. Carve out down time and allow yourself to savor it. Those who can truly let themselves relax will be energized and able to put their best self forward when it’s time to get busy.

9. Be pro-active and preventative.  Make dentist appointments every 6 months even if you know your teeth are fine. Have your tires rotated every 3 months along with your oil. Taking care of your health and things you rely on to live your life while they are in working order will save much heartache and money down the road.

10. Take care of what you have or are responsible for. And if you don’t have the time to take care of it or be responsible for it, then say no. Whether it is a bigger house, more pets, or more children, if you won’t be able to provide for them in a way that you feel is just or healthy, do the best thing you can for your sanity and the happiness of the being you are considering and say no.

11. Take care of you. Sleep 6-9 hours each night. Brush your teeth. Exercise regularly. Eat a balance diet and in proper proportions. Give. Find balance. Achieve financial security. Wash your make-up off each night. Drink more water. Exercise your mind.

12. Be the exception and set a positive example.  The beautiful thing that many don’t realize is that when you are giving your best consistently, you will eventually see very positive results. The shocking part is that so many people get to a point where they don’t see the benefits yet, and so then decide to halt their efforts. They may start something and decide not to finish, say yes and then slack on the job, accept a responsibility and then are unable to follow through. Be the exception. Set the example you want to see in the world.  Because after all, we are only responsible for ourselves and the legacy we leave behind.

Initially, excellence may seem difficult, but in all actuality what it really comes down to is realizing less is more, choosing the right priorities for ourselves and following through consistently.

What I’d like to leave you with today is a poem I discovered that discusses the difference between excellence and perfection. Have a look and have a beautiful journey through this week.

Perfection is being right,
Excellence is being willing to be wrong.

Perfection is fear,
Excellence is taking a risk.

Perfection is anger and frustration,
Excellence is powerful.

Perfection is control,
Excellence is spontaneous.

Perfection is judgment,
Excellence is accepting.

Perfection is taking,
Excellence is giving.

Perfection is doubt,
Excellence is confidence.

Perfection is pressure,
Excellence is natural.

Perfection is the destination,
Excellence is the journey.

11 thoughts on “12 Ways to Achieve Excellence

  1. This post, just like so many of your other Monday posts, was so necessary and so on time. I had a horrible day. I just felt like I never really woke up and that everything that came my way was such a task. I gave off such foul energy at work. I know that it was not a pleasure to be in my presence today and I now feel so wrong about it. Instead of trying to turn things around I just let everything eat me up. I am going to try so much harder not to run down the slippery slope of a bad day next time. This post is now bookmarked in my favs. Thank you.

  2. Oh wow! I’d almost forgotten how much I love reading your posts! Yes Yes Yes and Yes again, this one totally hits something I’ve been thinking about all week – commitment to excellence.

    I’ve been a naturally gifted sensitive since I was a child and it’s only got stronger as I’ve grown up and this week (with the olympics) I’ve been thinking … just because I’m already good at what I do that doesn’t mean I can sit back. I’ve got a talent and that should be cultivated to as excellent as it can be. The things that I’m taking from this post are discipline (as it’s been insipring consistent effort this week and creating solid plans for the future) and where you wrote ‘following through consistently’ because this is absolutely where I think excellence sits for me.

    On top of that Cooking is one of my goals at the moment and I’m pleased to say I’m trying out a new recipe tonight 🙂

    Loved your post, inspiring as always,x

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