Excellence Awaits
Monday November 1, 2010

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“This is the definition

of happiness,

‘complete use of one’s facilities

along the lines leading to

excellence in a life affording

them scope.’ . . .

We can’t all reach it,

but we can try to reach it

to some degree.”

-Jackie Kennedy Onassis found in Are You A Jackie Or A Marilyn? by Pamela Keogh

There are many different philosophies about how one should go about attaining happiness.  Often, I think that the term happiness is mistaken for the word contentment because by definition, happiness is a matter of luck, and if one is purposely trying to attain this “good” feeling, it is not by chance (“hap” in Greek meaning luck).

In the attempt to acquire contentment, Jackie Kennedy Onassis, after losing two husbands, became a book editor in New York City.  Upon working in the publishing world for almost twenty years, she shared the above revelation about acquiring happiness, and I think she might have been on to something.

Each person is endowed with special talents, gifts and abilities, and during the early part of life, the experimenting of what exactly these gifts are is a journey everyone has the opportunity to embark on.

For some, they are fortunate and discover their true talent early in life – Mariah Carey, Taylor Swift, Beethoven, Bill Gates; for others, the journey continues into adulthood and a handful of different careers are labored in until it finally clicks – Julia Child, Jane Austen, Sylvester Stallone, Andrea Bocelli, Harrison Ford; and sadly, still some never discover what they are truly meant to do.

In order to not be in the latter group, continually be keeping an open mind, trying new things, grabbing onto opportunities when they present themselves and refuse to let fear hold you back. (Click here to read the series on Discovering Your Purpose)

JKO became a book editor in her early forties. Julia Child a published chef in her early fifties, and at the age of 30, Harrison Ford was a carpenter (nonetheless, a very good looking carpenter), but the lesson here is to keep learning, keep striving, never stop being in motion because what is right around the corner might just be your opportunity to shine without feeling as though you’ve done a day’s work in your life.

In order to feel as though you aren’t engaging in drudgery every day, you must be passionate about what you do, you must have a love and a drive that nothing else can rival. And when you discover what it is that ignites this passion, your talents can be unleashed in away you never knew existed. That is when excellence can be attained.  That is when life is at your fingertips and not the other way around.  The freedom of such an achievement is worth the effort that precedes it. Don’t you think?

It is my hope that everyone is able to find the courage within themselves to discover the magnificent gifts they have and utilize them in a way that possibly were at one point never imaginable.  Here is to the journey and the destination. Have a lovely Monday.

6 thoughts on “Excellence Awaits

  1. I really appreciate your refreshing and positive outlook on life. My husband used to be a high school history teacher. He is now an Organizational Development practitioner/career coach. Many of your postings have this type of “feel” about them. Keep the inspirational thoughts coming!

  2. A great piece, thanks so much. I will also say that both JKO + MM worked like hell (well, okay, heck) — they took what they had and expanded their possibilities — they never just “phoned it in.”

    Same with Audrey Hepburn (my first book, “Audrey Style”).

    I have a quiz on my site you might want to check out — “Are You A Jackie or A Marilyn?” — on pamelakeogh.com

    Again, thanks for great mention. Very insightful in this age when many people just want to be “famous” through reality shows, excessive plastic surgery, public misbehavior, etc.

    Pamela (Keogh)

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