Strive for Excellence – Just Begin!

strive for excellenceDo YOU strive for Perfection or Excellence?

So many people strive for perfection – and end up never starting and not doing anything!

A major learning point for me in the last few years has been to strive for excellence, not perfection. So often when you want to do something perfectly, you never get started.

For example, it took me a whole year to launch my blog as I wanted to be “perfect” and know everything about it first.

Now I know better – I just had to get started and focus on excellence. And so far, I am very pleased with the results.

Sometimes you just have to get on with things – and do whatever it takes

Striving for excellence does not mean that you must be perfect. It means that you use your talents, abilities, and skills in the best way possible and get ahead of others by giving that little extra.

Simply do your best in every thing you do at work, home and play.

Excellence is doing ordinary things extraordinarily well” – John W Gardiner

As for you, do you wait for perfection before getting started, do you strive for excellence or do you get by with doing just enough?

Accomplishing tasks in an excellent fashion gives you great pride and self-esteem, since the quality of your work is a measure of the quality of yourself.

simply the best - do whatever it takes

A classic example of excellence is the footballer David Beckham – he may be past his best now, but even when he was at his peak, he was one of the few players at Manchester United and Real Madrid who used to come back in the afternoon for extra practice at free-kicks.

That’s what has made him the richest footballer in the world today. He had to be good at football in the first place to become a fashion icon.

If that’s what it takes to be the best, then that’s what it takes :-).

Another great example of excellence is my friend Georges Sokol who is a renowned pianist and teaches others in London how to also excel. Georges is the closest thing to a genuis that I have ever met.

Here are some practical ways of bringing more excellence into your life.

1. Always Give More than is Expected of You

Helping others regardless of what’s in it for you, exceeding expectations and going that extra mile will set you apart from others. Learn to look at every situation in terms of the value you can add to that situation. Do things faster, better, and even more cheerfully for everyone in your life – customers, employer, family, and for yourself.

Let the tiger in you come out!

2. Have a Passion for Whatever you do for a Living

Half-hearted attempts will ultimately show up as mediocrity. Make what you do part of your daily life, part of who you are. Seek out those things you can get passionate about and use them to create excellence in your life.

Also, be totally committed to what you do, as excellence is only possible only with commitment. Either find a way to become fully committed to what you’re doing, or find something else to do.

Once totally committed, you will be able to work around obstacles. Again, I refer you back to my example of not getting started with blogging.

The moment I got committed, I found ways of learning quickly what needed to be done – and I also found the right people to help me. Asking for help was another major breakthrough for me – and that’s a story for another time.

3. Believe that What you do Matters, and that it will Make a Difference

A life of excellence comes from continually making a contribution. You can’t save the whole world single-handedly, and we can’t all be a Gandhi or a Mandela, but you can certainly make a difference one person at a time. So look for ways to contribute.

Ask yourself what special skill or knowledge do you have, that can solve a problem or make the best of a situation?

4. Challenge yourself to Excel all the Time – and Build your Confidence and Competence

The person you become in the pursuit of your dream is worth far more than the achievement of that dream.

Aim high and push to be your absolute best, and then go even beyond that – you are capable of far more than you think.

At the same time, be realistic – don’t set your sights so high that you have no way of reaching your goal.

Be positive as much as you can.

5. Expect the Best of Everyone around You

By expecting the best from others, generally you will get the best from them. Most important of all, expect the best from yourself.

Talk to yourself in positive terms. Eliminate all negative self-talk.

Lighten up and light up the world!

6. Always Follow Through and Follow Up

Many times a job remains unfinished as the initial excitement about starting the job wanes, but just a little more effort to finish it will bring big results. Conversely, start only what you know you can finish.

Also, do it right the first time and save yourself a lot of time in not having to go back and fix it later.

Also remember that no pain is no gain is a myth.

7. Focus on One Thing at a Time

Plan your time so that you can give each task its due undivided attention. Block out any distractions such as TV, mobile phones, emails, visitors and so on. Ask yourself – what is important, your goal or the distraction?

Create an extra hour every day.

8. Take Extreme Self Care

Only by being in top physical and mental state can you have the energy, drive and vitality to excel. Take regular breaks – work diligently whilst you are at it, but after that put it aside. Have regular vacations and use that time to reflect on bringing even more excellence into your life.

Of course remember to eat healthy to get healthy.

9. Learn from Every Experience, and Learn from Others

Every situation has a learning opportunity – see problems and obstacles as opportunities to grow and excel. Look around and appreciate excellence whenever you come across it, and learn what you can from it.

Look for ways of learning from others and online too.

Ask questions of others. There is no shame in not knowing something – there are no stupid questions. See any criticism as a gift of feedback.

10. Use all Available Tools

Nowadays we all have access to so many tools such as computers, internet, accountancy packages, and DIY guides. Remember that a tool is anything that helps you excel – don’t get hung up on what it is, and focus on what it can do for you.

Remember, living a life of excellence is not difficult, it’s just an attitude of mind.

Simply decide right now to give it your best shot – and you will be amazed with what life gives you back.

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Every Retweet and Facebook share helps me grow my blog. I look forward to seeing you here again soon. Thank you for reading! – Arvind

Image courtesy of US Army
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Comments

  1. Great..!!! Being worked at an aggressive company, one may be pushed by the managements to strive for the best, exceed personal boundaries all the time, and learn fast and grow fast. Your passage did encourage and inspired me on how to strive for excellence! Cheers ^^

  2. These are mostly great tips.

    I must admit, though, that I don’t entirely agree with the first of them. Going the extra mile might get you admired at first, but after a while people start to take it for granted, expect it of you, and are then disappointed when you can only deliver as much as everyone else does. (I believe , though without any quantifiable evidence, that this is a particular danger for women who do this owing to society’s expectation of women to the carers of society and the people who pick up after it.)

    That said, giving more than is expected is essential in the area in which you desire to excel. And anywhere else you feel like, but not in everything because that is a dangerous and damaging slippery slope.

    • Thanks Mogs for your insight – I totally agree with you how by overdelivering all the time, people can begin to take you for granted.

      It all does begin with looking after yourself first and being clear about just where you wish to excel.

      Otherwise it is all too easy to become a “mat” for others to stamp on!

  3. ‘The person you become in the pursuit of your dream is worth far more than the achievement of that dream.’
    Every day is a learning curve and this is a lovely sentence – stepping stones to becoming amazing people with lots to offer. Keeping this in mind helps to remain focused and focus on the positives, not get down when the going gets tough!!! Thanks Arvind for yet another wonderful article, your positive outlook and wonderful heart shines through. Keep up the good work :-)

    • Thanks Aofie for sharing that wonderful, inspirational quote.

      And thanks for your kind words – but if anything, YOU are the most positive, heartful person I know!

  4. Arvind, this is such a wonderful post. I can definitely share with your experience on launching Yana.com, a community site to make people live happier and healthier life.

    No 6 & 7 is my current working items, follow thru everything and give undivided attention making the best efforts (not just to tick the to do box).

    Excellence is a habit, and we’re what we repeatedly do :)

    • Thanks Yiting for your kind words – and welcome to my blog.

      Congratulations with launching Yana.com – best of luck with that. You can only succeed with such a noble aim.

  5. I do personally try to live a life of excellence. I take pride in everything I do from my job, to my side business, to my academic work, and the way I treat others. I find when I don’t occupy myself with improving myself, and achievement I get distracted by temptations (such as sex, or being lazy, or eating junk food, or spending too much money). There’s really no single purpose I have in life, other than personal excellence and being the damn best possible self.
    Henway’ latest post ..Oxy Powder Reviews

    • Arvind Devalia says:

      Henway, thanks for sharing your great attitude.

      Being the damn best possible self is a great beginning towards personal excellence:-)

  6. Yeah! What a great work, these could only be achieve thru consistent committment. Life could only be boring when nothing drives us. Then our drives should go beyond living to survive, success but towards significance (EXCELLENCE). Great job man

    • Arvind Devalia says:

      Thanks Gideon for visiting my blog and for your kind words.

      Go out and become excellent at everything you do:-)

  7. i like this blog,i want your shed of wisdom to be my basic principles.ive been having troubles actually starting the steps to achieve my goals but i guess its all in the head.so to cut my losses i gotta accept them and learn from em,then move on to the next challenge.its gonna be one hell of a journey,all my trust is put into my abillites and skills…i can only try my hardest and hope for the best,thanks for the helpful article ^__^ keep it up.your not only helping yourself ya know,your helping a kid out too.cheers

    • and yeah,i know what its like to be at a dead end…when you dont really have anything to go for,i never really put my faith in much and i was always a pesimistic person.always looking at life half empty.so my exuse to break free from it all was to just choose something;anything and put everything i have into it.from small to big i saw changes,and i liked it.i dont care about perfection anyways,i just want to be the best at doing my best,in whatever i take a likeing to.and somehow,the only fire i have is set on the outcomes i want to see…i dont see things the way i did before.i love my new look on everything,even the bad.its crazy,the new person i am…it gives me the smile i always wanted but could never find..the only thing i wanted in life

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