Do 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.
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.
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 :-).
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.
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.
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.
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?
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! – ArvindImage courtesy of US Army