Aristotle says …
“Excellence is an art won by training and habituation. We do not act rightly because we have virtue or excellence, but we rather have those because we have acted rightly. We are what we repeatedly do. Excellence, then, is not an act but a habit.”
I find it interesting that he uses the word habit. That means excellence is a skill we can work on. If you want to excel in life and work, you have to put forth the effort. And that starts with you taking ownership.
Start by Taking Ownership
Once you ‘own’ your choices and accept the consequences people will view you with respect. They will see you as someone who can be counted on, and this is a huge trait to own. It’s vital you understand, how people see you is the most important part of developing your personal brand.
The easiest way to display ownership is by not making excuses. If you were late for an appointment don’t come up with a ridiculous excuse. Tell the other person why you were late, apologize for not calling to let them know.
It really is so easy to blame outside influences for your mistakes or oversights. While no-one can control 100 percent of what happens, you can control how you respond to certain situations. This reaction can completely change your life.
As you start to take ownership you will find that you feel more confident and have a purpose in life.
Along with ownership, learning to be flexible is another great trait. When you are flexible you are not rigid and set in your ways. Are you currently willing to do things differently? This means not being stubborn when something isn’t working. Take advice and attempt to change what you are doing. If you do, you will begin to excel at more tasks, and this helps increase your confidence and self-esteem. It being intentional every day in developing excellence as a lifelong habit.
Developing Lifelong Excellence
Have you ever found yourself being intrigued or even jealous of how some people seem to excel at everything they do? It is important to understand that nobody can be perfect, but it is possible to be excellent.
The best way to develop a life full of excellence is by always putting your best foot forward and directing all your energy into your projects. If you acknowledge that you are doing your best, you really are excelling. It’s about giving your full attention to what you commit to.
You need to put effort into everything you attempt, otherwise you can never develop excellence. You can’t sit on the couch while becoming an excellent runner. You have to get out there and practice running by putting your best efforts into it. And you must commit. Before taking on a project or goal, you must mentally commit to following through.
Life is full of challenges. These can be ones that you set for yourself, or they can be ones that life throws at you. With any challenge you are going to make mistakes, and there is nothing you can do to avoid this. What you can do, is to learn from your mistakes. When something goes wrong, don’t put yourself down, instead think of what happened and learn from it. This way you will be more prepared the next time.
Another way to challenge yourself is by setting high standards. Don’t be satisfied with only doing those things that come easy to you. Do something that takes you out of your comfort zone.
To really develop lifelong excellence, you should be always open to learning. This may include learning from books or by taking courses. But it also includes learning from life and adapting to things as necessary.
Before you can really develop excellence, you must understand what you are all about. Do you know what your strengths and weaknesses are?
Developing a lifelong habit of excellence does not happen overnight. You need to be aware of your journey and take in your surroundings, as well as the people you surround yourself with. Be open to new experiences and be willing to learn from your mistakes. If you do these things, you’ll create a life where you can be happy and healthy and demonstrate excellence each day.
Showing Excellence Day to Day
Let’s recap. Here’s a few steps to help you demonstrate your excellence every day.
- Always give more than what is asked of you – when someone asks for help with a certain project or chore be prepared to go one step further. If a neighbor needs help moving old furniture out of the house, offer to help move the new furniture in too. If you are working for a client, then over deliver by adding something extra that adds value to the project without being asked.
- Be passionate about what you do for an occupation – if you want to excel at work then you need to be passionate about what it is you do every day. This may not be that easy, especially if you aren’t that happy with your current job. The next time you are asked to deliver a project, be passionate about it and put all your efforts into it. If not for your boss, for yourself, this way you know you delivered your best work.
- Believe that what you do will make a difference – have you ever stopped yourself from helping someone else because you didn’t think it would make a difference? All your actions, even small ones, can really make a difference. You need to start believing this if you want to excel with everything you do.
- Always challenge yourself – do you take the easy way out, or are you up for a challenge? People who excel love challenges and are always looking for one. Completing a challenge can really boost your self confidence.
- Expect the best of everyone – as soon as you start expecting the best from others, this is what you will see. Start thinking about yourself and others in a positive manner from now on.
- Always follow through with things and follow up – how many times have you started a job and put all your effort into it, only to find your energy levels dwindle? Only take on a job that you know you can finish and when you do ensure that you do it right, and get it finished on time.
- Focus on one task or goal at a time – doing too many things at one time is a sure-fire way not to excel at anything. You simply have too many projects and not enough time.
“Excellence is never an accident. It is the result of high intention, sincere effort, intelligent direction, skillful execution and the vision to see obstacles as opportunities.” – Anonymous
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