PROVOKING OPPORTUNITY THROUGH EXCELLENCE [PART ONE]
Opportunity doesn’t just happen. It happens because it is provoked by excellence. It is the quality of our lives demonstrated by our work, our character and our attitude that brings a favorable opinion from others which incites them to offer us opportunities.
In the words of Aristotle: “Excellence is an art won by training and habituation. We are what we repeatedly do. Excellence, then, is not an act but a habit.” There is a reason why mediocrity is so popular: excellence is hard. If it were easy, everyone would be exceptional. The very nature of excellence is to excel, to be better than ordinary. A more specific definition is this: “Excellence is the discipline of consistently performing towards the upper range of your talent and skill beyond accepted levels of mediocrity.” From this truth, we understand three things about excellence: it is a discipline, it is consistency and it is to excel above mediocrity.
First, excellence is a discipline. It does not come natural. Excellence doesn’t “just happen,” it is a condition we force upon ourselves: a discipline. Merriam-Webster defines discipline as “training that corrects, molds, or perfects the mental faculties or moral character.”
Discipline is the athlete who spends hours and hours in the gym perfecting certain routines and motions. Discipline is the student reading and re-reading, memorizing and recalling new facts and information to master a certain subject. Discipline is the musician who rehearses hours on end to train her fingers in the proper motions. In each of these examples, the one in training is forcing himself or herself to act outside of their ordinary boundaries. To do something that is above normal or beyond ordinary to them. This is the beginning of excellence: to push beyond ordinary and consistently force ourselves beyond what is easy or comfortable. Those who cannot do that are destined to meander in a maze of mediocrity.
Check back next week for the second quality of excellence. Or, check out my new book, Upward: Taking Your Life to the Next Level now available on Kindle.