Excellence is a result of several attitudes. When these attitudes are combined together they become that one habit of excellence that shall springboard you to greatness.
The impact of excellence cannot be truly measured because it will outlive your life, create urges in ordinary lives to soar high, and set standards against which all future achievements will be compared to.
You might not master all the seven in one go; but you can make an honest attempt with one or two at a time until all of them become an intrinsic part of your life. So here are the seven:
#1. If you aim for excellence you should have an eye for detail.
Little things should not be ignored. When a space shuttle is launched think about all the minute pre-flight checks that are done and how things are put on hold at the minutest variation. History has proven the disastrous consequences of neglect of the same.
Therefore make it a habit to look, see and observe keenly what others fail to note.
#2. If you aim for excellence you need to keep polishing your craft daily.
Here, the only competition is against yourself. The only question that is asked is, “Am I doing justice to the potential God has gifted me with?” Again, the only audience you have will be you alone. So make sure you do something each day that will fine tune whatever ability, skill, or talent you have.
Therefore make it a habit to prioritize quality time each day for that one thing you are good at.
#3. If you aim for excellence a spirit of dissatisfaction should dominate you.
You should always be dissatisfied with your best. You need to learn to think about your best victories and performances as failures. The world will say great things about your victories. But as for you turn your back to the crowd like a music conductor does and look intensely to make your perfect, better.
Therefore make it a habit to forget your past successes and press on to do something new beyond belief.
#4. If you aim for excellence you need to race against time.
There is always a sense of calm urgency taking hold of a man dominated by a higher purpose in life. Such a man like a soldier in war has no time for the frivolities of life. He is sharply focused on making the best utilisation of time. That requires cutting off all distractions–bad, good, better–everything that does not contribute to helping you achieve your goal.
Therefore make it a habit to be a cut-throat in tearing down all time-wasting activities in life.
#5. If you aim for excellence you are always prepared.
In other words the habit of saying excuses is not in your genes. If you get stuck somewhere you will think of how to find the best way out instead of feeling helpless and entertaining self-pity while you lick your wounds. Another important aspect of being prepared is to have processes in place to manage all that you do. Double-check even when you are certain you are fully prepared. Follow-up if others are involved. Make absolutely sure that all in human power has been done and taken care of.
Therefore make it a habit to do all in your power, wisdom, intuition, and foresight to be prepared.
#6. If you aim for excellence you will do your best each time you do something.
You will not rationalize and think, “Oh, this is only the trials. I can relax. But tomorrow for the real performance I will do my best.” Never will someone with excellence in his blood think like that. For him every single opportunity, big or small, is a chance to give his very best. Only such an attitude will take you places. Only such an attitude will help you do things in all earnestness even when no one is watching. Even when others counsel you, “Oh, this much is enough,” you will not listen. As the American legendary basketball Coach of UCLA fame John Wooden said, “Make each day your masterpiece.” I might add, “Finish each task you do as if you have no second chance.”
Therefore make it a habit to make each rehearsal, each activity, each routine thing you do stamped with “nothing short of the best.”
#7. If you aim for excellence develop an impeccable character.
Above and beyond discipline, hard work, doing something more than you are asked to do–the greatest work you do is working hard on developing character. It is important that you perform but far more important is who you are. It is far more important to finish well in life than to taste success and then lose it all in one thoughtless action. Again, Success is never sweet when those close to you experience you as bitter. So put a greater premium on being true to yourself, someone true to your word, someone who does not need to be ashamed if powerful spotlights are switched on even while you sleep in the dark.
Therefore make it a habit to have integrity in your life that will stand up to any close scrutiny.
To conclude, as you consciously practice these attitudes not as techniques; but as a true, sincere, and earnest approach to life; it will ingrain in your life as habits inseparable from who you really are.
“Perfection is not attainable, but if we chase perfection, we can catch excellence.” ―Vince Lombardi
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“Do you see a man skilled in his work? He will serve before kings; he will not serve before obscure men.”
— Proverbs 22:29/Bible NIV 1984.