Breakthrough to excellence in June
A wise friend once told me after a long struggle with an MBA assignment – ‘Perfection is the enemy of the good’.
This small gem of wisdom has stuck with me ever since.
And that does not mean you cannot be excellent.
What is excellence?
Excellent is how you are every day, every hour, every minute, every second. It’s how you present yourself to the world and how you use excellence to put forward your natural talents.
Perfection is impossible except in scientific laboratory experiments and mathematical applications. Most of the time, emphasizing perfection rather than excellence acts as an obstacle to progress.
According to H. Jackson Brown, Jr. “People often put the emphasis on perfection without realising that perfection is impossible except in scientific laboratory experiments and mathematical applications. Most of the time, emphasizing perfection rather than excellence acts as an obstacle to progress.
Not the exception
Colin Powell said, “If you are going to achieve excellence in big things, you develop the habit in little matters. Excellence is not an exception, it is a prevailing attitude.” Excellence is about being the best, striving to be better, with an eye to delivering quality goods and services. People are not born with excellence. They cultivate it over time through hard work, wise work, and smart work. It emerges from continuous improvement over the past. It is a corollary of passion and performance.
Excellence differentiates extraordinary people from ordinary people It is both the yardstick and the benchmark. When you benchmark against other achievers, you tend to improve and grow.
Excellence is a mindset
First develop the mindset that achieving excellence is a journey, not a destination. Set goals that are markers to achieving excellence. There are certain tips that will help you achieve excellence, irrespective of your area of interest. Here are some nuggets of wisdom to help you on your path to excellence.
Passion pushes progress
Be passionate: When you do what you love, you don’t feel that you are working, as you derive pleasure from it. While this is not always possible if you find yourself stuck in a dead-end job while working on your dream, you can still do the small tasks within the greater whole, excellently.
Talent is essential
Discover your talents: These may be new, or even surprising or the ones you’ve known about all along. Once you know your passions, it becomes easy for you to hone them. Acquire skills and abilities in tune with talents. People often search for skills by ignoring their inherent talents. Hence, work to enhance your talents and build your competencies and capabilities in and around them.
Read good books: Upgrade your knowledge constantly be selective reading. Continuous learning broadens your horizons. Never become complacent with your existing knowledge. Keep reading good books that enrich you with the latest knowledge from multiple perspectives. Books provide diversified knowledge, information, and ideas that you can choose and that can help you grow.
Work smart: You must learn to work smart and this does sometimes mean working hard, particularly in the beginning of a venture or business journey. There is a difference between working hard and smart work. Working hard is all about perspiration without any planning and preparation. In contrast, working smart is about thorough preparation with a proper blueprint to proceed, along with perspiration. Hard work consumes a lot of time, money, and resources, while smart work conserves time, money, and resources.
Share for growth
Share your knowledge: Knowledge grows when it is shared. Develop an attitude to help and serve others. Sharing your knowledge, writing articles, and mentoring others will sharpen your mind. You will get great pleasure when you see people growing in front of you.
Start with ‘breakfast’
Eat up feedback: Feedback is the breakfast of champions (is how I think it goes) so take nothing personally but everything as a growth experience. Continuous feedback is essential for excellence. This is a good way to keep your ego in check without compromising your self-esteem or exaggerating your achievements. It helps you to learn about your weaknesses and overcome them while using your strengths to remain excellent.
Be easy on yourself
Manage obstacles: There will be several constraints and obstacles in the path to achieving excellence. Some are internally created by your own mistakes, and many are externally created by forces beyond your control. Learn to manage both external and internal forces and factors that prevent you from achieving excellence.
Here’s to excellence in June, and every month that follows.