People who strive for excellence stand out from the crowd. Their demeanor is unmistakable: you can tell that they mean business and will always deliver — no matter what. We rely on these people and expect outstanding work from them.

Were these people born with excellence? Absolutely not! Excellence is an acquired skill that comes from nurturing and mentoring. Our parents, teachers, peers, and mentors, as well as the environment, all play important parts in achieving this. The good news is that it is never too late to achieve excellence — as long as you are committed to it, and are prepared to exercise the discipline and action required.

And you might realize along the way that it is paradoxically easier to be excellent than to be average.

Sometimes excellence can be as simple as doing what you love to do and doing it very well. In fact, this kind of energy is infectious, motivating not only your team, but also delighting customers.

Excellence requires consistent pursuit and practice. As Olympic swimming medalist Mark Spitz put it, “We all love to win, but how many people love to train?”
Once you make excellence a habit, a quality of all that you do, it becomes a part of your very DNA.

To infuse this quality of excellence calls for discipline and character. It is not about competing with others; it is about enhancing your own abilities and competing with yourself.

If you want to achieve excellence, strive to become extraordinary. As Elbert Hubbard, a prolific American editor, publisher, and author, put it: “One machine can do the work of 50 ordinary people, but no machine can do the work of one extraordinary person.”

Striving for excellence means going the extra mile in everything you do. Many people settle for expediency: doing just enough to get by – maybe due to time constraints or a lack of energy, passion, or even resources. What they don’t realize is that they may be taking a shortcut to failure. Going the extra mile is a long-term approach.

But this long-term approach requires not only an exemplary start but also a steady approach to sustain you and rejuvenate you on the long road ahead.

Hence excellence is an outcome of living a balanced life, with adequate time for your family, service, health and spirituality. Leading a balanced life can create synergy and avoid burnout, allowing you to sustain your excellence and continue reaping long-term rewards without compromising your family, health or spirituality.

So take up the mantle of excellence today and watch your life expand and flourish.

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