Thursday, March 8, 2012

Excellence is Never an Accident

"Excellence is never an accident; it is always the result of high intention, sincere effort, intelligent direction, skillful execution and the vision to see obstacles as opportunities."

I was one of the world's biggest Michael Jordan fans growing up.  I even had a life size cut out of him in my classroom when I began my teaching career.  The greatest lesson I learned from following Michael Jordan's career is his pursuit of excellence.  His story is a great example of the quote above.  

Take a moment to think about someone that you feel is the best at what they do.  
Now consider the following questions:

  • What does excellence look like at this person's level?
  • How long has that person been practicing the skills necessary to be excellent?
  • Was that person always great at what they do?
  • What obstacles did they have to overcome to get where they are today?

People do not wake up as a master of their craft.  It was no accident that they became the top person in their respective field.  Thousands of hours of hard work is behind every expert in every field.  This type of deliberate practice is what separates mediocre from magnificent in every arena.  

Now consider the following questions as it relates to what you want to be excellent in:

  • How are you being intentional in both your words and actions?
  • What obstacles are currently keeping you from making progress?
  • How can you turn those obstacles into opportunities?
  • Who is in your starting five and how are they going to push you to be a better version of yourself?

Everyone has an opportunity to be excellent but it will never happen accidentally.  That journey begins today.

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