Excellence, Greek philosophers and 31 Days to Being a Real Writer

Day 5
This has been a challenge the past few days as I have been away from my laptop and unable to post directly to Hubpages or Blogger from my ipad. Perhaps I am remedial? So forgive my Friday, Day 5 delay.
I am thinking today about excellence.
No doubt we each have our own ideas about what it means to be excellent.
Should we strive to be excellent in everything we do or pick and choose so as not to become obsessive/compulsive?
Is there a grading curve for excellence with ability as a consideration?
Should we expect excellence from others or better yet, is there a time we should not demand excellence?
All great questions for which I have no answers.
I once heard my friend Linda Kalafatis challenge her softball players to “be excellent. EXCELLENT. Today and every day.”
As one of the 50 best coaches in NCAA, Linda knows excellence. Linda’s fellow Greek philosopher, Aristotle said excellence is not an act, but a habit.
Those words ring true for me because I believe excellence is not a way to DO anything, but rather, a way to BE.
Excellence is an attitude.
Excellence is a condition of the heart.
Excellence is a choice – daily, hourly.
I haven’t always chosen excellence. Haven’t even always understood it.
Part of being excellent is knowing what you want to be, what vision you have for life, and being able to steadily move forward even on the worst days.
Until a few years ago, I didn’t have a plan. I hoped things in my life would be get better, wanted them to get better, was sometimes angry when they didn’t – even though I had no plan.
It is hard to make a bulls-eye when there is no target, isn’t it?
Now I have a plan, and the pursuit of excellence is important to me. And exciting.
Excellence, for me, isn’t a competition with others, only with myself.
It is an effort to go to bed a better person than I was when I got up.
It is complaining less, praising more.
It is judging less, encouraging more.
Excellence, for me, is defying the “I don’t feel like it” voices and doing _____ anyway. (Insert cleaning, laundry, exercise, good food choices, etc)
It is turning off mindless television and opening a good book (THE Good Book?)
It is keeping commitments when I am tired or feeling weighed down. If you have been tracking with me for any amount of time, you know I am waiting for resolution to a long-standing issues. The footprint it has left on my life is long and broad. Many days I feellike being excellent a anything would take far more energy than I can muster.
Admittedly, I have not won every battle. Some days simply being willing to make an attempt equals excellence for me. But I press on.
How about you? Maybe you have some of wisdom about maintaining excellence in the toughest moments and circumstances. I would love to hear them.
We will talk again soon.
Until then…be excellent!
BP 🙂