Your Morning Cup of Inspiration


“Excellence is never an accident. It is always the result of high intention, sincere effort, and intelligent execution; it represents the wise choice of many alternatives – choice, not chance, determines your destiny.” – Aristotle

In every moment of every day, we have a choice: excellence or mediocrity.

There is nothing wrong with choosing mediocrity. You have every right to go to work and tell people, “I won’t do that.  It isn’t in my job description.”  You can leave your dishes in the sink and not make your bed.  You can tell people off if you are having a bad day.  You can spend all your free time watching television or surfing the Internet.  And you will live an average life.  It’s your choice.

But if you want to be a person of excellence, you have to have a very different mindset. Most people are driven by reward.  They do things in order to receive financial compensation or accolades.  However, people of excellence go the extra mile, even when there is no recognition.  They do what I refer to as the “behind the scenes work.”  They do the necessary jobs, the ones for which you don’t get any glory.  Jobs like housework, child rearing, serving on church committees, and volunteering for the local soup kitchen, come to mind in this regard.

Being a person of excellence doesn’t mean that you have to be a “perfect” person. But it does require that you do more than the bare minimum.  So, you have to learn how to work with your weaknesses that keep you from being productive.

It has taken me most of my adult life to figure out how to work with my weaknesses. For instance, I have two major flaws: I am easily distracted, and I procrastinate.  Not a great combination.  I can’t fully overcome those flaws – they are part of my personality.  But to be a person of excellence, I have to work with them.  So, I try to structure my days so that I work in short blocks.  For example, I might write for 30 minutes and then fold laundry for 20 minutes.  If I don’t do that, I can easily spend two hours trying to write when I just can’t concentrate that long.

Choosing excellence ultimately requires sacrifice. Consistently going above and beyond the call of duty takes a lot of work!  I work at being a person of excellence, so I don’t have a lot of free time.  My days are consumed with work, housework and parenting.  If I have a free moment, there is always some project I can do to push my career along.  Or, I think of a way to make my house a little nicer.  But once you choose excellence, it becomes a lifestyle.  You are always looking for ways to improve your life and yourself.

Becoming a person of excellence doesn’t come naturally to anyone. Instead, excellence is a choice that we make each day.  But when we choose excellence, we pave the way to an amazing life.

(Photo courtesy of Pexels)

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