Live Simply in 2019: September Mantra, Strive For Excellence

September 1, 2019

If perfection were possible, we would have attained it by now. If telling ourselves perfection is an impossible goal were enough to convince us to cease striving to attain it, we would have given up long ago.

Yet so many of us (myself included) continue to want perfection, and live with the constant disappointment of it continuing not to show up, like a predictably flaky dinner guest.

Expecting perfection is the ultimate cop-out. It’s a way to avoid actually having to hold ourselves accountable.

Ironically, it is in aiming for perfection that we can excuse sloppiness.

More powerful than reminding ourselves that perfection isn’t possible is telling ourselves that excellence is.

Excellence is a standard we can rise to and deliver on. Excellence is accountability. It’s impeccability with our words. It’s integrity above all else. Excellence is doing what we say we’re going to. Excellence is establishing long-term, beneficial habits that build quality of life for ourselves and those around us. Excellence is going beyond what is expected. Excellence is the desire to prove to ourselves what we’re capable of when we work in earnest.

Striving for excellence means being driven by an internal compass capable of constantly rerouting us to our highest selves.

Perfection will always be an illusion, luring us away from sincerity and integrity. Excellence is the truth of what we’re capable of when we ask ourselves to be our most focused and our most considerate.

And yes, striving for excellence also means knowing there are moments to say: “Great enough for now.” Because even Excellent people who consistently demand Excellence from themselves and those around them understand there are limits to what’s reasonably possible.

This September, strive for excellence. Do what you say you’re going to, and before it’s expected of you. Be excellent when no one’s watching or when everyone is, whether the stakes are low or high. Remember that true excellence involves a healthy measure of kindness and forgiveness. And remember that the only perfect thing in this life is chocolate.

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