GrasshopperNotes.com - Thoughts for inspired living


September 14, 2016

Perfecting Excellence

Filed under: John Morgan's Blog — John Morgan @ 12:10 am

Shoot in FootHere’s an old message from The Grasshopper to all my friends who think they have to be perfect. You know who you are.

“Excellence: Getting Better At What You’re Good At.”

No need to get into an argument about who is the best at something; it results in an exercise of opposing opinions. Excellence is more easily agreed upon and more achievable.

You are good at something. You may not brag about it, but you know it. You may not consider yourself able to be the best, and that limiting notion may be what’s keeping you from getting better.

We keep ourselves from excellence by chasing the horizon of perfection. It does challenge and stretch your abilities to shoot for the moon, but as a regular practice, you wind up shooting yourself in the foot.

Perfection is elusive; excellence is incremental.

You may consider yourself to be a 7 on a scale of 10 in what you’re good at. The secret to excellence is to figure out how to get to a 7 ½ or an 8. That’s in the realm of possibility. Perfection isn’t possible; it’s arbitrary. Arbitrary means you’ll do a lot of arguing with yourself in your head, instead working on and then celebrating any step towards excellence.

The tunnel vision idea of perfection keeps us from getting better. The goal of perfection suggests that we’re flawed. How many excellent parents have you witnessed beating themselves up about not being the best parents? Not noticing their excellence keeps them from progressing.

Here’s an old axiom to remember when you are berating yourself for not being perfect: No matter how thin you slice it, there are always two sides. That means the one goal of perfection is unachievable; excellence is always within reach. You just have to take steps towards it rather than reaching for the brass ring, which, after all, is brass.

Go for the gold of excellence. You’re not settling; you’re settling in on the recipe for excellence, which progressively gets you better at what you’re good at.

All the best,

John



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