“Excellence can be attained if you: 1) Care more than others think wise; 2) Risk more than others think is safe; 3) Dream more than others think is practical; 4) Expect more than others think is possible” — Unknown
Excellence is a value that has lifetime benefits. We can incorporate it into our work, our relationships, and the martial arts. In fact, the martial arts should be a place where the importance of excellence is taught regularly.
But what defines excellence? In the quote above, four attributes are identified as indicators of excellence: a) caring for others; b) taking risks; c) dreaming; and d) having high expectations. When combined, these attributes will create excellence in any area of your life.
But it is important to remember that excellence isn’t the same as perfection. No one is perfect. Trying to achieve perfection is often very discouraging, but pursuing excellence can be exciting and brings about its own rewards.
For example, students who pursue excellence achieve higher grades and are able to get into college. Employees who pursue excellence generally receive higher pay and are employed longer than those who don’t. Entrepreneurs who value excellence tend to have more successful companies. Martial artists who seek excellence are more likely to earn their black belt. In addition, individuals who pursue excellence in their relationships tend to have happier and healthier home lives.
Many people know that applying excellence will improve their lives, but they are fearful that they can’t make the necessary changes. Thomas Watson,the founder of IBM once said, “If you want to achieve excellence, you can get there today. As of this second, quit doing less-than-excellent work.” Excellence is a choice you have to make, but once you’ve made it, the results will be tremendous.
There is no area of your life that won’t benefit from an attitude of excellence. Challenge yourself to find an area in your life that would improve if you applied the principle of excellence to it. We’re confident you will be pleased at the results and that you will begin applying excellence to other areas as well.