Excellence is not built overnight; rather, it is built day by day. In fact, Aristotle said, “We are what we repeatedly do. Excellence, then, is not an act but a habit.”
The pursuit of excellence can be compared to the results of planting an Indian Thorny bamboo seed. When this particular seed is planted and nurtured, it can take up to two years for a sprout to break through the earth. It requires the right watering, sunlight, care and feeding so it can build a strong root structure and foundation for growth, none of which is visible above ground. However, once it breaks ground, this bamboo can grow over 100 feet in just two weeks!
Those first two years were not futile. To the contrary, the bamboo was building a strong root structure to prepare for its eventual sprouting toward the sky.
Excellence is about the daily pursuit as much as it is about the outcome.
Here are a few of my favorite quotations from The Nature of Excellence photographic gift book:
- Excellence is doing ordinary things extraordinarily well. – John W. Gardner
- When you were born, you cried and the world rejoiced. Live your life in such a manner that when you die the world cries and you rejoice. – Indian saying
- The quality of a person’s life is in direct proportion to their commitment to excellence, regardless of their chosen field of endeavor. – Vince Lombardi
- Don’t judge each day by the harvest you reap, but by the seeds you plant. – Robert Louis Stevenson
- Excellence is the result of caring more than others think is wise, risking more than others think is safe, dreaming more than others think is practical, and expecting more than others think is possible. – Unknown
- There are no traffic jams along the extra mile. – Roger Staubach
- Persistent people begin their success where others end in failure. – Edward Eggleston
- People forget how fast you did a job, but they remember how well you did it. – Howard W. Newton
Now, let me leave you with my own quotation to think about as you begin planning for an excellent 2017… Seize the future you want by seizing the present you have!
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