If you look at successful people in any occupation you will see one common thread. Excellence is not an accident. If it were easy, everyone would attain it. Many who have reached a pinnacle may not remember every step made along the way; most will tell you that they love what they do, but all will say it took hard work.
So, what goes into excellence?
Passion: You have to have passion for what you do. You may never make any money doing what you are passionate about, but it’s not about money, it’s about your own fulfillment. Without passion you will not be able to truly give it your all. You may be committed but passion reaches down into the marrow of the bone. You alone are responsible for your inspiration and fulfilling your asperations.
Skills and ability: Whether you are a writer, actor, painter, mechanic, or simply the best parent in the history of parenting, you have to have skills. Some are inherently gifted and come easily. Other skills have to be worked at. Excellence means you make the most out of the gifts you were given and then your work your tail off to improve. To achieve excellence, you must strive to be your best. It’s an individual choice; you alone determine when to stop.
Curiosity: You must be curious to achieve excellence Curiosity leads to new discoveries, creating something new, or improving on something that already exist. Excellence means to challenge the status quo. It means to ask questions, to push the bounds and ask a simple question: “Is this it?” Then one provides the answer to the question, “No!” Now, let’s see how far we can take it.
A plan: A plan: You need to have a map for achieving your goals. You could not become a doctor without first excelling in an undergraduate school and then at a medical school. Some serendipity may factor into your excellence as you go along, however it cannot be a factor in your plan. Your passion may be so evident to people you know that they themselves assist or they can introduce you to people that can assist your attaining your goals, but that is not something that can be planned. Only you can map out and follow your plan, overcoming obstacles as they arise.
Don’t cave in to others’ opinions: If everyone stopped at the first sign of criticism, then we would still be living in caves, “Don’t go out into the wild it is dangerous.” There will always be people who try and hold others back. They say, “You’re are foolish, or wrong” in order to hold you back. Frequently, the people criticizing you are the people trying to hold you back. Their criticism is caused by their own internal faults, weakness and fears, and not you. There are times when constructive criticism is warranted and should be heeded. Constructive criticism should simply be another vehicle for you to challenge yourself. To look critically at what you are doing, make improvements, and boldly charge forward. You are your own keeper of talent. Excellence is in you not in the others who pass judgments.