”Excellence is an art won by training and habituation. We do not act rightly because we have virtue or excellence, but we rather have those because we have acted rightly. We are what we repeatedly do. Excellence, then, is not an act but a habit.” –Aristotle
He nestled snug inside his cheap blanket, not quite heavy enough to keep him warm, trying to digest the mediocre meal that wanted to return for a second swallow. He had a big day tomorrow, and he needed sleep to get through it. It’s not easy work avoiding the right thing, cutting corners and skirting responsibility, he only hoped the car would get him there. His oil had not been changed and his gas tank was sitting on empty, but he hoped he would have enough to make it to the parking lot. If not, walking is okay if it would give him an excuse to go in late and avoid the meeting with the boss. He pulled the blanket up higher trying to keep warm as he thought about how he chose not to pay the heat bill this month because he kept forgetting to put his check in the bank. Stupid banks anyway, they just want to take it all out in charges.
Do you know this guy? I sure hope he isn’t you, because living in the world of mediocrity is like sitting in a stagnant pond. You’re wet alright, but rather than being clean and cool you’re trapped in slimy mud with parasites and mosquitoes coming in for the kill! Not a pretty picture.
Successful people-and we are talking about true success not the money grabbing, walk-all-over-the-next-guy kind of success – truly successful people are able to lay on their deathbed knowing they did the right thing for their families, their companies, their associates and friends – these guys don’t do mediocre they leave a legacy. (And they are missed when they go.)
The person who skims by barely doing anything more than what’s absolutely necessary to maintain status quo is the most challenging employee. That kind of person frequents the motto, “Meh, it’s good enough,” and chooses to live well below their amazing potential.
Sometimes I wonder what made them decide to keep from wanting to feel the pride and glory of a job well done or seeing the response from a client whose expectations are exceeded. There many be many stories, most of us will never know what holds some folks back, but imagine what it would be like if everyone did their level best to treat every task as though it was the best thing they’d had the pleasure of doing this week. Are you giving your all? Are you working your hardest to avoid mediocrity?
You may not know it, but it is simply a choice!
Try it today, just decide you can, and then do.
Shun mediocrity and adopt an attitude of excellence then show everyone around you what you’re really made of.
”Excellence is not a skill. It is an attitude.” –Ralph Marston
Patti Blackstaffe works with people and organizations to develop
Happy Workplaces world-wide guiding them toward mastery and leadership
through advising, coaching, speaking, and delivering training.