You’ve probably heard someone say before that if you want to set yourself apart that you have to do everything with excellence.
Of course, this is easier said than done. Excellence is a high standard. It takes a lot of work. You can’t go about pursuing it half-heartedly.
But here’s the deal. Everything in life has a price. If you want to be outstanding, then living a life of excellence is the price you pay for it. Are you up to the challenge? Are you willing to give what it will take? If so, then you will reap the rewards.
The Ten Keys to Personal Excellence
Okay, so what are the keys, the essential elements, of leading a life of personal excellence? Well, I’ve thought quite a bit about this and I firmly believe the following ten traits are essential.
This one probably doesn’t surprise you. However, if you just watch the evening news, you’ll see that personal integrity is rare. Gross missteps generally result in a fall from grace that is difficult to recover from. No matter how good you are at what you do, integrity is a foundational trait that is required for excellence. Just look at what has happened to Tiger Woods. Need I say more?
Whatever you do, do it with passion. Be all in. Put your heart into it. If you can’t, then you are doing the wrong thing and you need a course correction. It takes passion to be outstanding. What makes your heart and mind race? Go do that. It doesn’t have to be something exotic or highflautin. It just has to be something that you love. Something that you can totally get behind. Live with passion!
Zig Ziglar once said, “You will get all you want in life if you help enough other people get what they want.” I believe this to be 100% accurate. Truly outstanding people are generous in helping others get what they want. They graciously give their time, talents and energy to worthwhile endeavors. This generosity always seems to come back to them tenfold.
Have you ever heard someone say, “That’s not my job!”? I know that boundaries are important and you have to pick and choose how to use your time, but from my observation, outstanding people have a willingness to get involved that is absent from the masses. This willingness will lead you to all kinds of opportunities that others simply miss.
Those that excel manage their emotions. You must be emotionally intelligent. You want to appear calm under pressure and keep your head about you even when others are panicking. You also want to avoid extremes in behavior. Practice moderation because it is wise. This temperance makes you trustworthy. People that do these things tend to advance beyond others in their field.
The problems in today’s world are complex. They are multi-faceted. Therefore, it takes someone with a healthy dose of creativity to solve them. Problem solvers are the folks you want on your team. They are the ones that dream up solutions that make you stand out. Be a creative problem-solver and you will be outstanding.
Courage is not the absence of fear. It is being afraid and acting anyway. If you want to be outstanding, then you have to be willing to lean into your fear. You’ve got to take chances. Yes, failure could result, but it will not be the end of the world. You simply have to get up, dust yourself off and try again. Have more courage than the other guy and you will be extraordinary.
Every outstanding person I’ve ever met has been an optimist. You simply have to believe that success is possible because if you don’t, you won’t even try. Trying is the only way that you are going to achieve the excellent results that makes you outstanding.
Humility is where gentleness, kindness, patience and generosity are born. If you are great, you don’t have to step on others or make a big show of it. You can be secure in who you are. A big part of true excellence is about how you treat other people. Outstanding people that are humble are well thought of and respected because they are kind. You should never think higher of yourself than what is prudent.
You have to persist and persevere to become outstanding. This takes dedication. You can’t start without finishing and expect to reach great heights. It often takes years to achieve overnight success. Prolonged effort is the hallmark of outstanding people. Excellence is the culmination of years of dedicated practice and refinement.
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