For you to attain excellence in anything, you need stamina to keep on going. This is because excellence is not attained overnight. True excellence takes time. It takes perseverance. True excellence takes endurance.
Many people dream of getting promoted in their jobs. They long for a dream job. Most people I know aspire to be the best where they are. In all areas of life, people have a dream of becoming the best and reaching the pinnacle of their professions. Unfortunately, most of the people who aspire to reach the height of their professions want this just to get more money. In actual fact, excellence should be our motivation.
When we aspire for promotion and desire elevation at our places of work, for the sake of excellence rather than for money, we become better people. Unfortunately, getting more money seems to be the greatest driving force for most people. When you are at the top of your profession just for the money, it does not always mean you are the best you could be.
“Coach said. “The quality of a man’s life is in direct proportion to his commitment to excellence, regardless of his chosen field of endeavour.” ― Sherman Alexie
When we are driven by the desire to be the best we could be, then excellence becomes the natural fruit of our efforts. Excellence is equal to self-perfection. The desire for excellence therefore is one of the strongest gifts an individual could give to himself. It is better than the gift of money. It supersedes the reward of a salary. In the case of a salary, you may have a fatter wallet but that does not necessarily result in a greater personality. But when you pursue excellence, your capacity is always enhanced. You become better professionally and at a personal level, you become better qualified and skilled and eventually this will affect your income.
“I hope you will simply do what you can do in the best way you know. If you do so, you will witness miracles come to pass.” ― Gordon B. Hinckley
The striving for excellence is one of the most important aspects of professionalism. No one can truly become professional in his or her chosen area without the striving for excellence. When you go after excellence, your focus is not on the salary or finances, even though that must be expected too. Your focus is on putting quality into everything you do. A man of excellence tends to dedicate himself to giving his best in whatever he does. He sees his work as his signature. He puts a stamp of excellence, by his integrity, on whatever he does.
This is a major game changer between people who strive to attain promotion for money and those who strive for elevation through excellence. When you have excellence as your focus, you become an achiever sooner or later. When you become as good as you hope to be, in perfecting excellence, you will make rapid strides in your career growth. Moreover, you will leave behind all others who are in it just for the money.
“Perfection is not attainable, but if we chase perfection we can catch excellence.” ― Vince Lombardi
…there is no excellence without preparation and training. It is what you do in secret that determines your public manifestation. Those hours of preparation are never in vain. They will be a handsome reward to you sometime in the future.
There can be no doubt that excellence demands that you step out of your comfort zone which not too many people are willing to do. It is the unwillingness to step out of one’s comfort zone that keeps most people mediocre. It is that same unwillingness that reduces people to only want to make the money without the excellence. That is why people want to attain position without paying the price of excellence. Any kind of success attained this way will be short lived. A promotion attained through excellence though, endures for generations and generations to come. In the long run, it makes better sense to pay the price of discomfort and attain the height of excellence rather than maintaining the status quo without leaving your comfort zone.
“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
Yes, you could occupy the position, make the money, but you would not leave an enduring legacy. In most cases you would still have to leave that comfort zone at a time you least expect it and at a cost you are not willing to pay. Anyhow you look at it, paying the temporary price of discomfort and getting the reward of excellence is always better than enjoying the status quo of a comfort zone which you will eventually lose anyway.
Apart from bringing you out of your comfort zone, excellence demands from you preparation and training. Nobody attains excellence without the necessary process of preparation and training. That is what you do when nobody sees you. It is the rigours of self-education that you go through while others play. It is the pain of self-preparation that you engage in while others are partying. Preparation and training are those things you do in the solitude of your studies when others are basking in the sun on the beach.
Ladies and gentlemen, there is no excellence without preparation and training. It is what you do in secret that determines your public manifestation. Those hours of preparation are never in vain. They will be a handsome reward to you sometime in the future. When your training and preparation is constant enough to lead to excellence, one day, excellence will elevate you. Excellence will crown your efforts. Excellence will bring about your celebration. Excellence will lay a table before you, in the presence of your colleagues, after they come back from their sun bathing.
“To become successful, do the little extra things that ordinary people refuse to do. The little extra hard work, little extra practice, little extra studying and the little extra positive attitude.” ― Archibald Marwizi
Another thing that excellence will require of you is the ability to endure. For you to attain excellence in anything, you need stamina to keep on going. This is because excellence is not attained overnight. True excellence takes time. It takes perseverance. True excellence takes endurance.
I remember when I had just arrived in the former USSR to study journalism, a general requirement for students those days was that they had to first study the Russian language in their first year. Unfortunately for me, I was late to school by about two weeks. At that time, my fellow students had started speaking a bit of the Russian language. At least they had all learned the alphabet and could read the language at that time. By the time I arrived, I was in all kinds of trouble. I was so much behind that my professor could not help but confess that if I ever spoke the language, even though he was a communist and an atheist, he would gladly go and put a candle in the church, because at my level he thought there was no way I would be able to speak the language.
There is no excellence without stamina. Excellence demands endurance. You need to persevere before you can have the testimony of excellence.
After this extremely damning verdict, I was only left with two options; God and the library. First, I spoke to God about it and decided to stand on his promise in Deut. 28:13:
“And he Lord will make you the head and not the tail; you shall be above only, and not be beneath, if you heed the commandments of the Lord your God, which I command you today, and are careful to observe them.”
I made a deal with God that according to His word I would end up being the head in that school, the first and not the last. The other side of that agreement was that I would put in my best effort in the library.
“Roll-up those sleeves and work until you see the fruit of your labour. It takes Passion, Resolve and a Productive Work Ethic, meeting with Opportunity, for you to succeed.” ― Archibald Marwizi
Ladies and gentlemen, if you have ever spent some considerable time in the library, you would have to agree with me that the topic of stamina and endurance comes in handy here. I remember the first few weeks in the library, after studying for some time, I would look at my wristwatch trying to reassure myself that I had spent at least four of the six hours that I had intended to spend daily. To my amazement however, when I expected to see four hours, I saw that I had only spent 30 minutes in actual fact. So I resumed my studies with a renewed determination to go longer.
When I was sure that the six hours were over, when I looked at my wristwatch I’d realise that I had spent only two hours. But that is the only way you build stamina. After doing this for about six years, I eventually graduated as the best graduating student with first class honors from that university. There is no excellence without stamina. Excellence demands endurance. You need to persevere before you can have the testimony of excellence.
“Excellence is not a success but a persistent pursuit of perfection.” ― Debasish Mridha
When we started our church, I soon discovered that the same quality is equally needed in building a mega church. At that time, I was determined to pray six hours every day. My experience brought me back to the years in the library as a student. Each time I thought I had prayed for about two hours, my wristwatch would inform me that I had only prayed for about 20 minutes. But once I passed the exams of perseverance, excellence began to work for me. We ended up building the largest and one of the most powerful evangelical churches in Europe, when I was only in my early thirties.
“You must succeed! Not by accident, but deliberately! You are able to succeed – now you must be willing to succeed and this must reflect in the way you spend your life.” ― Archibald Marwizi
Sunday Adelaja is a Nigeria born leader, transformation strategist, pastor and innovator. He is based in Kiev, Ukraine. He can be contacted at email@example.com.