Here is an essay I wrote in June 2011 for a blog contest at work.
Excellence by its definition is “The state, quality, or condition of excelling; superiority. “ And excel means “To do or be better than; surpass.” Excellence, therefore is to do or be better than…who or what? As for me, I try to compare myself only to myself. This keeps me continually improving, and I am not discouraged if I don’t measure up to the standard set by others. I am continually working to improve myself in every aspect of life. Whatever I learn in one area of life, I try to apply in all aspects of my life.
In order to keep this attitude of excellence however, I must not see the different aspects of my life separately, but rather look at the person I am in every aspect of my life as a whole. Who am I when no one is looking? Would I still do what I do if no one noticed? Do I have the same moral standard for myself when I am at work as I do at home? These are the types of questions that make me strive toward excellence.
Excellence to me must be internally motivated. It is a person’s character that makes them excellent, not their knowledge. If we are only motivated by recognition or acknowledgement, then when these things go away, we will no longer be proud of who we are. However, if we strive toward excellence regardless of what others are doing/saying about it, then we will continue along the path to excellence all the days of our lives. Excellence begins wherever you are right now.
What motivates me to be great? It is my moral belief that I can make a difference in my lifetime. The belief that I should do what is right regardless what others do/think. It’s an attitude toward life that makes me want to be/do better. At the end of the day, I have to look at myself in the mirror and be proud of who I am. Excellence gives me personal meaning and happiness!
My favorite Bible scripture is Philippians 2:3-4 which says: “Don’t be selfish; don’t try to impress others. Be humble, thinking of others as better than yourselves. Don’t look out only for your own interests, but take an interest in others, too.” To me, this is true excellence; always keeping others in mind. It’s always leaving people, places and things better than you found them, and bringing others with you when you succeed. It’s always thanking those who helped you get where you are. Excellence is recognizing the role others have played in your life and the positive influence you can have in the lives of others.
Mac Anderson says it this way:
· 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.