Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Strive For Excellence!

Striving for excellence is the key to living a super-charged life. In practical terms, it means seeking continual improvement in everything we do. We never actually achieve perfection. Products, processes, attitudes, beliefs, all aspects of life can always be improved upon. Think about it. What if the automobile, light bulb, or telephone had been declared perfect even 10 or 20 years ago? These products are continually being improved upon. The original inventors are gone, but others are still striving for excellence with these items.

We should likewise continually seek to improve our work and ourselves. We need to reevaluate our thoughts, habits, and lifestyle. What worked yesterday may not be working today. Results are what count. Are you getting the results you want in each area of your life? If not, then take the time right now to write down 5 to 10 ideas on how you can improve what you are doing to achieve better results. Experiment. There is no one right way to live life. You have to find the combination of behaviors that suit your circumstances, personality and desired outcomes. Again, the key is to continually strive for excellence.

Here are some tips that will help you in your quest for excellence:

1. Be Open to New Ideas. Seek ideas for improvement. Adopt an attitude of continual self-improvement. Read books and blogs on self-improvement. Ask others for their input on what you can do to improve. Be specific. Tell a trusted friend that you are trying hard to improve in a particular area (listening, positive thinking, taking action, etc.) Ask them for one or two suggestions on how you can improve in this specific area in the future.

2. Dress for Success. If we feel we look great, then we are more likely to have the confidence to strive for excellence. Also, like it or not, we are judged by our appearance. People react to us based on how we look. If we look sharp, then people often assume good things about us. This can open doors of opportunity. Pay attention to the details. Ask for help from someone you trust. Is it time for a super-charged makeover?

3. Seek Inspiration. Read The Elegant Solution by Matthew May. In his book, Matthew details what he learned about striving for excellence and innovation while consulting for Toyota Motor Company. Toyota has an incredible culture that promotes continual improvement. Matthew does a great job of inspiring us all to apply these principles to our lives and work.

4. Do a little more in all we do and do everyday tasks exceptionally well. This does not just apply to our Jiu-Jitsu training but everything we do. Success should be deliberate and not a mistake or something that we stumble upon. If we all do more in all we do and do the best job possible then success will undoubtedly follow.

5. Don’t stand on the sidelines and watch others succeed but make a difference by joining in. Don’t strive for excellence later or when you think that you might have more time or money, do it some time between yesterday and tomorrow. Apply this to all we do and success has to follow. Be an example to others and also look for better ways of doing something.

6. Don’t look for excuses. Take responsibility for your own actions. If we are to take credit for our successes then we should also assume responsibility for our failures. If we make excuses enough then they become a habit and then a belief. We should have Self Respect and pride and win the trust and respect of others.

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