In today’s BBTL book entry, Chet writes, “Excellence is you at your best and can only be obtained when you do more than you think…when you get joy from learning to do hard things well.” In other words, excellence exists beyond our comfort zone, beyond our current capabilities, and beyond what’s familiar or easy. Excellence requires us to embrace the struggle and happily do the REAL. HARD. WORK.
Chet continues with what I believe to be today’s golden nugget line…”Excellence is idiosyncratic…we cannot simply imitate another’s way and have it lead to our highest, best way.” THIS, I believe, is the often-overlooked key to excellence.
If you set out trying to imitate another’s excellence, you will fall woefully short of achieving your own. Because excellence, as we’ve suggested, requires hard work. Sustained hard work. Not for a month. Not even for a year. But for many years, and many more after that. And few of us, perhaps none of us, will embrace the REAL. HARD. WORK. simply trying to imitate the excellence of another. That kind of sustained effort, that kind of unrelenting, do-whatever-it-takes effort, only exists among those chasing their big dream, building their best life, committed to their personal excellence. It does NOT exist when merely imitating another. Believe me, I’ve seen it. I’ve done it. DOES. NOT. WORK. Maybe for a season, but not for a lifetime.
I’ll leave you with the melody line I heard when reading Chet’s entry — You won’t be excellent unless you bust your ass – not sometimes, not most of the time, ALL the time. And you won’t bust your ass ALL the time if you’re not in LOVE with the dream AND the work. And you won’t truly LOVE the dream unless it’s YOURS.