What do you envision when you think of excellence? Is it a Nobel Prize winner? A world leader? With the FIFA World Cup right around the corner, could it be Lionel Messi… or Cristiano Ronaldo?
When you associate excellence with people like that, you subconsciously put excellence out of your reach. You make the concept unattainable by relating it to people you’ve never met and only read about post-achievements. You perpetuate what’s known as the “Excellence Myth.”
If you’re always envisioning it outside your grasp, how can you possibly picture delivering “excellence” to your customers like Lior Arussy describes in his appropriately named book Excellence Every Day?
One of the most important things to keep in mind in the pursuit of excellence is that like success, it is not a destination but a journey. If you begin to view your sports star, Nobel Prize winner or world leader as someone who works every day to achieve smaller goals that lead to the bigger ones, it’s much easier to connect with them.
If you understand that Cristiano Ronaldo needs to make the daily choice to practice his shot rather than go on a cruise, it might allow you to bring him down from the pedestal on which you’ve placed him. He returns to practice day in and day out even if he’s won the FIFA Ballon d’Or twice. The pursuit of excellence doesn’t stop with one, or two samples of success.
Understanding the “Excellence Myth” is not meant to reduce your heroes to zeroes. In fact, it’s meant to elevate them to a higher status by allowing you to fully understand how they have to strive to get there every day. Furthermore, by understanding their process, you can begin to see yourself as “excellent” as well.
Therefore, in your daily commitment to producing excellent experiences, consider these greats, the daily choices they make and how you can follow in their footsteps- because you can become like them.
Learn from an “excellent” example, Mia Hamm: “Celebrate what you’ve accomplished, but raise the bar a little higher each time you succeed.”
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