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Choosing to Succeed

Excellence

In a world where external rewards often dominate our motivations, it’s essential to recognize the inherent value of pursuing excellence. While external recognition and rewards can be fleeting, the pursuit of excellence for its own sake offers lasting benefits. Let’s explore why and how you can embrace this mindset.

When you pursue excellence primarily for its own sake, you tap into internal motivation. Unlike external rewards, which may come infrequently or lose their importance quickly, intrinsic motivation sustains you throughout the journey. Whether you’re striving for personal growth, mastery or fulfillment, remember that you deserve to pursue excellence. 

There can be internal barriers to overcome. Fear, guilt, shame often hinder our pursuit of excellence and setbacks are to be expected. Address these barriers head-on:

  • Fear: Are you afraid you’ll fail? Acknowledge that failure is part of the process, but in order to have a shot at success, you need to make yourself take steps forward. Realize that you can survive even falling flat on your face. The failure may even suggest a more fruitful direction. 
  • Guilt and Shame: Striving for excellence redeems us. Don’t let past mistakes prevent you from aiming higher. 
  • Setbacks: In pursuing excellence, setbacks are virtually inevitable. That doesn’t make you a failure. Even if you stumble, each setback provides valuable lessons.

“Perfection is not attainable, but if we chase perfection, we can catch excellence.” – Vince Lombardi

“The will to win, the desire to succeed, the urge to reach your full potential—these are the keys that will unlock the door to personal excellence.” – Confucius

Give yourself a reason to pursue excellence. Consider the “What if” thought experiment. What if you committed to excellence in a specific area? Pick the things most important to you. Here are some examples:

  • To jump-start your career
  • To increase self-esteem
  • To be a positive role model
  • To make a meaningful difference

Remember that excellence itself is a reward. It brings satisfaction, growth and a sense of purpose. Unlike fleeting external accolades, the feeling of accomplishment endures. 

Keep striving and surround yourself with excellence. For example, you might start a study group with the best students in your class or volunteer for a committee in your field’s professional association.

In summary, excellence is not just about external recognition; it’s about the journey, growth and personal fulfillment. Embrace the pursuit of excellence for its own sake and you’ll find that the rewards extend far beyond any external validation. 

Norman Vincent Peale wrote, “Shoot for the moon. Even if you miss, you’ll land among the stars.”

Let excellence be your compass and you will be choosing to succeed.

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While external recognition and rewards can be fleeting, the pursuit of excellence for its own sake offers lasting benefits. Let’s explore why and how you can embrace this mindset.

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