The idea of chasing excellence was something I have always thought of. From a really young age I always wanted to be better at whatever I was doing. I think that my belief in myself was far greater than my talent. When I would compete in something I would always be disappointed in my performance because I always felt like it was less than I was capable of. Maybe it was maybe it was not. It is possible that I exceeded m,y abilities in a particular performance and I simply did not know how to evaluate my efforts. I have spent a lifetime chasing excellence in everything that I do but that has come with a downside. The downside is that I have always compared that excellence to others performances and many times others direction. What this has caused in many cases is a distracted direction of where my talents really can take me. Hence the words “chasing excellence.” The real statement should be pursuing excellence or even creating excellence.
Let me take a moment to expand on this. Pursuing or creating excellence happens when you head in the direction you are compelled to go with a relentless drive to succeed. That does not mean that you have your head down and your are oblivious to all the things around you. It simply means that you are focused on what you would like to accomplish. It means that you are not distracted by the noise whether that is internal noise or external noise. You are able to drown out the doubt, the comparison, the voices that tell you “why you,” “what makes you think your special?” “why would people follow your lead?” While I spent time Chasing excellence there has always been that something inside of me that says you are going to do something great. You are going to impact people in such a great way. Then there are the voices that literally “laugh out loud” and say who do you think you are? When you get caught in the rat race of chasing excellence you begin to believe the voices because you are all over the map and not gaining any traction in any one area. It is very difficult to get going because you are not headed in any specific direction. When you let go of that and begin to pursue excellence in the area that matters to you everything changes. This is when you begin to have an impact. This is when the momentum changes and momentum is a good thing.
One last word of caution though. As I write this down on paper AI am reminded of something that I always talk to m,y clients about. I talk to them about being careful off the image that we create in our own heads of what it is all supposed to look like. That image that we create is DYNAMIC ever changing when we create it. As soon as we get to one goal we will pile another on that image. In my case I have created an image of what impacting people in a positive light looks like. I keep picturing this grand stage. Then I get an email or a message from someone telling me that I have inspired them or helped them. This email serves as a reminder that I am doing something big one small message at a time. The temple may not be built but I am gathering the pieces. Also would like to acknowledge something else I have always said. I have acknowledged that I am a great wingman. I am a great cast in the shadows. I have been struggling lately for people not acknowledging the assistance I provided them to get them going but instead acknowledging the person who was there at the exact turning point. I wanted the credit. I wanted the validation. I have had to ask myself why? The answer keeps coming back that I needed it to believe that I was on the right track. That what I do is valuable and helpful. I wanted the recognition so that others know I could help them. However, what the lesson is for me is simple. Let Dorothy, Tin Man, Scarecrow, The Lion and Toto be the ones who are seen and rest in comfortable silence being the man behind the curtain who gets to help provide the last piece of the puzzle.