Sklover’s Monday Thought: “Excellence is a Habit”

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We are what we repeatedly do. Excellence is a habit, not a virtue.”

– Aristotle

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When I speak publicly, I am often presented with the question, “What makes people successful?” My answer is always a version of “Excellence, done a lot.” Invariably, the follow-up question is,” Well, what makes people excellent?”

Aristotle hit the nail on the head. Excellence is a habit of always caring to do a good job of what you do, how you do it, and with whom you do it. In each instance, trying to keep your standards as high as you can. It is a blend of “Practice makes perfect” with “You’ll always do better what you enjoy.”

Whether it’s golf, ice skating, computer coding, or being a leader in your field, it’s the habit of excellence, and only you know if you are really caring about what you do, each day, in each moment, despite at times disappointment, setbacks or hitting the ball into the water.

My most successful clients all agree.

One of my very longest-term clients – for over 30 years – recently sent me a note, and in the note included this quote. She characterized it as her “North Star.” I’ve always noticed that she seems to set her goals high, and takes each of her steps toward achieving each goal with care, precision and a good deal of prior thought, even in the midst of “hurricanes.” I have always enjoyed her excellence and admired her success. And, with her contributing this quote, I now understand a bit better where it all comes from. Oh, yes, she added a P.S.: “It’s not just at work; it’s in everything.”

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