Excellence is Never an Accident

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"Excellence is never an accident; it is always the result of high intention, sincere effort, intelligent direction, skillful execution and the vision to see obstacles as opportunities."The above anonymous quote was displayed prominently in an office, where, oddly enough, it seemed to attract very little attention. In any case, it has made enough of an impression to invite a look at these words of wisdom and see where these words may apply.
When embarking on a road trip, unless a bout of aimless wandering around the country is the intent, it is essential to have a destination in mind and a map. Most people in the world are living someone else"s agenda, which was obtained by default. Stated differently, most people are on a path of aimless wandering much like a traveler without specific destination or map. It would be most valuable to look at different areas or aspects of life and ask what is the intention here? Consider the areas of family, business, spiritual practice, financial means, retirement, education, self development, health, and social interaction. Most people, by their own admission, are not living fully actualized lives and full potential. One main cause is a lack of clear and focused intention and direction.
Without clear direction, sincere effort is impossible. Perhaps effort becomes sincere when clear intention is established. Most people merely do an adequate job of trying whatever it is they"re doing because they are relatively uninspired by the task. Sincere effort stems from high intention. It flows naturally. ook at the areas of life where one is just hanging out or clocking time. This indicates insincere effort an opportunity to create a more focused and clear intention!
Assuming that intention is present, intelligent direction is also vital. In his timeless classic, Think and Grow Rich, Napoleon Hill recommends and promotes the mastermind group. The mastermind group is any group of likeminded individuals that assembled for counsel and participation in the attainment of a worthwhile goal. The mastermind group act very much like the directors of a large corporation, providing guidance, advice and direction essential to success; the use of the mastermind principle is the use of intelligent direction. From the combined intelligence of several comes new possibility that simply cannot come from a single mind.
Michael Jordan, who practiced over ten hours a day even at the height of his career, said practicing the wrong thing eight hours a day only makes a person excellent at doing the wrong thing. Consider the practice devoted to the essential skills that bring success as parents, spouses, employees and people in general. To excel, practice is much more important than actual presentation or performance. Out of the harsh discipline of practice comes skillful execution.
As humans we tend to see in purely linear cause and effect terms. When given lemons, make lemonade is certainly simplistic, but most people who are successful have had to become adept at taking some perceived challenge and using it as an opportunity for benefit, value and profit. This comes from introspection, the counsel of open minded and visionary people (of which there are few).
Each of these steps, when applied, provides opportunity, challenge, impact and benefit. With these steps in mind, it is a matter of will to trade in mediocrity for excellence!


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