Tag Archives: excellence

It’s Not Going to Happen Overnight

31 May

We are what we repeatedly do. Excellence, then, is not an act, but a habit.” – Aristotle

As the ancient Greek philosopher, Aristotle, reminds us, excellence is not a static event, it’s a process.

There’s no such thing as an “overnight” success.

When we see excellence, what we are actually seeing is just the “tip of the iceberg.”  We rarely, if ever, see the commitment, dedication, time, and effort that invariably contributes to the end result.

Excellence requires hours, days, and even months and years of practice and purposeful repetition.  No one achieves greatness without a significant investment over time.

And it’s not just about sports.  The same applies for school, work, relationships, and life.

My Mom used to preach patience to my siblings and me, telling us, “If it’s worth having, it’s worth waiting for.”  I would add “working” to the “waiting,” in that quote, since you can’t just wait for it to happen, you’ve also got to work to make it happen (but, I’m sure my Mom knew that, too).

Frequently, I have parents who bring their sons and/or daughters to my facility — during their sport season — having come to the realization that junior needs to get stronger, faster, and more powerful in order to earn playing time or be competitive in his or her respective sport.  And, with my help, they want their child to accomplish it… now.

I think some of them truly believe (or hope) that strength, speed, and power development works like a microwave oven: Put the food in the oven, press a button, wait a moment or two, and… voila!  It’s ready — finished product.

Self-improvement is a process, as is self-development.

You’ve got to put in the time.  And the effort.

Get STRONGER, Get FASTER!

Your thoughts?

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Compete Every Day

29 Apr

be-the-best-version-of-you[1]“It isn’t hard to be good from time to time in sports. What is tough, is being good every day.” – Willie Mays

Don’t worry about being better than “the other guy.”  Compete against you, every day.  Be the best version of you that you can possibly be!

Challenge yourself in the classroom.  Be the best student you can be.

Challenge yourself at work.  Be the best boss, supervisor, co-worker, or customer you can be.

Challenge yourself in the weight room.  Be better today than you were yesterday.

Challenge yourself in the gym or on the field, at practices and games.  Be the best athlete or teammate you can be.

Challenge yourself at home.  Be the best dad, mom, son, or daughter you can be.

Challenge yourself in life.  Be a leader.  Be the best person you can be.

“The principle is competing against yourself. It’s about self-improvement, about being better than you were the day before.” – Steve Young

Get STRONGER, Get FASTER!

Your thoughts?

Success is an Iceberg

24 Feb

“The key is not the will to win… everybody has that. It is the will to prepare to win that is important.” – Bobby Knight

“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

“Winning isn’t everything, but the will to win is everything.” – Vince Lombardithe-iceberg-of-success[1]

Get STRONGER, Get FASTER!

Your thoughts?

The Rocky Road of Excellence

12 Feb

stephen-curry-getty[1]Earlier this week, I published a blog post titled, Everyone Wants to Eat, Few Want to Hunt.  The article focused on the “price” of greatness — investment and sacrifice — as it relates to success in any endeavor.

Along those same lines, here’s a nice follow up article from Changing the Game Project.

The Rocky Road of Excellence asserts that “Elite performers, those who are true professionals at everything they do, ask themselves a far different question. They don’t ask “What do I want?” They ask:

“What am I willing to sacrifice for, to struggle for, and to experience pain and discomfort for? In other words, what dream or passion am I willing to suffer for?”

This question is what leads to excellence in sport, in business, and in life.

You must risk being uncomfortable to achieve something worthwhile.

What do you want, and what are you willing to do to get it?

Get STRONGER, Get FASTER!

Your thoughts?

Strive for Perfection, Settle for Excellence

11 Dec

jordan-shoot-mr-basketball-basquete-blog-brasil[1]Hall of Fame NFL Coach (and Cleveland area native), Don Shula, is credited with the quote, “Strive for perfection, settle for excellence.”  Ironically, it was Shula’s 1972 Miami Dolphins that, to this day, lay claim to the NFL’s only “perfect” (unbeaten championship) season.

Brian Littrell said, “Shoot for the moon.  Even if you miss, you’ll land among the stars.”

Michael Jordan famously asserted that, although he didn’t make every shot he took, he intended to — his goal was to make every shot — even though his career field goal percentage was just below 50%.

Perfection — at least in the long-term — is unattainable.  You may get 100% of the points on a particular test or quiz, but it’s unlikely you’ll do it for an entire grading period.  Similarly, you may have a game in which you make 100% of your free throws or have no turnovers, but it’s next to impossible to maintain that pace for an entire season.

The point is this: AIM HIGH!  If you set your goals at the highest level and fall short, you’ll still be performing at a high level.  Your work, practice, and preparation should be done with an eye on perfection, regardless of the venue — personal, professional, academic, or athletic.  There’s no shame in not being perfect, but don’t settle for mediocrity.  Keep working toward that perfect score, assignment, or game.

Get STRONGER, Get FASTER!

Your thoughts?

It’s Not Going to Happen Overnight

19 Oct

Man on top of mountain.We are what we repeatedly do. Excellence, then, is not an act, but a habit.” – Aristotle

As the ancient Greek philosopher, Aristotle, reminds us, excellence is not a static event, it’s a process.

There’s no such thing as an “overnight” success.

When we see excellence, what we are actually seeing is just the “tip of the iceberg.”  We rarely, if ever, see the commitment, dedication, time, and effort that invariably contributes to the end result.

Excellence requires hours, days, and even months and years of practice and purposeful repetition.  No one achieves greatness without a significant investment over time.

And it’s not just about sports.  The same applies for school, work, relationships, and life.

My Mom used to preach patience to my siblings and me, telling us, “If it’s worth having, it’s worth waiting for.”  I would add “working” to the “waiting,” in that quote, since you can’t just wait for it to happen, you’ve also got to work to make it happen (but, I’m sure my Mom knew that, too).

Frequently, I have parents who bring their sons and/or daughters to my facility — during their sport season — having come to the realization that junior needs to get stronger, faster, and more powerful in order to earn playing time or be competitive in his or her respective sport.  And, with my help, they want their child to accomplish it… now.

I think some of them truly believe (or hope) that strength, speed, and power development works like a microwave oven: Put the food in the oven, press a button, wait a moment or two, and… voila!  It’s ready — finished product.

Self-improvement is a process, as is self-development.

You’ve got to put in the time.  And the effort.

Get STRONGER, Get FASTER!

Your thoughts?

Don’t Let Perfect Get in the Way of Progress

4 May

perfect-progress[1]Don’t worry about being perfect today.  Instead, focus on being better than yesterday — strive to be your best, in terms of attitude and effort.

Don’t compare yourself with others, don’t aspire to be better than anyone else, and don’t stress over challenges, mistakes, and setbacks.

Learn from mistakes, be persistent, and simply do what you can do to make today better than yesterday.

While it’s admirable to aim for perfection, you’ve got to be realistic and reasonable.

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

Strive for perfection, settle for excellence, and — above all — keep moving forward and getting better.

Get STRONGER, Get FASTER!

Your thoughts?

Don’t Settle for Average

7 May

f77563eaddd962a746a4c714714d1a2c[1]Average.  Mediocre.  Usual.  Middling.  Run-of-the-mill.  Ordinary.  Common.

No, thank you.

It’s easy to fall into the “path of least resistance” trap.  Sometimes, it seems like that’s what everyone around us does.  It may feel safer to fit in than to stand out.

When we don’t meet our own (or others’) expectations, we tend to try to justify the result to ourselves.  We settle.

Nobody’s perfect — at least not at everything they do, all the time.  Sometimes, despite our best efforts, we fall short… we fail.  But if you strive for perfection and fall short, you can still achieve excellence.  You can still be great.

The key lies in our mental approach and work ethic.  Our willingness to pursue greatness.

Work toward your personal best in your daily endeavors, whether that be as an athlete, student, employee, or otherwise.  Try to improve upon the things that are important to you, every day.  Keep your focus internal and don’t worry about competing with others.  Strive to be better today than you were yesterday, and the rest will eventually fall in place.

Believe in you.  You’re better than average.

Get STRONGER, Get FASTER!

Your thoughts?

Strive for Perfection, Settle for Excellence

1 Feb

jordan-shoot-mr-basketball-basquete-blog-brasil[1]Hall of Fame NFL Coach (and Cleveland area native), Don Shula, is credited with the quote, “Strive for perfection, settle for excellence.”  Ironically, it was Shula’s 1972 Miami Dolphins that, to this day, lay claim to the NFL’s only “perfect” (unbeaten championship) season.

Brian Littrell said, “Shoot for the moon.  Even if you miss, you’ll land among the stars.”

Michael Jordan famously asserted that, although he didn’t make every shot he took, he intended to — his goal was to make every shot — even though his career field goal percentage was just below 50%.

Perfection — at least in the long-term — is unattainable.  You may get 100% of the points on a particular test or quiz, but it’s unlikely you’ll do it for an entire grading period.  Similarly, you may have a game in which you make 100% of your free throws or have no turnovers, but it’s next to impossible to maintain that pace for an entire season.

The point is this: AIM HIGH!  If you set your goals at the highest level and fall short, you’ll still be performing at a high level.  Your work, practice, and preparation should be done with an eye on perfection, regardless of the venue — personal, professional, academic, or athletic.  There’s no shame in not being perfect, but don’t settle for mediocrity.  Keep working toward that perfect score, assignment, or game.

Get STRONGER, Get FASTER!

Your thoughts?

Don’t Lower My Expectations… Raise Your Game!

22 Oct

Recently, I read a Facebook post from an old friend, Tom Bielawski.  That post is captured in the title of this blog post.  Tom further clarified, explaining that he was “just in that kinda mood today – keep up the pace or step aside.”  Tom’s comments got me thinking about Don Shula’s quote, “Strive for perfection.  Settle for excellence.”

What are you doing to raise your game?  Are you satisfied with your current level of performance or are you working to improve?  Do you truly want to be the best you can be and, if so, what are you doing (and willing to do) to accomplish that?  Here are some tips to help you improve your performance:

Establish a Baseline

It’s important to understand your starting point.  With regard to the skill(s) you want to improve, where are you today?  You’ve got to be able to objectively assess your current level of performance if you want to create a plan to improve it.

Remember, It’s You vs. You

You’ve got to work within the context of your abilities and potential.  Don’t get caught up in comparing yourself with others (trust me, there are lots of other people who will do that for you).  Your goal should be to make “today you” better than “yesterday you;” and “tomorrow you” better than “today you.”

What’s Your Goal?

Goal setting is important.  Write down your goals, and revisit them often.  What does success look like?  For that matter, what does improvement look like?

Have a Plan

You’ll need to develop a map to help you get from point A (today’s reality) to point B (tomorrow’s goal).  One of the strategies I like, that relates to both the goal setting and performance planning processes, is SMART.  Both your goal and your plan should have SMART objectives built-in.

  • Specific – avoid being general or vague.
  • Measurable – your action steps and goal(s) should be quantifiable.
  • Actionable – your plan and goal should involve doing.
  • Realistic – challenge yourself, while considering your abilities and potential.
  • Timebound – set time parameters and deadlines.

Checks and Balances

It can be helpful to build “checkpoints” into your plan.  You’ll want to re-evaluate from time to time, to ensure that your action steps are consistent with your goal(s).  I like the “chunk it down” strategy.  Some goals, even though realistic, can seem immediately overwhelming.  Breaking down your goals into manageable steps can be more motivating and help you stick to your plan.

Get Help

It can be helpful to enlist the help of an expert, at least to get you started.

Get STRONGER, Get FASTER!

Your thoughts?

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