Aristotle, one of the most renowned and studied Greek philosophers, once said, “We are what we repeatedly do. Excellence, then, is not an act, but a habit.” We often see people around us achieving great things and attaining success, yet we often attribute it to other factors. Perhaps we believe the person to simply be lucky, being in the right place at the right time. Perhaps we believe it is their destiny, and not our own, to live out their dreams. However, this type of negative thinking only serves to further us from our goals. This type of negative thinking also does not give credit where credit is due. Many people realize quite quickly that life is not always easy, fair or pleasant. Sometimes it requires hard work, sleepless nights, dedication and determination. Those people who we believe to be “lucky” or “destined” did one thing and one thing only to achieve excellence; they worked for it.
From a young age we are encouraged to excel. We strive to get good grades. This in turn will help us further our post-secondary education, allowing us to have more options. Post-secondary education is essentially meant to help us in our career choice. A degree or certificate is meant to hasten the process of landing our dream jobs. Once our dream jobs are secured, the work only continues as we must strive to remain excellent in the workplace. The quality of our work and the effort we put in must be consistent. Excellence never stops. This is the attitude that successful people have adopted. They know that once you reach your goal, it does not mean that you must stop working.
Perhaps you have noticed that those who are considered successful are not complacent beings who spend their weekends at home in sweatpants. They are the movers, the go-getters, the thinkers. This is what Aristotle meant in his quote. Excellence is not something that we are born with, rather something we must work to achieve. And while the work may at times feel impossible and the urge to give up may often be present, the end result is well worth the effort! Unfortunately, it’s human nature to look for the easy way out. Our current society has become flooded with quick fixes. Technology allows us to do almost anything at the touch of the button while social media allows ideas to be shared faster than ever. The current state of our culture has begun to cripple our habit of excellence.
Just as many of us are quick to take the easy way out, we are quick to point the finger at other people for our shortcomings. You may make yourself feel better after an unsuccessful job interview by reassuring yourself that the interviewer was simply not a nice person. You may tell yourself that there was nothing you could have done differently and that you gave it your best shot. It would be upsetting to think that perhaps you weren’t as qualified as other applicants or that you may not have been the right fit for the company. When you reassure yourself that you’ve given something your best shot, it becomes easier to deal with failure.
But are you really giving it your best shot? Before heading to bed for the night, think of your day. Think of what you accomplished and what you still have left to do and ask yourself, were you the best you could be? While many of us may not want to admit it, the answer is often a no. There is always room for improvement; always an opportunity to succeed. It is imperative not to let the patterns of our laid back society have too much of an effect on us. There is no room to become lazy.
One area where excellence matters most to us is in our professional lives. We spend our whole lives chasing our dreams, trying to land the career that will enable us to sustain the kind of lifestyle we want. At Top Choice, we recognize success and the hard work and achievements of individuals and businesses. But the success that we recognize is not an unattainable one. It is not a success reserved for the lucky ones. There is no magic behind it; no secret that you haven’t been let in on. It can be achieved by anyone if they are willing to work for it. Being recognized as a “Top Choice” means that an individual/business has persevered and refused to give up. They have taken their career and made it their passion. They have taken excellence and made it a habit. So tonight before heading to bed, ask yourself again, are you being the best you can be? Have you made excellence a habit in your life?
By: Sabrina Cugliari