Success vs. Excellence…

Success is often measured by our comparison to others. Excellence, on the other hand, is all about being the best we can be by maximizing our gifts, talents, and abilities to perform at our highest potential.  Thus was the interesting conversation I had with a parent this morning regarding classroom expectations and school versus home success…

It’s so true; we live in a world that focuses on success and comparison. We are all guilty of doing this, however, I believe that to be our personal best, we must focus more on excellence and less on success. We must focus on being the best we can personally be and realize our greatest competition is not someone else, but ourselves.

For example and in keeping with our sports theme here, a focus on excellence was the key for golfing legend Jack Nicklaus (thanks, daddy, for sharing this story with me–see, I really do listen!).  Mr. Nicklaus’ secret was to play the course not play the competition.  He simply focused on playing the best he could play against the course he was playing.  While others were competing against him, he was competing against the course and himself.

We have a choice as individuals, as instructional teams of learners, as parents, and as families.  We can choose to focus on success and spend our life looking around to see how our competition is doing – or – we can look straight ahead towards the vision of greatness we have for ourselves and our teams.  We can look at competition as the standard – or – as an indicator of our progress towards our own standards.  We can chase success – or – we can embark on a quest for personal excellence.  We can focus 100% of our energy to become our personal best and let success find us . . . and the truly ironic note here is when our goal focuses on personal excellence the outcome is usually great personal success!  🙂

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