When excellence becomes a natural part of life
Last night I went to my daughter’s end of year dance concert. It was a major extravaganza that only went for 4 hours and 50 minutes… I end up managing my son’s sports and my wife handles our girls (well, one of them as the other is only 6 moths-old) so therefore I really had no idea what to expect.
I have to be honest and say that other than watching my daughter dance, I was not looking forward to the night. I drop my daughter at dance sometimes and because you’re not allowed in to watch I really have no idea what goes on in that studio. But I was in for a surprise.
The level of dancing was just phenomenal. The skill levels of these girls – and a few boys – was incredible and it was a really enjoyable evening. Seeing these kids all perform at the level they did was inspiring.
But what I loved the most is that these children are all learning excellence. Near enough is not good enough in dance. It either looks good or it doesn’t. The moves either come off or they don’t. There was months and months spent practicing for this night. There was tens and tens of thousands of dollars that went into the costumes (believe me, I know this first hand…) and the show had to be perfect.
These children all deserve massive applause for such a job well done. While I was watching the concert though it made me think about our lives as adults and how often near enough ends up being good enough. Why do we not go that extra mile to achieve excellence? In furthering on from Phil Cooke’s post on how well you do your work, I thought about it a lot last night as I watched these children leave no stone unturned.
Imagine if we as adults threw the same amount of energy into our work and the endeavors we are involved in. People would sit up and take notice. Then doors would open because we were so good at what we did. We each only get 24 hours in a day. We all only get one chance at this life to leave our mark. Therefore I am not sure why we rush through the one thing that most of us can leave our mark on: our work.
As adults we can no longer dance like younger children and teens. We cannot run and swim as fast as them. In my case my lower back no longer allows me to surf like a 20 year-old (as hard as I try. But what I can do better at as I get older is my work. That is where we as adults can leave our mark. We can be the best at what we do – and trust me, if you do, people will notice.
“Do you see a man skilful and experienced in his work? He will stand before kings; he will not stand before obscure men.”
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