Reflecting on life’s experiences that I have personally gone through, I realized that there are three critical attributes that help us all lead to excellence in everything we do.
These three critical attributes are Attitude of Excellence, Appreciating and Creating Value and The Power of Responsibility!
Attitude of Excellence – When I hear the “Attitude of Excellence”, I am reminded of a story I read quite some time back. “In ancient times, a king had his men place a boulder on a roadway. He then hid in the bushes and watched to see if anyone would move the boulder out of the way. Some of the king's wealthiest merchants and courtiers passed by and simply walked around it. Many people blamed the King for not keeping the roads clear, but none of them did anything about getting the stone removed.
One day, a peasant came along carrying vegetables. Upon approaching the boulder, the peasant laid down his burden and tried to push the stone out of the way. After much pushing and straining, he finally managed.
After the peasant went back to pick up his vegetables, he noticed a purse lying in the road where the boulder had been. The purse contained many gold coins and a note from the King explaining that the gold was for the person who removed the boulder from the road.
Moral of the story - Every obstacle that we come across gives us an opportunity to improve our circumstances, and while the lazy complain, others are creating opportunities through their kind hearts, generosity, and willingness to get things done.”
We need to demonstrate our commitment to get things right. A focused effort and dedication that is seen in us motivate people to around us to move in the right direction. Every person is capable of achieving excellence in their own unique ways. A team of people who compliment their skills can definitely prove to excel in the work they do. Great leaders look at each day as a renewed commitment to excellence and the focus on the big picture. Fostering the attitude of excellence enables people to see the goodness and value in every challenge or situation or a problem they are trying to solve. How does one develop the attitude of excellence? It commences with the way we start to think when a challenge or a problem is in front of us. The power of positive thoughts can truly change the way we approach what is to be resolved and transform into powerful and impactful outcomes, Excellence is a matter of taking intentional, purposeful control of our thoughts.
Appreciating and Creating Value – Here is sharing another story – “A water bearer in China had two large pots, each hung on the ends of a pole which he carried across his neck. One of the pots had a crack in it, while the other pot was perfect and always delivered a full portion of water. At the end of the long walk from the stream to the house, the cracked pot arrived only half full. For a full two years this went on daily, with the bearer delivering only one and a half pots full of water to his house. Of course, the perfect pot was proud of its accomplishments, perfect for which it was made. But the poor cracked pot was ashamed of its own imperfection, and miserable that it was able to accomplish only half of what it had been made to do. After two years of what it perceived to be a bitter failure, it spoke to the water bearer one day by the stream. "I am ashamed of myself, because this crack in my side causes water to leak out all the way back to your house." The bearer said to the pot, "Did you notice that there were flowers only on your side of the path, but not on the other pot's side? That's because I have always known about your flaw, and I planted flower seeds on your side of the path, and every day while we walk back, you've watered them. For two years I have been able to pick these beautiful flowers to decorate the table. Without you being just the way, you are, there would not be this beauty to grace the house."
To be able to create value, it is important to identify what value is. Some reflective questions which will help you identify value are: What would you exchange your time for? What things make your life more enjoyable? What things make your work more effective? What things make you safer and more secure? What makes you feel good? What motivates you? What makes you think and stimulates your imagination? All of these represent value. To create value, it is important to recognize your values and ensure you find a way to make more of them, more accessible, understandable and easier to use. It is also important to learn about those aspects you value. Where do them come from? Knowing every aspect of how it impacts you also enables you to practice in creating value. For example, if “gaining and sharing knowledge” is valuable to you, understanding its source, how it supports you, the modes you use to share, with whom you share and how it becomes useful to the people with whom you share – all of these creates value!
The Power of Responsibility – Let me share another story of the very special bank account – “Imagine you had a bank account that deposited $86,400 each morning. The account carries over no balance from day to day, allows you to keep no cash balance, and every evening cancels whatever part of the amount you had failed to use during the day. What would you do? Draw out every dollar each day! We all have such a bank. Its name is Time. Every morning, it credits you with 86,400 seconds. Every night it writes off, as lost, whatever time you have failed to use wisely. It carries over no balance from day to day. It allows no overdraft so you can’t borrow against yourself or use more time than you have. Each day, the account starts fresh. Each night, it destroys an unused time. If you fail to use the day’s deposits, it’s your loss and you can’t appeal to get it back. There is never any borrowing time. You can’t take a loan out on your time or against someone else’s. The time you have is the time you have and that is that. Time management is yours to decide how you spend the time, just as with money you decide how you spend the money. It is never the case of us not having enough time to do things, but the case of whether we want to do them and where they fall in our priorities.”
Each one of us are faced with some problem, situation or a goal – whatever it is, taking responsibility for it is the first step and of prime importance. The absence of taking responsibility only leads to a chaos and deterioration. Choosing to take responsibility and to act in accordance leads to progress. Being Responsible is powerful – it helps to recognize the consequences, enables to keep commitments to pursue relevant actions. Taking responsibility also helps in controlling the circumstances of our lives. We all have our choices to make and hence knowing consequences, it is easier to make the right choices. We gain the power to shape what those consequences are. By accepting and embracing responsibility, we are able to bring about the outcomes we prefer to see in life.