“Excellence is an art won by training and habituation. We do not act rightly because we have virtue or excellence, but we rather have those because we have acted rightly. We are what we repeatedly do. Excellence, then, is not an act but a habit” (Aristotle).
Why Not Perfection?
By aiming for perfection, we set goals so unrealistic that they become impossible to reach and we never feel satisfied. Instead, if we strive for excellence as Aristotle suggested, we can become outstanding, achieve greatness, skill, distinction, set ourselves apart from the competition . . .
Perfectionism is a common social value in many societies. It is a personality trait characterized by striving for flawlessness and setting extremely exacting standards for performance, accompanied by inclinations toward particularly critical evaluations of one’s behavior.
Defined as a multidimensional phenomenon, perfectionism comprises, self-oriented, other-oriented and socially prescribed perfectionism.
Self-oriented perfectionism refers to the tendency for an individual to set and seek high self-standards of performance.
Other-oriented perfectionism is the inclination for an individual to expect others should or will be perfect in their performance.
Socially prescribed perfectionism refers to the individuals’ belief that others expect perfection from the individual.
Findings from recent studies support the view that elevations on self-oriented and socially prescribed perfectionism are associated with symptoms of depression in clinical and nonclinical populations. It seems that perfectionists’ cognitive styles, particularly their intellectual evaluation manner, play a significant role in psychological reactions during their performance.
Current theories of perfectionism suggest a variety of intervening intellectual and affective variables that facilitate a relationship between perfectionism and psychological distress.
- Perfectionists tend to have dysfunctional cognitive emotional processes such as the frequent use of “should” statements. “I should do this, it’s expected”.
- Contradictory thinking. Accepting two statements that cannot both be true.
- Overgeneralization. If you think you wrote one bad article, you might also think you always write bad articles.
- Feelings of inferiority. Somebody is always better / knows better.
- Shame or Guilt. Could do better.
- Rumination – High levels of procrastination.
No To Perfection; I Choose Excellence
I talked about vibration raising recently and it seems that if we aim for perfection, we open the door to assaults on our positive vibration. We can train ourselves for excellence by setting a few positive and vibration raising habits.
Vision and Clear Intentions
Answer these questions often:
- What do you want each day?
- What skills must you develop?
- How can you make a difference?
- How can you serve?
Don’t Wait for Emotions
Ask yourself frequently what primary feeling you want to give and receive from your daily interactions. If you wait for emotions to land, you don’t get to choose the things you wish to consistently give and receive.
Is It Meaningful?
Not everything we do, or experience is meaningful or important but still, we can’t neglect things. What we can do is align ourselves with the things that matter by asking two simple questions and answering them.
- What upcoming projects generate enthusiasm, satisfaction and connection?
- How can I make them meaningful?
Renew Your Energy
Take a breath, pause between tasks and projects to release any tensions in your mind and body. When you feel the tensions release, set a clear intention for your next activity and go for it. Each time you feel tension mounting, pause and do something to raise your vibration.
Share The Love, Bring The Joy
I have a reminder that pops up on my computer several times each day, “Share The Love, Share The Joy”. This is a message to self as much as it’s a message to share with people I interact with. Positive thinking brings positive actions and consistent positive habits bring success and excellence.
There are other habits that contribute to excellence, those you have just read are a starter. More to come, soon.
What’s your best habit? I would love to publish it with a shout out in my next post.
We need a box of tools to challenge our limits and move forward toward success. If you feel that you may benefit from help, please leave your contact details in the comments section below and you will be contacted by your preferred method. Please understand that your contact details will never be published, and your privacy is assured.
Comments and Questions
Please leave yours below. Your thoughts or questions may well ignite a positive spark in other readers thinking. You will always receive a prompt response to your questions and there is no such thing as a bad question; only the one that was never asked.
I bow to the place in you that is love, light, and joy
I wish you a wonderful day.
Peace & Light
Steve Costello is a British Community & Youth Studies and Psychology honors graduate with over 30-years theoretical and practical experience in the Personal Development public and private sectors. He founded ExGro in 2018 with business partner, friend and clinical psychologist, Leo Faerberg.
2 thoughts on “Excellence is An Art”
One of my best habits is a meditation method I learnt from Vishen Lakhiani at MindValley.
It really helps me to visualise and set positive intentions, and to focus on being present and thankful for the gifts in life.
It is a simple process during a meditation where the focus is brought towards compassion, gratitude, forgiveness, visualising the perfect day ahead, a vision for the future and connecting to the source.
I’ve really enjoyed your recent posts and found them very beneficial to my own growth, as always thank you for taking the time to write and to share your gifts.
Peace and best wishes.
Hi Miles, Only a short way into your comment I knew exactly which meditation method you were talking about and I agree: this is one of the most effective methods I know. Thank you for your kind comments, they brought more light to this already sunny day.