Wisdom Workout

Day 7 of 7 • This day’s reading


Mediocrity is a choice. So is excellence. We don't just end up being mediocre or excellent by default. It has to be the result of a conscious decision made, backed by a right action. Excellence is an acquired attribute and a pursuit. It is obtained by deliberate actions. When wisdom is applied to knowledge and action, excellence is birthed. Rewards and recognition are good but excellence should be the purpose and the goal. It will cause you to be different from everyone else. Rewards and recognition are good but excellence should be the purpose and the goal. It will cause you to be different from everyone else.

Excellence required me to be in a position of constant learning. As a result of this I developed the habit of reading every day. Believe me when I say this. It is easier said than done since with long, hard days at work it's almost impossible to muster the strength to sit with a book. I made it a habit therefore to read a minimum of ten pages a day which in reality is not that big of a burden. I keep myself updated of advances in my area of expertise and apart from that I read anything that stimulates me positively.

I then chose to be an idea hunter, always on the lookout for ideas. Ideas are everywhere we just need to keep an eye out for new ideas. The best example is learning about new generation businesses which are raking in tremendous profits, touching lives, impacting people and breaking geographic boundaries in their reach.

I also have a monthly ‘hour of power’ I choose to call it, with my mentor. I share my goals, my successes, my failures and struggles with him and really feed on the ensuing conversation. It's these meetings that really shape me and give me a renewed perspective on many things. Another thing that enhances a spirit of excellence is anticipating obstacles and preparing for them in advance. That way when I encounter an obstacle I don't go into a slump but instead have a plan that I can begin to execute.

Talents are a catalyst for excellence. Each one is endowed with distinct talents and gifts. Talents range from the categories of art to literature, speaking to organising, baking to building, entrepreneurship to poetry and the list goes on. The fact of the matter is that everyone has a talent. A few may not have identified their talent yet and while a few others though aware of their talents may not have actively used them yet. I for one, discovered I had a talent for speaking and have used it to teach, encourage and uplift people by speaking from my life experiences. I get tremendous satisfaction when people from the audience have shared that what I spoke gave them hope and confidence during a particularly rough season in their life. There are a few guiding principles while using your talents that have changed my life.

• Utilise your talents to bless others not to promote yourself

• Humility is the soil on which the seeds of talents flourish

• There is no greater wastage than talents that are not used

• The more your talents are used the better they get

• Talent and effort go hand in hand

It's a grave error to assume that if you have talent you don't need to put in effort. I have found that the effort applied along with the talents possessed deliver the required results. For after all there are no short cuts to success.

Things to Consider:

1. What are your personal challenges when you are striving for excellence in what you do? List them down!

2. What practical steps will you take from now on to ensure you overcome these challenges?