5 Secrets to Excellence
It will be really challenging for me to keep this article short and sweet. I tend to get extremely passionate when I talk about excellence. Excellence is something that none of us have mastered, but all of us should be striving for. I’m amazed at how many people have just simply accepted status quo and no longer strive for excellence.
Thankfully, there are people out there who are willing to go through the pain of achieving excellence, as it’s not something that we can just achieve by sheer desire alone. In order to live with an attitude of excellence, we must do more than simply hope and envy those who have walked down the pathway of excellence. Watch a person of excellence or someone who seems to have mastered the spirit of excellence. While it may appear on the surface that they have it all together and they are almost perfect, there is a story behind that successful person or company and usually, there are some difficult and challenging choices that were made. Those who have succeeded or achieved excellence have had to make some tough calls.
Excellent people have to work harder and pay closer attention to detail. Excellent people do not accept second best and will do whatever it takes to have excellence stamped upon their work or life. Those who have chosen to have an attitude of excellence will not just allow things to be good enough. In fact, I never want good enough. Good enough is never good enough. The main reason some never achieve excellence is that of the curse of “good.” We are usually surrounded by people who just get by so that even good can be appealing to the average person. I’m not interested in being a good daddy, good friend, a good employee, or a good man.
We will never achieve excellence until we start believing that good is a dirty, nasty and evil word. Good is unacceptable. Good is a plague and enemy of the successful, abundant life. Those who will settle and accept average are sure to miss the blessings and rewards to excellent living. Sadly, those who only go one mile and do what is expected are going to come up short, every time, and continue to envy the life of abundant and successful people. I am amazed at the small and simple-minded people who get jealous of my success when they could enjoy the very same benefits and blessings if they were willing to pay the price.
Excellence has a price tag and, usually, people don’t live with an attitude of excellence because they are unwilling to pay the price for excellence. If you are reading this and you want to have an attitude of excellence, then I would urge you to do the following:
1. Make a Commitment to Excellence
Nobody will have an attitude of excellence until they make up their mind and make a strong commitment to excellence. It’s very important that you are committed because every day you will be given the opportunity to do things or make choices that reveal excellence; you must choose every day and never settle for less. When you become committed to excellence, you will work extra, pay attention to detail, and do whatever it takes to achieve your goal.
2. Spend Time With Excellent People
I realize that in my teaching and writings I may be sounding like a broken record here. I can’t stress the importance of you being extremely cautious about who you spend your time with. What you will be five years from now, will be determined by the books you read and the people you associate with. If you desire excellence, then find a way for your path to cross with excellent people, and by associating with them it will rub off on your life.
One of the main reasons that I choose to spend a few hours a day working and reading at Starbucks is because of the atmosphere of excellence. I’m inspired by companies such as Southwest Airlines, Apple, Nordstrom, Starbucks, and The Ritz Carlton, to apply their principles of excellence and passion in my life. By reading about these types of companies, my mind is exposed to their attitudes and ways of doing business, with excellence.
I’ve taught my staff to determine what they want to be in life and find others who are already there and then read about them, pick their brain, and do their best to get around them as much as possible.
3. Set the Standard of Excellence
You must set the standard of excellence and then do it. We can’t go through life aimlessly and think we’ll just end up being successful. No, we have to set the standard and the goal.
We must realize that there are some attitudes and actions that are unacceptable. Don’t be afraid to set the standard high; you will surely rise to the level of expectation. You must determine what excellence looks like and refuse to accept anything less than the standard of excellence. I’m convinced that the majority of us haven’t even scratched the surface of our potential. We must stretch ourselves and realize that we can always improve. I’m currently reading a book on how to be a gentleman, just because I want to improve in every area of my life. By reading this book, I’ve had to raise the standard in my behavior and realize there are things that gentlemen don’t do or say.
You must teach your kids and show them what the standard of excellence looks like. I’m already training my son, Caleb, for a life of excellence by making him learn how to properly fold his clothes and blanket, use proper manners, work hard, and by helping him to never accept shortcuts or average actions. By setting the standard and training him early, he’ll have an easier time achieving excellence in his life. By setting the standard of what is unacceptable behavior or attitude, you’ll be able to know what to focus on. For example, people of excellence never litter, talk bad about others, treat people rudely, leave bad tips, throw their clothes on the floor, dress sloppy, or work poorly.
4. Start With the Small Areas
Usually, you’ll not become this overwhelmingly excellent person overnight; you must begin now and start with the small areas of your life. It could be the way you iron your clothes, do your hair, clean your car, decorate your house, fold your towels, write a letter, or wrap a Christmas gift. Ok, I recognize this may seem a little weird to some. What does ironing my clothes have to do with excellence? It has everything to do with it because it reveals whether you’ve made the commitment and set the standard.
It’s unacceptable for people of excellence to look homely and sloppy. It’s actually extremely healthy and beneficial for you to take care of yourself. Exercising on a daily basis will help you be so much more excellent because you will feel better about yourself and have more energy to practice excellent behavior.
Excellent people have clean cars, organized closets, and take care of themselves. You’ll never achieve excellence in your life until you learn the value of starting with the small and simple areas of your life that you may normally overlook. I’ve made it a personal goal of mine to be excellent in every area of my life; it’s a painful process and requires diligence.
5. Be Patient in the Process
Life is a journey and we must enjoy the process. It’s easy to look at our lives and be frustrated because we should be so much further. However, the moment you make the commitment, begin spending time with people of excellence, set the standard, and work on the small areas, you will begin to notice small changes in your life and family. However, it will not happen tomorrow and you will realize that you have a long way to go.
It’s important that you recognize the little changes and progress in your life. It’s important that you are patient because it will take some time to break average thinking patterns and habits. It will take time to train your children or encourage your spouse to be excellent. You didn’t get in debt overnight, gain all your weight overnight, and you sure won’t snap your fingers and all of a sudden become excellent. Be patient and always appreciate the small strides you’ve already made towards excellence.
By now, you should have a passion for excellence and a desire to change. Always remember that if nothing changes, then nothing changes. You must make the changes necessary to ensure excellence in your life. Do whatever it takes! Always think of ways you can do whatever it is you do with more excellence. Thank you for joining us on the road to excellence and as Zig Ziglar used to say, “I’ll see you at the top!"
Matt Maddix, master sales trainer, consultant and CEO of Matt Publishing, is a successful international speaker and master motivator. He has hosted over 120 live events with as many as 32,225 registrants.
During past events, Maddix has shared the stage with some of the greats in the world such as: Kevin Harrington, Gary Vaynerchuck, Darren Hardy, Greg Reid, and Glenn Twiddle.
In conjunction with traveling as a motivational speaker, Matt is the founder Maddix Publishing, My Health Coach, TextNinjaPro and Maddix Missions. He is also the author of bestselling books How You Can Have It All and Just Juice It.
In addition, Maddix is co-host of two internet talk shows—Morning With Maddix and Fuel for Success.
Matt is best known for his life strategies along with his sales and marketing success, but he is most proud as the father of 15-year-old celebrity superstar speaker, Caleb Maddix.
His son was recently voted in the Top 20 Most Motivational People in the world. Caleb has been featured in Huffington Post, Forbes Magazine, Entrepreneur, Inc and interviewed on Good Morning Australia with over 8 million viewers. Caleb wrote his first book by age 12, Keys to Success for Kids and has already earned Six figures by age 14.
Matt lives in Los Angeles and St. Petersburg, Florida.