Thursday, January 28, 2010

Commentary: A Standard of Excellence

Understanding “A Standard of Excellence” involves understanding the words “standard” and “excellence”. Words are often used with little thought given to their true meaning. We throw around the word “love” so much that it has lost its meaning. We “love” coffee, our pets, that jacket, those shoes, and even people we have barely known a minute. It stands to question whether we can have “A Standard of Excellence” with out having a true understanding of what it is.

A standard can be defined multiple ways. At one point a standard was a banner carried during times of war, it served as a rallying point, or emblem to gather the troops. It can be defined as a personal flag, one of a royal family, or organization. “Something set up and established by authority as a rule for measure,” is another definition. All of these would be appropriate to use at different times and give an idea of what a standard could be. For our purposes just about all can be applied in different aspects.

More often than not we are given standards for things by an authority. A standard ruler is twelve inches measuring a foot, a standard work day is eight hours, standard pregnancy is said to last for nine months, and your standard date is dinner and a movie. These standards were set by an authority, we do not know who yet we follow them readily. There are even standards set for what people should eat each day created for us. Someone created the standard quantity, weight, extent, duration, value, or quality and we accepted it. We accepted it unconsciously giving no thought to our own ability to create something different for ourselves. Most of us live unconsciously off of and by the standards set by others. We can raise the banner, flag, standard of our own Life. Two last definitions to take note of deal with structure, support, and stability. Standards give us those three things; the question is “to what standard do you hold yourself?” If your standard is excellence then the next step is to find out what it means to be excellent.

Excel, the root word of excellent, comes from the Latin word excellere meaning “to rise, project”. Sounds like we have passed “standard” before getting to define excel or excellent. To excel is to surpass in accomplishments or achievement, to be distinguishable by superiority. Superiority that is not arrogant or egotistical. This superiority speaks for itself, there are no words necessary, it has integrity, is confident, well put together, and moves with purpose. Excelling is going beyond a stated or implied limit set by an authority or established by a custom or tradition, and even past achievements. To excel one must push further than what is asked, transcending what is thought, moving past the norm to reach another level, outdoing your own past, and creating competition. Competition where there is only one person in the game, You. Excelling is continual. It is perpetual. There is no place called Excel City. It is a verb. Breaking through the ceiling called standard, status quo, or good enough creates excellence. It is a mindset, a place where you can live perpetually through excelling, being in motion, moving past yesterday; it takes motion to create excellence.

You are the authority which creates how you will measure the quantity and quality of the time given to tasks, people, and things. You say what a priority is, has value, and the quantity of money, time, and effort given to things in your Life. Only you can exceed standards set by authorities and yourself. Only you can push yourself past the baseline you have created. To have Life worth living, excelling must be one of the stones on which you build all aspects of your Life.

Set A Standard of Excellence in intimate relationships, with family and friends, in money management, with your health, in keeping your home, in dealing with and in your community, in communication, in your business, and see how things begin to come alive in your Life. Raise the Standard. A Standard of perpetual motion, outdoing self to the next level daily – that is the Standard of Excellence. Go beyond the norm, be distinguishable, be excellent.