Whoever I am, or whatever I am doing, some kind of excellence is within my reach.
JOHN WILLIAM GARDNER
It’s easy to get discouraged and even fearful in these extraordinary times. I don’t know about you, but I have to actively work at nurturing joy, peace, and love every day. Some days I’m more successful than others. I want to share one way that Gardner's opening quote reminds us of: Reaching for excellence.
I was lucky to be born to parents who strove for excellence in their work and encouraged—oftentimes demanded—it of me and my sisters. Whether it was doing our homework, cleaning the house, putting away the groceries, mowing the yard, or completing some major home improvement, we not only saw our parents do their very best, but they expected it of us, too—even if our contribution was just a small part. They taught us that going the extra mile, spending just a little more time and effort on something, had benefits. They modeled it in almost everything they did.
It wasn’t long before I realized that not everyone grows up that way. Others would say, “It’s good enough for government work” or “Leave well enough alone” or “Who cares? The boss sure doesn’t care about us!” or “It’s good enough.”
That’s unfortunate because there is something inherently rewarding about doing, not just a good job, but the very best that you can, despite circumstances and sometimes other people and influences. There is a joy in that—and the sense of satisfaction nurtures our passion and purpose. And, like our opening quote reminds us, there is always some kind of excellence within reach.
Teachers are a great example of this. Many of you know my wife, Leah, is a teacher and an inspiration to me. Like many teachers, she faces government interference in their profession, unfair wages, a weak economy that affects her student population disproportionately, and sometimes what seems like unsupportive parents. Despite these and more, she and countless teachers like her continue to give their best to and for our children. They are mission, vision, and value-driven!
We all face challenges in our lives that we never expected. It's essential to consider how we can respond best from our own mission, vision, and values. Embracing excellence from that inspiration allows us to transcend circumstances and elevate ourselves to new heights. Whatever difficulties we encounter, let us remember that there is always room for excellence within our reach.
So, ask yourself: What challenges are you facing right now? How can you respond with excellence? What greatness can you achieve today?
Within your reach lies the power to make a difference, to excel, and to inspire others along the way. Embrace excellence, and let it guide you through the journey of life and leadership.
Have an amazing journey today!
Alan Mikolaj is a coach and leadership development consultant with 15+ years of experience. He is passionate about helping leaders transform their leadership, their teams, and their organizations. Impactful, professional approach driven by a passion for meaning and purpose, a growth mindset, and a commitment to excellence and service in order to drive change and results.
Alan maintains the ethics and standards of behavior established by the International Coaching Federation (ICF), including the standards regarding confidentiality. You can learn more about them on the ICF website.
Transformational change starts with a conversation!
Schedule your free, one-hour session by clicking here: Discovery Conversation with Alan
Or call or email me: Contact Page
Alan Mikolaj is a a professional, experienced, positive, and passionate speaker, leadership and organizational development consultant, change agent, author, and coach. He holds his Master of Arts degree in Clinical Psychology from Sam Houston State University. He is a certified graduate coach from Coaching Out of the Box and holds his ACC and membership with the International Coaching Federation (ICF).
Free Discovery Conversation!
Impactful change starts with a conversation! Schedule your free, one-hour session by clicking here: Discovery Conversation with Alan
Or call or email: Contact Page
In his third book, A Travel Guide to Leadership, Alan offers you simple, fundamental, and powerful lessons that have the power to transform you, your relationships, and your career.