Witty Wednesday

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Strive For Excellence Rather Than Perfection

Ah, the new year! Fresh, unused, filled with potential! What to do . . . what to do. Sounds so exciting, but maybe a bit overwhelming too. I could just go to bed and wake up everyday. Too easy! I know . . . I should develop some resolutions. Those things I should improve in myself or at least I should want to improve in myself. Make a list of the dos and don’ts of becoming “perfect.”

Now that’s a challenge! Perfect? What exactly is perfect? First, I don’t think it’s actually attainable. Second, I don’t think it’s actually advisable to try. I would rather strive to be excellent, which is the best me I can be. Perfect is . . . well, it’s less than excellent.

Because perfection can never be achieved, it is a cause of constant frustration, anger and fear. Perfection requires abnormal control, harsh judgment, and much self-doubt. It allows no relaxation, flow or spontaneity. Striving for such an artificial state makes for unhappy, miserable people, who, not surprisingly, have a difficult time maintaining this negative way of life. It is exhausting with almost no payback. Why waste your life in such a pursuit?

As the U.S. Army says, “Be All You Can Be.” Be excellent! In contrast to perfection, excellence allows for risk, with the possibility of failure. I like that. I find I learn much more from mistakes than from accidently getting it right. A life of excellence is a life of giving rather than taking, filled with confidence rather than doubt and based on acceptance rather than elitism.

I would hope I could better myself a bit everyday instead of hoping for the grand slam in my final hour. My New Year Excellence Resolutions would read something like this:

1 – Express my gratitude tangibly for every gift and kindness given to me.

2 – Greet people with a smile, every time, especially those I love .

3 – Express my love and joy to my grandchildren at every available opportunity.

4 – Provide warm hospitality to everyone who enters my home, whether friend or stranger.

5 – Look for the good and wise in others.

6 – Laugh as often as possible.

7 – Enjoy wealth more often by what I give and less often by what I get.

8 – Say “yes” more often.

9 – Ask for help when needed and give advice when requested.

10 – Forgive as often as necessary

I intend to strive for excellence for as long as it takes. And it will take the rest of my life, of that I am sure. But excellence is a journey, not a destination. And I do so love a good long trip!.