06 August 2007

Choosing Excellence

"We are what we repeatedly do. Excellence, then, is not an act, but a habit.” – Aristotle

I love this quote because this can be applied to all of the areas of our lives. Everything that we repeatedly do, we become masters at. This includes the constructive as well as the destructive behaviors and habits. When we repeatedly do things of excellence, then we become excellent people. Yet, when we repeatedly talk negatively about ourselves and others, this also becomes our reality.

It is said that it takes 21 days to break a habit. I personally don’t believe in breaking habits. I believe in replacing a destructive behavior with a positive, more constructive one. For example, if I am prone to speaking negatively about myself when I have made a mistake, instead of trying to refrain from saying anything negative, I can try a visualization exercise where I imagine the outcome I would have liked. I don’t beat myself up, I just imagine. And if I choose to beat myself up, I will use a feather.

As Aristotle says, excellence is not an act, but a habit. Perhaps we have been beating ourselves up for the last twenty years. It will take time to reverse the habit and replace it with a new behavior. The trick is not to give up when we fall short of the mark. We tend to give up way too easily. This is why diets fail to work. We try one diet, then if it doesn’t work within the first three weeks, we think well, it just doesn’t work. So we move on to another, then another, then another.

Imagine your inner child. She is learning to walk. She will stand up, take a few steps, and then fall. She will do this over and over and over again. Yet, you don’t condemn her, stop her progress or yell at her because she isn’t doing it perfectly. You allow the process. You allow the chance to make the mistakes because only in this will she learn. And you allow the learning and growing. It is a process. It is not about perfection. Life is not about perfection. Life is about the journey, not the destination. During the journey, there will be bumps, bruises, stumbles and falls.

Take the time to stop. Stopping is a spiritual action. When we take the time to stop, we can make the proper decisions. We have this incredible power, it is the power to choose. We can choose to take the next right action. We can choose excellence, if we will repeatedly do excellent things. Or, we can choose negativity by focusing on the negative.

The power is ours. The choice is ours. Choose wisely.

Live powerfully on purpose,
Coach Carolyn

1 comment:

Chitra said...

I can relate to that very much right now. I am in the process of making my life better, and that's not without encountering lots of "injuries"!!! Thanx for the post!!!