Monday, August 22, 2011

Good Enough Is Not Enough

Two days ago I posted the following quote by Charles Kendall Adams on The Greatness Project Facebook page. "No one ever attains very eminent success by simply doing what is required of him or her: it is the amount and excellence of what is over and above the required, that determines the greatness of ultimate distinction." Yet we live in a society seemingly focused on delivering what is just good enough. Some people barely give what is expected of them, yet expect high praise or high pay in return.

For a moment think of those you've encountered in the past week who've gone over and above what they were supposed to do. Some of the waiters, delivery men, artisans, and professionals stand out in my memory because they didn't just offer what they were supposed to, they went above and beyond what was required.

Great individuals desire to pursue excellence and that desire drives them to outperform others rather than offer a mediocre service, product or effort. When you encounter them you are changed for the moment because you see the higher possibilities for yourself and everyone.

Perhaps the important question is how do people experience us? Do they experience someone who goes above and beyond and transforms the moment? I have found that when I give the extra effort in almost anything, whether or not someone notices, I feel the elation of giving it my best and not just giving up when it is good enough.

Thursday, August 11, 2011

My Latest Article on Positive Psychology News Daily

Though I wrote about the motivation of a child, Edward Deci's research can easily be applied to yourself, or your company. Click on the link Moving From "I Must..." to "I Want To." for the article, or go to Enjoy.

Saturday, August 6, 2011

There's Got To Be a Morning After

Keeping healthy has been a life-long activity. But now that I'm 54 it takes on added importance and added challenge. I'm no olympic athlete, and not even a top amateur, but I'm consistent in my physical pursuits whether basketball, tennis, biking or running. What I've learned from great individuals is that they are consistent about practice and performance no matter what their area of focus. But sometimes it's just hard.

Yesterday I spent 7 hours cleaning out my basement. We rented a dumpster and loaded in all of the crap that had been left by the previous owners; doors, old wood, windows and much more. We filled the dumpster in one day! Okay, then comes this morning. Getting out of bed I could hardly move. I thought about running and thought "no way." But finally I put on my sneakers and said to myself, "at least go for a good walk." About halfway through the walk I felt limber enough that I started running. I was surprised at how good I felt afterward.

What I've learned is that if you want to be great, heck, if you even just want to be good, consistency matters. But what really helps is to do something, anything, that moves you toward whatever you want to be good at. And, let's face it, for all of us there are those mornings when we don't feel like doing anything. But you know what? Lace up the sneakers, pick up the pen, sit down at the piano and just start. Even doing a little will make you feel much better and you will be better for it.

Wednesday, August 3, 2011

Little "p" Passion

"Follow your passion." Isn't that the advice we hear from so many motivational speakers? Well, the research does support the fact that individuals who have Passion for what they do tend to outperform others. But how do we discover our Passion? I've found it's not as easy as it's made out to be. I keep waiting for some sort of sign, a billboard would be nice, that says "Scott, here is your Passion for your life." Then I'd be all set. What I believe is that we won't find it, we have to choose it. So, how do we go about choosing our life's Passion? Choose little passions.

All of us know what we love to do. Come on, with a little thought, everyone of us can think of something we love to to. What I believe is that we all have little "p" passions. These are things we love to do, but they aren't big enough to be our overall goal in life. However I think they can lead us to our life Passion. Choose one passion each day to focus on and see how your day changes. Today I'm focusing on enjoying each moment. It is a passion of mine though I'm not too good at it. But I find when I focus on this passion, I'm more motivated throughout my day. And it's telling me more about how I want to live my life. Maybe I'll find my big Passion. For today, the little passion is enough.