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.

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