There’s an old story about personal excellence that goes like this: A man who walks by a construction site and sees three workers, each pushing a wheelbarrow holding one enormous stone.
Out of curiosity, he asks one of the workers what they are doing. “What does it look like?” he says with a sneer. “I’m just hauling rocks.”
Unsatisfied with that answer, the man asks the second worker with a wheelbarrow the same question. Without even bothering to look up, this man says “We’re putting up walls.”
Frustrated, the man tries one last time. “I say there,” he asks the third worker, “can you please tell me what you men are doing here?” Unlike the other two, this man stops, puts down his wheelbarrow, wipes the sweat from his forehead and says with a big smile, “We are building a castle and it’s going to be magnificent .”
Perception makes all the difference
Here are three different men; all doing the same work, but one says he is hauling rocks, one says he is putting up walls, and one says he is building a castle. This story says a lot about the attitude that each of us bring to our lives, or could bring to our lives if we were willing to shift our perspective more toward personal excellence.
For example, I help people create positive change through writing and coaching. One of the reasons I do these things is to meet my financial overhead and to put food on the table. So, viewed strictly from that perspective, you might conclude that I’m just hauling rocks.
At the next level, my objective is to build up my coaching practice, increase the traffic to Advanced Life Skills, and sell more home study courses. The more successfully I do those things, the more readers and clients I attract. This, in turn, increases the performance of the various aspects of my business. When viewed from this perspective, you could say that I am putting up walls.
But the real motive and objective of my writing and coaching is to help people from all over the world to achieve and maintain a very high level of personal excellence. When I stay focused on the personal excellence aspect, I feel like I am building a magnificent castle while also meeting my lesser goals at the same time.
Don’t settle for mediocrity
Idealists might say that achieving and maintaining high levels of personal excellence has nothing to do with building a castle. They are mistaken. Oh sure, you can improve yourself, express your opinions, or rally around a cause without a commitment to personal excellence. But you won’t affect much meaningful change in the world or create a life that’s comparable to a magnificent castle.
That’s because personal excellence is not about showing off or beating the competition. Personal excellence is about having high standards and a healthy sense of self-esteem. It’s a personal commitment to become the best you can possibly be. It liberates you from the crowded field of mediocrity allowing you to stand out, rise to the top, and shine!
You simply can’t reach your potential or live your life to the fullest if you spend your days making excuses, living by low standards, and doing just enough to get by. No one ever achieved personal excellence by exhibiting mediocre behavior or by accepting it from the people they surround themselves with.
Choose personal excellence and create your magnificent castle
A commitment to personal excellence in every area of your life is a great equalizer. It doesn’t matter if you are a man or woman, black or white, young or old, handsome or homely, educated or not. If you focus on personal excellence, and never make an exception, you will rise to the top.
Personal excellence creates a sense of freedom, security, and peace of mind. It enables you to follow your dreams, to use your life the way you choose, and to live and work on your own terms. It also allows you to inspire and help others.
A commitment to personal excellence gives you a strong sense of dignity and fills you with immense personal satisfaction. That’s why every man and woman has the right, and I believe the responsibility, to pursue personal excellence and to become the best possible version of themselves.
When my work empowers people to greater success, when it gives them direction, motivation, or peace of mind, I feel a great sense of satisfaction. It makes me feel like I’m building my castle.
Apply this same line of thinking to everything you do!
If your life feels like you’ve just been hauling rocks, here is a very special opportunity to make some real progress on your own magnificent castle.
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