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Excellence is Never an Accident


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Written by: Bob Marx | Sell More Talk Less

“Excellence is never an accident. It is always the result of high intention, sincere effort, and intelligent execution; it represents the wise choice of many alternatives – choice, not chance, and it determines your destiny.”

The above quote by Aristotle was displayed prominently in an office, where, oddly enough, it seemed to attract very little attention. In any case, it has made enough of an impression to invite a look at these words of wisdom and see where these words may apply.

When embarking on a road trip, unless aimlessly wandering around the country is the intent, it is essential to have a destination in mind and a map.

Most people in the world are living someone else’s agenda, which is usually obtained “by default.” Stated differently, most people are on a path of aimlessly wandering – much like a traveler without a specific destination or road map.

It would be most valuable to look at different areas or aspects of life and ask “What is the intention here?”

Consider the areas of family, business, spiritual practice, financial means, retirement, education, self-development, health, and social interaction. Most people, by their own admission, are not living fully actualized lives and full potential. One main cause is a lack of clear and focused direction and intention.

Without clear direction, “sincere effort” is impossible.

Perhaps effort becomes sincere when clear intention is established. Most people merely do an adequate job of trying whatever it is they are doing, because they are relatively un-inspired by the task. Sincere effort stems from high intention. It flows naturally.

Look at the areas of life, where one is just “hanging out” or “clocking time.”

This indicates insincere effort – which is an opportunity to create a more focused and clear intention!

Assuming that intention is present, intelligent direction is also vital. In his timeless classic, “Think and Grow Rich”, Napoleon Hill recommends and promotes the “mastermind” group.

This was a group of like-minded individuals that assembled for counsel and participation in the attainment of a worthwhile goal. It acted very much like the directors of a large corporation – providing guidance, advice and direction that is essential to success. The use of the mastermind principle mirrors the use of an “intelligent direction”.

From the combined intelligence of several, comes new possibilities that simply cannot come from a single mind.

Michael Jordan, who practiced over ten hours a day – even at the height of his career, said practicing the wrong thing eight hours a day only makes a person excellent at doing the wrong thing. Consider the practice devoted to the essential skills that brings us success as parents, spouses, employees and people in general. To excel – practice is much more important than the actual presentation or performance.

Out of the harsh discipline of practice, comes skillful execution.


As humans we tend to see in purely linear “cause and effect” terms. “When given lemons, making lemonade” is certainly simplistic, but most people who are successful have had to become adept at taking some perceived challenge and using it as an opportunity for benefit, value and profit. This comes from introspection, which is the observation of one’s own mental act of looking within themselves to be open minded and visionary.

Each of these steps, when applied, provides opportunity, challenge, impact and benefit.

With these steps in mind, it is a matter of will to trade in mediocrity for excellence!

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