The Art of Being Excellent

What is to work with love?
It is to build a house with affection, even as if your beloved were to dwell in that house.
And when you work with love you bind yourself to yourself, and to one another, and to God.
Work is love made visible.

 Kahlil Gibran, The Prophet

 I read this quote on Dan Miller’s book 48 Days to the Work You Love and it really struck me.  It got me thinking about the meaning of excellence at work.

A “customer service representative” told me months ago that I would get better speed on my mobile broadband Internet connection in the fall, when tree leaves do not interfere with reception.

A hair salon manager acted annoyed when I called to complain about not receiving a discount and she asked “Will you be even coming back?”

There also was the dental office receptionist who wasn’t bothered by the fact that we’re leaving their practice because we don’t feel like financing their time-share with unnecessary dental treatment.

It is quite sad how in our culture we will blame the bad economy, the government, global warming and high-fructose corn syrup before we take responsibility for doing anything in our life with excellence.

There are many great examples of how people can infuse passion and purpose in their life and make a difference.

Judy is a conductor on the commuter train I ride every morning to go to work. She always has a smile for everyone, gets off the train first and holds the doors open so dozens of commuters can walk into the building and catch their next bus or train. She is as happy on Monday at 6 A.M as she is on Fridays at 4. She makes everyone feel important.

Juan and Gloria were my mentors, leaders and dear friends. They taught me many valuable lessons about being excellent. They worked in education for over 40 years; they touched many lives and transformed the world.  They delivered a presentation with the same passion for an audience of ten and for an audience of one thousand.  They treated the rural school teacher with the same dignity and respect as they did the millionaire business owner.  They lived debt free and were generous with their time, talent and treasure beyond measure. They lived with excellence.

My mom and dad taught me some powerful lessons too. They overcame growing up in broken homes and built a God-centered marriage that lasted 36 years until my dad passed away from cancer.  My dad worked a full-time corporate job and served his community as a deacon for 18 years, with my mom by his side.  They taught me that the road to excellence is paved with prayer and hard work.

Being world-class is not being flawless. Three things I try to do in my life to be excellent: pray daily, work hard, learn always.

If you live with excellence and work with love, you will lead your life in the right direction.


What does excellence mean in your life today?

Are you ready to have a Whole New Mind?

The book I am currently reading is A Whole New Mind by Daniel Pink.  It explains how our culture has evolved from the Information Age into the Conceptual Age and how the new senses to cultivate are Design, Story, Symphony, Empathy, Play and Meaning and how we need to shift from a Left Brained society into a Whole New Mind.    More comments to come as  I progress in my reading… check out the book, it’s excellent!  Also, check out more of Dan Pink’s great articles here.