Stand Out from the Crowd: How to Be Excellent in the Ordinary

What does it mean to be excellent? Merriam-Webster defines it this way: very good of it’s kind; eminently good.

Does that describe you? Are you excellent? Are you “eminently good” at what you do?

Most people I know are would never talk about themselves in this way.  They consider themselves to be just “ordinary”. That’s a problem. Here’s why. Excellence and being ordinary should not be mutually exclusive terms. I believe you can be “ordinarily excellent”.

You don’t have to be an elite athlete, a stellar business owner, an intellectual genius or a political superstar to be excellent. I have met excellent waiters, excellent teachers, and excellent taxi drivers. Excellence is not reserved for certain jobs, positions or levels of prestige. It is accessible to anyone in any walk of life.

So my question to you this week is, are you excellent at what you do? Are you an excellent: mother, father, employee, business owner, entrepreneur or student? Do you do all that you do as though you were doing it for the most important person you know?

If not, what do you need to do so that you can be?

I get to witness excellence all the time when I am on the road. Whether it’s a taxi driver who takes pride in their service to their fare, or the front desk agent at the hotel who makes an extra effort to make me feel comfortable away from home. I’m always impressed by those who go the extra mile even when no one is watching.

Excellence is a quality that is attainable for all of us because we all possess “outstanding quality”. The question is, do you recognize that potential in yourself, and do you work to achieve it every day?

Excellence is something that we should all strive for as a matter of principal. We should do it because it’s the right thing to do. Will there be rewards; certainly. Those who are excellent always get found out. They are promoted, rewarded and realize success that those who aren’t willing to do what it takes, do not. But we should strive to be excellent with or without the prospect of rewards.

Here are some simple ways you can be more excellent today than you were yesterday:

  1. Smile: Enjoy what you do. Put a smile on your face, a genuine one, and share your job with the people around you.
  2. Go the Extra Mile: Little things matter. Saying please and thank you; taking the extra minute to help a colleague; or holding the door for someone. These may seem like insignificant things, but over time, the cumulative effect is tremendous.
  3. Care: Sincere effort covers a multitude of sins. If your co-workers, customers and boss all know that you genuinely want to do your best every time, they will respect you for it. When you slip up, which we all do, they will extend you grace that they don’t give to those who try to coast.

We should strive for ordinary excellence in all that we do. Just imagine what your office, your home, and the world, would be like, if we all did what we do with excellence?

There’s no question that it takes work. Excellence is not achieved by accident. But it is well worth the effort. So this week strive for ordinary excellence. Do whatever you do as well as you can possibly do it. Rewards will likely follow, but the most important reward is one no one will see. It will come within yourself, in the pride of knowing you have done your best.

What will you do this week to be excellent? Share it on Facebook, Twitter or LinkedIn with the hashtag #ordinaryexcellence