Pursuing Excellence

I’m pursuing excellence! And that doesn’t mean I won’t fail, fall on my face, or make no mistakes. In fact, the very pursuit means that I will fail MORE, fall on my face FREQUENTLY, AND make MORE mistakes than anyone else! And this excites me! It gives me chills and keeps me awake at night!

The Journey NOT the Destination

You see, I realize that excellence is more about the JOURNEY, not the final destination. And this shift in perspective completely transformed my life! Only five short years ago, I desired to achieve more and be more in the ever elusive pursuit of a thing, an end destination when I would have arrived, and proven my abilities. But the lessons I’ve learned in the past five years suggest otherwise!

We live in a society that shoots for ‘baby steps’, SMART goals (yes, I know this is in contradiction to a series of posts I have written… I’ve grown!), conformity, and basically settling for mediocrity because people are afraid to fail and afraid to make mistakes. They think failing will define who they are as a person! This is characteristic of a fixed mindset. I once possessed such a mindset and I talk about it here and here if you want more info.

Growth is not easy. It hurts. It is painful. It can rip you apart as you take three steps forward and two steps back. I’m a Strength & Conditioning Specialist. I love to lift weights. And the basic tenant of building muscle is that you actually rip the fibers apart to gain strength and muscle growth! So perhaps growth is more a process of tearing down, and repairing stronger than achieved a destination arrived at without pain or sacrifice.

I just finished reading II Samuel this morning. At the end of the book in chapter 24, David is told to go to a certain threshing floor to offer sacrifices to the Lord. When he gets there, the owner of the floor offers to give him the parcel of land AND everything necessary for the sacrifice – oxen, wood, etc.

But David says it best when he declares, “No, but I will buy it from you for a price. I will not sacrifice to the LORD my God that which cost me nothing.” (24:24)

The very act of growth requires a sacrifice of comfort and certainty! Whether muscles, a child growing tall, or personal growth, we must stretch beyond the comfort of our current condition to reach higher, go further, pursue excellence.

Getting out of our comfort zones means we don’t know what to expect, we are in unfamiliar territory – which means we are likely to make mistakes (assuredly) before figuring something out, reaching our goal, or knowing what to do or how to do it perfectly!

I did not diet or eat perfectly when I began my quest for the healthiest way to live four and a half years ago! Oh, no. I started with vegetarianism that flowed into veganism and raw veganism before finally starting to research and read for myself the nutrition research and effects of food on our body’s physiology. Even when I started Paleo, I was scared of eating fat, which hampered my progress for a long time! So it’s a journey! A process! Full of bumps in the road and that is exactly what makes it special and meaningful!

When I started exercising consistently, I thought that it was necessary to take up distance running to be healthy and lose fat! So I ran and ran and ran. A marathon and a few half marathons with weekend 5Ks. Now I know that running is not essential to fat loss OR health! No offense to folks to LOVE distance running – I enjoy the occasional 5K now and then, but it’s NOT the way I get fit. In fact, long slow distance running will make you retain more fat than short burst interval training! There are much faster, easier, more enjoyable, and arguably safer and less stressful ways to achieve health, fitness, and fat loss! But it was only through numerous mistakes,  research, trial-and-error, and years of growth that I’ve figured this out!

So I am pursuing excellence and it feels amazing! I’m making tons of mistakes and although it does not feel great if I embarrass myself or do something wrong, it’s what I do in response that counts! So I make adjustments, am more careful next time, or do something differently! THIS is growth! I am growing and getting closer to mastery and being my highest, most excellent self in the moment! 🙂

I cannot express with words how much this means to me! My heart bursts with intense love and gratitude towards the LORD my God, to my friends and family and towards everyone who has supported me over my lifetime! You see, I’ve never felt like I’ve given anything my very best. I always turned a paper in, finished a job, or walked away from a speech knowing that my work could have been much better, of a higher quality and caliber. Now some people might question my motives or the quality of the “voices in my head” and whisper the sweet soothing deceptions of, “Don’t be too hard on yourself! Perhaps you should be content with your good work!” Perhaps. But what if we’ve really lowered the bar on life AND our abilities? By demanding little, the status quo, or even doing what is asked, we only “do our duty”, of which Jesus has some interesting thoughts over in Luke 17:7-10.

 

Life is a gift birthed in possibility. – Brendon Burchard

 

I absolutely love this quote from Brendon! It whispers of adventure and opportunity and vision! It whispers of greatness by choice.

And I choose to glorify my Creator with every molecule of my body, with every expression, word, thought and deed. I choose to glorify him with the foods I put in my body that make me feel great all of the time. I choose to glorify him with my presence. I choose to glorify him with my career choice and directions. Instead of separating my mind from my body from my soul, my work life from my home life from my friend life, my thoughts from my actions from my words, I choose to align everything together into one big whole that cries, “Praise! Glory! Awe to the God that works wonders in my life!”

So I am raising the bar! And giving life my all. If every moment is a gift then every minute is an opportunity to express thanks and gratitude in the way I use my time, expend my energy, care for myself, and minister to others!

I am so excited that I am actually doing this that I had to share it with you! And I just made a video telling Brendon how much he has impacted my life over the past 8 months!  I thought you might like it too, so here it is:

Have a wonderful week! Be a blessing! And if you aren’t signed up for my ThriveHer ezine, use the form below to join us on the inside!

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