The Elusiveness of Excellence

There is another lesson to be learned from the craft closet: the importance of excellence in my life. I want to be excellent at the things I do; to really latch on to one or two things that  I love and faithfully pursue them.

As I sorted through all of those craft supplies, I realized something about myself: I have terrible follow-through. That closet was full of items for projects that were either half finished or never started. I had grand ideas about scrap-booking our entire lives, sewing, painting murals,and making all of my own greeting cards. I did actually pursue those things for awhile, but it didn’t last. They all ended up being lackluster uses of my time, energy and resources. And now I’m left sorting through the fallout from trying to be good at too many things.

Most of the time, I feel like that old saying “Jack of all trades and master of none.” accurately describes who I’ve allowed myself to become. I’m not proud of it and I don’t like it. I’m pretty competent at painting, writing, reading music, giving a speech and swimming; but I’m not an Artist, Author, Musician, Orator, or Athlete. Those people are excellent at what they do, and I long to be among their ranks.

I have no designs on becoming famous or gaining the attention of admirers. Honestly, we all love hearing how great we are, but attaining that should never be our motivation or goal. I desire that satisfaction that comes from the relentless pursuit of the prize. I want to master something, to be really, really good at it. I want that “fire in my belly” to work hard, face my fears, overcome failures and truly excel. It’s not that I plan to cast off everything and solely pursue one or two things, it’s just that I want to give the lion’s share of the energy and attention reserved for that part of my life, to something of worth.

Now, you may find yourself wondering where I am going to focus my efforts. I have a couple of ideas, but I’m still thinking it through. I have no intention of  jumping in with all of the ambition, but none of the follow through, like I’ve done in the past. I’m doing things differently this time. Pursuing excellence takes deliberate action and focused attention. So, when I’m certain about what I intend to pursue, I’ll be sure to let you know.

baggage

Oh, and one final thought on my pointless pursuit of everything: I won’t give into feeling guilt or remorse for those projects that ended up half-finished or that were never started. They are behind me and I  am moving forward. I have chosen to live with less and that means I can’t carry any extra baggage with me.

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