“Excellence is an art won by training and habituation. We do not act rightly because we have virtue or excellence, but we rather have those because we have acted rightly. We are what we repeatedly do. Excellence, then, is not an act but a habit.” ~ Aristotle …
Most of the greatest achievements in life were the result of having good habits, good work ethics, and a positive attitude in life… there just really is no substitute. So many successful individuals–artists, writers, athletes, and many others–who were faced with rejection thousands of times, refused to take no for an answer. As Aristotle points out, excellence is achieved by our training and our habits–by our persistence, our perseverance, and our dedication.
I was recently watching the Olympics on television, and I got to thinking how easy the athletes make their sports look. To an inexperienced viewer, their performances appear effortless, as if they had been born with natural talent. The truth, however, is that every single one of those athletes has spent countless hours conditioning, practicing, learning, and competing–for the majority of them, it is a full-time job. When an individual becomes successful, it is because they have put forth the time and effort required to achieve excellence.
Excellence is difficult, giving up is easy. It may seem wonderful to put something behind us that we have been failing at repeatedly, to not have to worry or stress about why we keep coming up short or why something is not working. But if it is something that is important to us as human beings, giving up can leave us feeling incomplete.
Do not lose hope! If you continue on… you will find success. And even if it is not be the level of success you had in mind, it will definitely not be failure.
Adopt a good habit today that you can build upon over time.
Questions to consider:
Why is it often so hard to keep going in the face of failure?
How can we change our perspective to make what seem to be major setbacks into minor ones that do not stop us from continuing on?
Can you think of something that you have given up on that you have regretted leaving behind? How could have you persevered?
For further thought:
“The successful person has the habit of doing the things failures don’t like to do. They don’t like doing them either necessarily. But their disliking is subordinated to the strength of their purpose.” ~ E. M. Gray