Aldus Huxley said: “Experience is not what happens to you; it’s what you do with what happens.” How long have you been doing what you are doing? What kind of experience do you have? Are you challenging yourself on a daily basis to get better? How are you challenging yourself? What are you doing to get out of your comfort zone and move into the performance zone? Are you having experiences or are you repeating the same experience? Are you making mistakes and taking calculated risks? Are you learning form your mistakes and improving? Experience is a great teacher.
Jerry Garcia said: “You do not merely want to be the best of the best. You want to be considered the only ones who do what you do.” To achieve that demands an incredible focus and commitment to gaining experiences. It is so easy to talk about excellence, but to walk the walk is a different story. Many are called and few are chosen.
Take advantage of the “Medici Effect,” connect seemingly unrelated ideas by connecting different fields, disciples or cultures. You gain experience by seeking out new ideas and new approaches, you rediscover old approaches that previously did not work, but will work now under different circumstances. Go outside the coaching world and sports science, there is wider world of ideas and excellence out there waiting to be tapped into. Learning and having experiences makes each day exciting!
If you are not sure where to go to learn, find a Yoda, find someone who has been where you want to go, someone who has made mistakes, had success and failures and acknowledges both. Know where you are going. Have a specific destination and a clearly defined plan to get you there. Last but not least make sure there is a there, there.
Aristotle summed it quite nicely: "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." Make excellence and the achievement of excellence a daily habit for yourself and those around you. Start today, November 20, 2010 – it is the only November 20, 2010 there will ever be. Make it special!