The Pursuit of Excellence

Vince Lombardi once said, “Perfection is not attainable, but if we chase perfection, we can catch excellence.”  Coach Lombardi understood that there is a big difference between perfection and excellence.  Those who establish perfection as a goal often find themselves frustrated and disappointed with themselves.  A proper goal should be attainable and realistic, otherwise, you are setting yourself up for failure.  Each of us has our own unique skills, abilities, and limitations.  While we can’t be perfect in all things, we can certainly do everything with excellence.  Excellence is nothing more than our very best. It is not a comparison of others ability or work product; it is simply a commitment to do your very best in all things.

Have you ever tried to save some money and complete a house project yourself, only to be disappointed in the quality of your work? Your very best is likely not going to look the same as a professional that does that kind of work every day. A professional gets good by doing the same things again and again, learning along the way.  What you learn and experience on your journey of life will make your best effort improve each day.  Doing things with excellence should always be viewed as an investment into your future success.

Daniel was a great leader who demonstrated a commitment to excellence.  Daniel was taken captive from his hometown Jerusalem and forced to serve various kings in Babylon.  Despite his circumstances, he made excellence his focus.  Daniel 6:3-4 says, “Daniel soon proved himself more capable than all the other administrators and high officers.  Because of Daniel’s great ability, the king made plans to place him over the entire empire.  Then the other administrators and high officers began searching for some fault in the way Daniel was handling government affairs, but they couldn’t find anything to criticize or condemn.  He was faithful, always responsible, and completely trustworthy.”  This is the ultimate testimony of excellence and commitment to God.  Daniel could have easily been disgruntled in his captivity, but he chose to continue his pursuit of excellence. As a result, God blessed his work and used Daniel in many powerful ways.

Colossians 3:23 says, “Work willing at whatever you do, as though you were working for the Lord rather than people.”  When we apply this principle to your everyday work, it changes our perspective and often our level of commitment.  There are plenty of things that we are required to do that are not enjoyable or interesting.  It is easy for us to forget our commitment to excellence when faced with these tasks.  Furthermore, we are accustomed to comparing our final work product with those around us.  While this approach can produce some learning experiences, it ignores the most powerful influence on our success.  When we choose to give our very best as if we are working for the Lord directly, our work receives the favor of the Lord.  His favor is far powerful than someone’s comparison or opinion.  God will use all people, regardless of background, education, experience, or qualification, when they honor Him with their work.

Challenge: Pursue excellence in all you do, by giving your very best.  Never forget that God’s blessing on your work is far more powerful than comparisons or opinions.