Excellence or Nothing Part 2 

Think about the following hypothetical scenarios

A surgeon walks into the operating room, the patient is lying on the operating table, the anesthesiologist has already administered the initial dose of anesthesia, the nurses are putting together the operating instruments and finishing all necessary preparations to get ready for the surgical procedure.  Meanwhile, the surgeon is still debating within himself, on whether he will do the best he can to help the patient, or if he will deliver a less than optimal performance. Is today a 50%, 90% day? He is not sure he’s capable of giving 100% today- recent personal and professional difficulties have tested his commitment and confidence.

The pupils walk into the classroom, ready for the lesson to begin.  Their teacher watches them as they file in, their faces bright and eager to learn.  Unfortunately, the teacher is not keen to teach. She is still having an argument within herself whether it’s going to be a 70%, 85% or 100% day. She’s unsure.

An attorney walks into the court room; her client’s freedom and business are on the line.  The client is counting on her to defend him from the criminal charges which have been leveled against him.  Guilty or not, the defendant needs his attorney to be on her “A” game. Only problem is, the attorney is not sure whether she is playing at the “A” game level today.  She is considering performing only at the “B” level- she’s been having some personal challenges lately and is feeling drained, not sure if she wants to commit the little energy she has to the case in front of her. She is not intentionally trying to under-perform. She just hasn’t committed to performing at her optimum. In the end, she leaves it open, a wait-and-see kind of scenario. The client is going to have to make do with that, and hope for the best.

An athlete walks into the field, dragging his feet, shoulders hung down.  The team has a major game in the upcoming week- they are going up against a very tough opponent, the team that has won the national championships the past three consecutive years.  The coaches are ready for today’s practice: they have their game plan, they have the various procedures, including the offensive and defensive measures that they know they will need to tighten in order to increase their chances of prevailing against a very challenging opponent.

Sadly, their star athlete is not prepared to deliver the excellent performance that his coaches and fellow team mates are expecting. He didn’t come to practice today ready to play.

All these scenarios indicate what can happen when people are not resolved to doing their best; when people are not firmly committed to excellence, but leave open the possibility that average is acceptable.

The resolution to execute at 100% is part of the spiritual and mental growth that we need in order to be successful in our endeavors.  The winner’s mind is resolved on excellence; the matter is no longer up for discussion.  They don’t waste time trying to decide if they’re in or not.  If they take on any task, it will be done with the utmost devotion and distinction.

Your spirit should tolerate no argument from your flesh, from that weak part of the human nature that sometimes like to take the easy way out and damn the consequences.

The Bible tells us in Mathew 13:8 that there are multiple levels of performance and results: 30%, 60%, or 100%.  I think many people begin each day not knowing how they plan to pursue that day, whether at 10, 30, 50, 99, 100%, etc.

The key point to note here is that the ability to consistently perform at 100% is a choice, a decision and commitment that is independent of the way we feel.  And when that choice is made, we don’t revisit it.  It’s done and done for good.  Settled.  If we still leave it open to discussion, then we leave open the chance that we’re accepting below-excellence performance.  Decide, and pursue life full throttle at 100%, nothing reserved, unwavering all in.  At what level are you operating today?


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