What is excellence?
Every month, we have a word-of-the-month as part of our social emotional learning program called True Character. This month’s word of the month is excellence.
So what is excellence? Excellence means, “I’m working hard to become the best I can be.” Or for our older kids, we say “consistently striving toward our personal best in order to reach our own potential.”
Working toward greatness
Now, what does it mean to be excellent? Does being excellent mean we’re super, amazing, and great in everything we do every single day?
No. Excellence means we’re working hard to be super, amazing and great at everything we do every single day. Excellence means we’re doing our very best to be the very best person that we can be.
We’re working hard to be a good student. We’re working hard to be a good friend. We’re working hard to be excellent physically. We’re working hard to be excellent mentally. We’re working hard to be excellent in our martial arts.
We’re always working hard every day to be the very best that we can be.
It’s not about perfection
Does being excellent mean you’re going to be perfect?
No. Excellence doesn’t mean perfection. No one is ever perfect at anything, right? We can always be better.
A professional baseball player only gets a hit one out of three times they are at bat, even if they are the very best. A professional basketball player still misses plenty of baskets.
Nobody is ever perfect at anything. But excellence is about striving your very best — working your very hardest — in order to be the very best that you can be at what you’re doing.
One thing we can do is every morning when we wake up is to ask ourselves, “how can I be my very best self today?” Always asking, “how can I be my very best self today?” and “what can I do to try to push myself to be a little bit better?”
Another thing we can do is look and listen to learn. Part of being excellent at things is paying attention to where we can be better. Just like when you’re here in class, you can pay attention to what you’re doing. You can watch, you can try to catch a glimpse in the mirror. Look and listen to learn.
You can pick something up. Maybe we’re describing a basic front kick — something you’ve done for quite some time — but you pick up something that you didn’t hear before and you notice something in your own skill that you can do better.
That’s how you start to become excellent at something.
Common denominators of excellence
Think about those in our lives that we think are excellent at things: people who are excellent at sports, people who are excellent at music, people who are excellent at school.
One of the big things in common with all of them is they’ve all worked super hard to get to where they’re at.
Another thing in common with all of them is that none are perfect. Remember, it never matters how good you are. You can always be better. We can never reach perfection.
So, excellence is the word of the month, and we look forward to seeing everybody out on the mat.
– Master Helsdon