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The Art of Excellence

“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

This is one of my all-time favorite quotes. Not only is it one of life’s deep truths but it’s life-changing when you live it.

The last two sentences of Aristotle’s quote show up in all sorts of places. But for my money, the power is found in the first half of his sentiment.

“Excellence is an art won by training and habituation. We do not act rightly because we have virtue or excellence, but rather we have those because we have acted rightly.”

Excellence is an art. There’s no one right way to do it; you have to figure out what works for you.

Excellence doesn’t just happen. First you have to choose each part of your life or each activity in which you want to operate with excellence. Next you must define what that means for you. After that you need to learn the skills involved and define your process and mindset for acting with excellence … that’s training.

And finally you must practice – again and again – until it becomes a habit to act with excellence.

“We are what we repeatedly do. Excellence, then, is not an act but a habit.”

What does excellence mean to you? What habits do you have around excellence?

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