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August 10, 2015 / michaelsankey

Achieving excellence: Sometimes there are a couple of ways of looking at things

Sometimes I get so engrossed in what I am doing that I am completely oblivious to what else is happening around me. On the other-hand, to get the most out of what I am doing I also have to put everything into-it, so that I can get the very best result.

pig in mud

Or is it a pig in mud? #bee #Camellia #pollen https://instagram.com/p/6GmUp9rvnO/?taken-by=michael_sankey

It would appear from popular literature that if you want to achieve excellence, you need to demonstrate perseverance, determination and achievement which leads to success. But one could also consider Mark Twain’s reflection on this when he reputedly said (though some doubt exists as to its origin), “Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things that you didn’t do than by the ones you did do…Explore, Dream. Discover”.

So should I dive in headfirst and totally immerse myself in what I am doing with little regard for what is around me, to explore, dream and discover. No, I don’t think I want to hop-on a sailing ship (even if it is virtual) and sail away for months on end leaving behind all that is precious, for the ‘greater good’, to ‘discovering new lands’. I have found when I do this I am only focusing on myself, and tend to negate the other important things around me, including those closest to me. In other words, I start to loose a sense of reality, in this so-called connected world, as I have been so focused on ‘me’ ‘achieving’.

So what could possibly help me mediate exploring, dreaming, discovering, perseverance, determination, achievement and ultimately success? I think it is by me applying and demonstrating my character, or as Albert Einstein put it, “try not to become a man [person] of success, but rather try to become a man [person] of value.

Aha, so what is this Bee doing? It is doing what it does to survive, to keep it’s kind (the hive) going and it is being ‘productive’. It’s also providing us sweet honey to eat and sustaining life (ours and others). It is being what it was created to be, and it is doing this with all its might, thereby adding value to the world around it. Does it have to worry about ego, or about what the other bees are thinking about it? No, but it is exploring, discovering, persevering, exercising determination, achieving and ultimately, experiencing success.

But there is a word missing from that previous list; ‘dreaming’. Now that is what we humans do really well, unlike Bee’s (that I’m aware of anyway). So maybe dreaming combined with character, and then applied to these other more basic traits, is what can make the difference.

But here in lies the crunch; ‘character’ is a virtue, while the others are actions that, in part, lead people to believe certain things about me (my reputation) because they are usually more visible (they see what I do), until they get to dig a bit deeper (to see who I am). So I suppose what I am saying is; I would like to be more concerned with my character, than with my reputation, because it is my character that is my lifeblood, while my reputation is just what others think about me.

My recipe to Bee a success is therefore:

  • Start with 2 cups of character,
  • add a heaped table spoon of dreaming,
  • leave this to sit for 2 – 3 hours to settle,
  • mix this with half a cup of exploring and discovering, then stir vigorously for a few minutes until fully combined,
  • spoon this into a bowl clearly marked with perseverance and determination,
  • ignore the temptation to put in a cup of reputation, as this will only spoil the mixture, though your friends may tell you otherwise,
  • place all this in a preheated oven and cook for about 12 – 18 months,
  • test with a skewer after 12 months to see how it is going,
  • if the plan is a flop don’t be afraid to start the mixture over again, learning from what you did before,
  • if it is going well, continue with the cooking until fully baked,
  • once cooked top with a generous scoop of honey and share your success with your family and friends.

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