NO ONE can really be happy in any area of their life, nor be considered a success if they do not exercise integrity, if they do not consistently demonstrate excellence, and if they do not consciously focus on being just and honest with themselves and others.
Every departure from principle, integrity, excellence and honesty causes a loss of self-respect, and undermines your character.
And…every time we obey and honor the inward law of doing right we hear an inward approval, we strengthen our soul and personal constitution, and we build on our reputation with ourselves and others.
Have you ever noticed how much better you feel after having done a superb piece of work, how much more you think of yourself, how it makes you happy, tones you up and fortifies your whole character?
What a thrill one feels when contemplating his masterpiece, the work into which he has put the very best that was in him, the very best of which he was capable.
A Story of Pride, Hope and Glory
There’s an old story about a man who walks by a construction site and sees workmen pushing wheelbarrows, each filled with an enormous stone.
He asks one what they’re doing.
“What does it look like?” he says with a sneer. “Hauling rocks.”
Unsatisfied with that answer, the passerby asks another construction worker the same question.
The workman doesn’t bother looking up. “We’re putting up a wall.”
Frustrated, the man tries one last time. “I say there,” he asks the next fellow, “can you tell me what you men are doing here?”
The workman puts down his wheelbarrow, wipes his forehead and says with a broad smile, “We’re building a cathedral.”
Here are three men, all doing the same job. One is hauling rocks. One is putting up a wall. One is building a cathedral.
This story says a lot about the attitude that each of us brings to our lives… or could if we were willing to change our perspective.
My primary occupation, for example, is creating and distributing advice / information. One reason I write is to meet my overhead and put food on the table. To that extent, I’m hauling rocks.
A greater objective is to build a publishing and media business. The more successfully we market ourselves, the more people we attract, the better our business performs. To that extent, I’m putting up walls.
But the real objective of my creating and distributing advice is to help people throughout the world to achieve and maintain high levels of performance excellence. When I stay focused on that, I’m building a cathedral. (And, not incidentally, meeting my lesser goals, as well.)
Idealists will counter that achieving and maintaining high levels of performance excellence has nothing to do with building cathedrals. They are mistaken.
You can improve yourself, voice your opinions, or organize around a cause without a commitment to excellence. But you won’t effect much change in your community – or build an actual cathedral – without it.
Contrary to what some believe, performance excellence isn’t about “showing off nor showing up the other guy.”
Excellence is about pride, high-standards, and healthy self-esteem along with a commitment to being the best you can be. It liberates you from the crowded field of mediocrity allowing you to stand out, rise up and shine bright!
You can’t reach your potential or live life to the fullest if you spend your days making excuses, having or accepting low standards, and doing just enough to get by. No one can attain greatness by demonstrating mediocre behavior nor accepting it from the people they surround themselves with.
A commitment to performance excellence in every area of your life is the great equalizer. It doesn’t matter if you’re a man or woman, black or white, young or old, handsome or homely, educated or not.
If you focus on excellence, and never make an exception, you will find in short order that the cream ALWAYS rises to the top.
Performance excellence is freedom, security and peace of mind. It allows you to inspire and help others, to do and be what you want. It enables you to follow your dreams, to spend your life the way you choose on your terms.
A commitment to excellence gives you dignity. It gives you choices and fills you with immense pride. That’s why every man and woman has the right – and I believe the responsibility – to pursue excellence and to become their very best.
When my advice empowers people, when it gives them direction, comfort, hope and peace of mind, I feel good about my work. I’m building a cathedral.
You can apply the same line of thinking to whatever you do.
I created the 100 Day Challenge to show you how to achieve and maintain high levels of performance and invite you to join a very special community of people who are all committed to a common goal — creating lives of excellence.
The choice is yours. You can haul rocks. You can put up walls. Or you can build a cathedral.
Enrollment opens on September 22nd, so please join us and let me help you build your cathedral.
Gary Ryan Blair
P.S. It’s only fair to share, so please pass this message along and invite your friends and family to join you in this life changing program.