“Just as a kiss can be a period, a question mark, or an exclamation point…so too can a handshake, an email, a text message and even a voicemail!” – Gary Ryan Blair
WHEREVER WE ARE…whatever we’re doing and wherever we are going, we owe it to ourselves, to our art, to the world to do it in the spirit of excellence.
That’s our primary duty. And our obligation. We must always deliver with excellence and make our mark through our actions.
The three end marks of punctuation tell the reader that a sentence has reached its final destination.
A sentence can only end with a period (.), a question mark (?), or an exclamation mark (!).
The same principle applies to each your daily behaviors as well.
Your final destination in every day, project, conversation or race will have a time and date stamp that can only end with a period (.), a question mark (?), or an exclamation mark (!).
A period at the end of a sentence does not garner much attention, nor stand out in any unique way…and a period at the end of your actions sends the exact same message.
It means that there’s not much on the highlight reel, nothing of real significance…for the most part your efforts and results are unimpressive, and provide no reason for anyone to model nor pay attention to.
A question mark at the end of a sentence calls for, in fact demands deeper investigation of a point or topic.
I assure you that the last thing you want to do is have your life, reputation and legacy consumed with questions marks.
What were you so afraid of?
Why were you always late, unprepared and uncooperative?
Why did you favor making excuses, and blaming others rather than taking responsibility for your life?
Why did you settle for mediocrity when you were capable of greatness?
Why did you spend your life in a dead end job instead of pursuing your passion?
Why on earth did you not make your health a priority?
The greatest form of betrayal is self-betrayal. When we lie to ourselves, when we live without character, courage and conviction…when we settle for less, lower our expectations and sell ourselves short…we undermine our strength, discredit our own reputation and we place a stain on our reputation that no amount of bleach could ever remove.
Do not under any circumstances put yourself in a defensive position where someone can question your character, integrity, professionalism, intentions, loyalties or work ethic.
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EXCLAMATION OVER EXPLANATION
That leaves you with one choice…the exclamation mark.
An exclamation mark is a mark of distinction…it’s something of importance, highly relevant and deserving of your time and attention.
Your life and work is your message to the world. Make it inspiring. Make it Big. Make it Fun…and by all means make it count, by making everything count.
If you want to make your mark on the world, you need to use the exclamation mark as your guide as there will never be a day of your life that does not provide numerous opportunities to showcase your greatness, unleash your passion, to lift someone’s spirits, to demonstrate gratitude and to advance your mission.
Choose to live out loud by placing an exclamation mark at the end of everything you think, say and do…as everything can be done in the spirit of excellence…and I mean everything.
Every day, project, conversation and race you enter…you leave it with your own unique identifier…one that’s either inspiring and something to live up to, or one that’s disappointing, that brings shame and which will be hard to live down.
How you do anything, is how you do everything...and that is why you should always aim for excellence by placing an exclamation mark after everything you do.
Everything counts—everything you do matters —everything can be done in the spirit of excellence.
The best part of all is that you get to write, direct and star in your own movie…you get to Be Your Own Hero…you get lead with distinction…you get to set a high bar and uplifting standard for others to rise up to.
It all begins by choosing to make your name and reputation synonymous with excellence.
You only live once, but once is enough if you do it right. Therefore, live your life with class, dignity, and style so that an exclamation, rather than a question mark, signifies it.
Gary Ryan Blair
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