Excellence is one of the chief goals of life. Excellence in action, thought, and result is occasionally within the grasp of people. Can a person grow in their level of excellence in a more complete way? I believe they can but it would likely require continuous effort, vigilance, and evolution of the mind. Passion is too limited. Reason and talent are too limited. Those things are important, but they are but beginning stages in reaching a higher way of doing and thinking. Excellence sums up the primary state of being to achieve.
Harmony Follows Good Order
Excellence begins with harmony. Harmony proceeds from a quality vision or an understanding of principles relevant to an outcome. Good order and structure leads to a more complete vision or understanding. There are levels of order that includes gentle dynamic order; balanced order; and rigid order that borders on perfection. I do not recommend rigid order in general, but the point is that the summoning, experience, and application of proper order drives harmony. Harmony is the synchronous concordance of constituent elements in coordination to represent a particular condition, state, or outcome.
The quality of one’s internal harmony can determine the realization of excellence. The quality of internal harmony or interacting harmonies can influence the duration and scale of excellence in materials, experiences, and persons. Harmony need not be rigid or stoic but well-defined enough that if properly leveled, can set the stage for higher excellence.
It is a true saying that the “Perfect Should Not Be the Enemy of the Good”. Choose the obvious solution in most cases when the situation requires it while learning enough to improve on those choices and actions in the future. When the response is not critical however, it may be an opportunity to examine and strive for a better way. Reach too far for too long and other chances to grow in a broader way may pass without another chance. Judge well when to be pragmatic and when to move higher and better.
Incrementalism is a Slow but Sure Educator
A small distance from pragmatism is incrementalism. Incrementalism is the concept of continuous improvement in small doses. It is the main way the world works today in terms of technology, law, entertainment, and culture. The modern world is, in many ways, a product of incrementalism in many areas. Small improvements that push just a small bit from the normal can provide great feedback along the way towards the end result. Each step you take provides a good lesson by way of an ongoing feedback loop.
Transformation is the huge leap to higher level. In many ways, transformational shifts skips across many incremental steps and puts you into a new place more rapidly. You need as much faith as you need a strong foundation to achieve transformation. Excellence that is properly maintained and exercised can enable continued transformation that lasts and is meaningful.
Successful Transformationalism is Timeless
Some transformations can seem, at first, interesting but can eventually prove shallow, empty, or undercut future growth. You must first connect with timeless values to produce timeless transformation. A timeless transformation is more complete and conducive to long-term growth, evolution, and is perpetually aspirational. Excellence that induces transformation can find the kind of transformation induced as a measure of the level of excellence achieved.
Durability of Form Echoes Underlying Essence
Different things have different forms. A well carved jewelry chest from the Victorian Era may be described as high in quality due to a range of values it emanates. A great speech about freedom and liberty and the worth of people from the 18th Century may still ring strongly today because the values it expresses are true in every time. Things and actions that are connected to a high value essence or essences reflect that essence and are thus appreciated more strongly than those things that have a lesser amount of the same. Excellence is the principle of higher values, essential essence evolved higher, in continuous, uninterrupted operation and expression.
Passion and Inquiry Can Lead to Pure Results
A very strong, instinctive motivation to achieve outcomes can achieve tremendous things. Passion and strong curiosity can summon the will to move mountains and is a potent force to manifest the mind’s conception. A case can be made that passion is an indication of the potential for excellence. Indeed, many excellent things have been produced through passion and strong inquiry. These qualities of passion and inquiry is a vital source for the arts, freedom, and breakthroughs in science, technology, writings, and cultural transformation. Passion can efficiently take raw energy and motivation and propel action into substantial outcomes.
Strong Passion Can Be Misleading
Too much emphasis on passion can imprison the mind of the passionate. Being passionate for too long or living off passion can mean that ideas, possibilities, and prudent decisions that contradict a passionate outlook may be ignored. Existing solely on passion can mean the end of growth as passion sustains a certain viewpoint or set of actions.
Reason and Expanded Knowledge Predetermine Improvement
Structured thinking harnessing knowledge and insight can create sound and solid decisions and solutions. Truth can exist in reason and the products of reason can often be traced back to the clear precepts that preceded them. Proper reason can build a foundation that is clear and complete. In this way, well-defined concepts and solutions combine in successive layers to create reliable, useful products of reason more or less complex.
Aspiration is Necessary to Guide Logic and Reason
Just as an over reliance or unending existence in a state of passion can inhibit progress, so can an excess trust in reason. An aspirational vision can emerge from passion or timeless values and they can steer the course of logic and reason. Some social choices may be reasonable or logical in a cold and calculated way. Logic brutally applied in such cases can result in severe outcomes for those affected. Our values or zeal for a better way could instead mean new technologies, policies, and cultural practices could become the subject of reason and logic.
Rigid Perfection is Destructive to Evolution
The difference between perfection and excellence is one of intention. Perfection can be difficult to achieve. Once you achieve perfection however, it is understood that the journey is done. Nothing more is to be learned. Excellence incorporates many of the attributes of perfection but is a state in which the level of quality can continuously improve and evolve. Excellence is advancing higher while learning and understanding more. Rigid perfection is the end of growth.
Perpetual State of Excellence is a Superior State of Mind
Spoken as one who is not excellent, it appears that you cannot simply jump right into a state of ongoing excellence. Rather, excellence is something you build up to by deliberate practice, change in thinking, and an acceptance of the non-ideal and unpredictable. When you achieve continuous excellence in thinking and action and can regularly produce excellence, you have entered into a more productive realm of existence. It seems reasonable that a superior level of excellence reflects a superior state of mind. A mind that is neither perfect or absolutely pure but is nonetheless consistent in the core essences embraced, exercised, and meditated upon.
High Excellence is the Goal
At the end, we have beliefs and objectives. Our thoughts, actions, and things we select represent those beliefs and objectives. Not in every case but in the average. A heightened level of excellence makes these things better so they are represented in their better or increasingly best forms. High excellence is the goal as it pulls all these other things into a higher direction of success. Greater excellence besets greater results and a greater experience. Achieving this re-shapes us in a way that takes the raw material of our lives and transforms it into a more exemplary form.