The Ball Drops and the Quest for Excellence Begins!

I stand silently, my stomach in knots.  I’m sickened with the feeling of being alone on a desolate island. It’s twelve midnight.  Don’t get me wrong, I’m standing in the middle of a pretentious and loud New Year’s Eve party.  How can someone be so alone in a sea of people? The music thumps vibrating my ears while wealthy partiers and the many want-to-be’s mingle around pretend gaming tables.  

I’m sporting a new suit that would make James Bond envious.  The vodka has been flowing but unbeknownst to anyone, an hour ago I switched to soda water with an accompanying lime.  As tradition dictates, I should be half-heartedly kissing my long-time companion to feign love But I’m not.  My friends around me think they see happiness and joy but the hidden reality is my heart yearns for another.

Love has always eluded me.  I once loved a woman so deeply if Shakespeare were alive today, he’d rewrite Romeo and Juliet to mirror our story.  She is long gone, and her memory seems like ten lifetimes ago.  To find Excellence in love is my greatest challenge this year, and it’s wrought with perilous pitfalls.  It’s also where I hold the least hope because I love someone that doesn’t love me back.

I struggle to enjoy the party.  I want terribly to rush home and rest in final preparation for the next 365 chapters of this new year, but that’s not feasible without being rude to my friends.

I’m embroiled in this strange mixture of excitement and sadness over what’s to come. I’ve move to a balcony and stand alone outside overlooking a serene landscape that reminds me of my childhood.  With my eyes open, I silently offer a short prayer requesting wisdom to make the best decisions this year, courage to carry out those decisions and guidance in my search for Excellence. 

I’m reminded of one off my favorite quotes, 

“Every morning in Africa, a gazelle wakes up. It knows it must run faster than the fastest lion or it will be killed. Every morning a lion wakes up. It knows it must outrun the slowest gazelle or it will starve to death. It doesn’t matter whether you are a lion or a gazelle: when the sun comes up, you’d better be running.”

Tomorrow it’s time to run.  I grow apprehensiveness at the daunting task that lay before me.  Will I quit in a couple of weeks like other projects I’ve started and failed to finish?  Will Excellence elude me leaving my only discovery to be another failure?  Will I ever find someone who loves me as much as I love them? It’s time to take my seat on life’s roller coaster and buckle up.

Prelude to Excellence

“Be at war with your vices, at peace with your neighbors, and let every new year find you a better man.” Benjamin Franklin

I’m standing on the edge of a cliff overlooking the darkness of a vast ocean. I’m both giddy and anxious of the impending year’s sunrise.  In moments you and I will be forced to plunge into cold waters of the unknown. Even standing on a cliff, to move toward Excellence, you must step forward. Behind us the final light of this past year will be extinguished.  It’s rays of warmth gone in a whisper.

What you’re about to witness and hopefully contribute is the story of one man’s year-long quest to obtain Excellence in his life.  Do not hope for a hero in this tale as his faults are too many to count, nor vilify him as his heart yearns to contribute good to the world.

The stories you read here each day are all spoken in truth through the lenses of my eyes. However, insignificant details will be changed to hide my identity.  What you will gain from this live drama is the struggle of one soul to discover Excellence in all areas of life.    

This is not Facebook were people post all the good in their life and leave off the pain, struggles and challenges. This is not church where everyone is “blessed” while behind the scenes their life is in disarray. This is real!

I’ll expose the hard truths on topics such as love, health, death, fear, loneliness, God, joy, and sex.  We will run “life” experiments in search of ways to aid our protagonist on his search for Excellence.  There will be shocking revelations and unexpected twists and turns.

You can walk with me on my journey to help shine light on your own quest.  You will see your own struggles and pain as I (our human subject) reveal my daily chapters. You get to play judge and jury on whether I discover Excellence.  Your thoughts and comments are encouraged.  Your ideas and suggestions are valued.

Get ready for the sunrise, it’s going to be one crazy roller coaster ride. 

The Quest for Excellence in our life is both Necessary and Ridiculous.

In a few days on January 1st, we arrive at a strange and mysterious day…

I need your help, your wisdom, your advice and your encouragement. Read the rest and you’ll understand why…

Years ago, I woke up one January 1st motivated! I had a strong sense of urgency. I was ready to experience the fruits of extreme success. I grabbed my tasteless shake and headed to the gym anxious to start the year off right.

When I arrived I was flabbergasted so many people were already there. I listened to the audiobook I purchased days earlier to start my deep learning for the year. I ate a healthy lunch. I then completed some productive lingering items around the house. My year started off wonderfully!

Then, two weeks into the year I was completely derailed. My resolutions were shot. My goals were on hold. Everything had gone to hell. During those two weeks something awful happened to me.

I became myself again.

By the end of the month I was wallowing in the pigpen of mediocrity and found sanctuary there for the remainder of the year. Thinking my life was really going to change for the better this time was just ridiculous. Why do I suffer this demise over and over, year after year? My consistent annual failures have given me an idea. I’m going to quit the insanity of doing the same things over again and expecting different results.

This year I’m going to conduct a personal human experiment using myself as the laboratory rat. I’m going to embark on a year-long quest. Much like the Knights of King Arther left their homeland on a quest to find the coveted Holy Grail, I’m embarking on my own quest to discover Excellence in every area and every aspect of my life.

In my quest, I’ll face many dangers, pitfalls and saboteurs. I will need help from ALL OF YOU to light my path, offer your wisdom, encourage me during the storms, warn me of impending doom and challenge me when I travel the wrong road.

And through my successes and failures, just maybe you will discover Excellence in your own life. It’s going to be a weird and crazy roller coaster ride, so hop aboard. The ride starts in a few days. I need your help! Don’t let me fail this time!