The Process of Excellence

I have been focusing on Excellence for two months. It is exhilarating, but I’ve had many setbacks. Life also gets in the way of Excellence. Focusing on the process of Excellence takes cutting out all the noise to get to the core of its existence. The steps are simple, but the accomplishment is difficult.

The Plan

Excellence starts with a good plan. It doesn’t have to be great, but it needs to be well thought out and easily understood.


You need discipline to stick to the plan and discipline to execute the plan. You need something that acts as a constant reminder to the plan. You need a symbol that helps you overcome the constant battle of discipline.


Then you execute the plan. This is not easy and without constant discipline then the plan is tossed out frequently. When your lack of discipline infiltrates your focus, you need the grit to get back to the plan as quickly as possible.

Flexibility to Revise the Plan

Once you are in the battle of the plan, you must stay flexible enough to change when the plan is not working. Too much rigidity prevents you from overcoming the lost battles of discipline.

These thoughts may seem simple, but I will be exploring these throughout the rest of this year. I would love your thoughts.

I Hate the People at the Gym the 1st Two Weeks of a New Year! (Including Myself)


“Instead of calling my bathroom the ‘John’ I call it the ‘Jim’. That way it sounds better when I say, ‘I go to the Jim first thing every morning.'” Unknown

It’s early in the year, so I was to tackle what should be an easier topic.

How does a common person like me achieve Excellence in their health and fitness? I don’t want to look like Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson.

Here’s what happens. At the first of the year all of the people who set New Year resolutions start flooding the gym. There I am fighting over a pull down machine with three guys who hadn’t seen the inside of a gym since last January.

Strava, a social network for athletes, analyzed more than 31 million online activities last year and found that January 12 is the day most resolutions start imploding. (Insert sarcastic tone here.) By week three none of us are at the gym anymore so the fight for machines is over. We should all exchange phone numbers, so next January we can coordinate our failed resolutions better.

Now you know why I hate myself so much. I’m not a big fan of eating right and working out. It gets in my way of my over indulgence and laziness.

What do I need to do differently this year to change the pattern of failure and put me on my path to excellence? I’m going to try changing my behaviors and how I measure success.

I created nine fitness markers to identify if I’m reaching Excellence in my Fitness. These include:

  • pushups
  • pull-ups
  • squats
  • benchpress
  • shoulder presses
  • plank

Last Friday I did each of these exercises with a strenuous weight to see how many I could do consecutively to failure. I wrote each of these numbers down. I will measure myself again in two months to see how much I improved. I have not set a target goal yet, and I may not. My only goal is to improve my strength a small amount every two months.

I also decided to measure:

  • My waist to see if it shrinks
  • How close I come to touching the floor with my fingers in a “toe touch”
  • How much I can improve on an incline run on the treadmill

This gives me a total of nine markers to see if I’m moving toward Excellence in each of these areas. For me, Excellence will not be hitting a specific number or goal, but will be determined by improving every two months.

I’m not sure if this will work, but here I go. What do you think? What am I missing? What could go wrong? What would you do differently. Let’s move toward Excellence!

I was Designed for Excellence!


Everyone says they want Excellence but few will commit to attaining it! It’s elusive. You must want it bad. I believe we were designed for Excellence, but we often choose an easier less risky path.

It reminds me of a famous story.

A man once approached Socrates and asked the philosopher how he could acquire Excellence. He walked with the young man down to the sea. The man followed as Socrates began wading into the water until the water rose to their shoulders.

Without warning, Socrates grabbed the young man and pushed his head under the water. The man flailed desperately and just before he blacked-out, Socrates pulled him up. The man incensed screamed at Socrates, “Why are you trying to kill me?”

Socrates politely responded, “If that was my intention, I would not have let you up.”

“Then why did you do that?” exclaimed the man.

Socrates peered intensely into the man’s eyes, “When you desire Excellence as badly as you desire a breath of air, then you shall have it,” He turned and walked away.

How do I maintain the motivation all year long to achieve Excellence? How do I keep wanting Excellence as much as I want air?

If it’s true and we were designed for Excellence, then it’s just a matter of execution. I’ve decided to define what Excellence looks like in my life in the following categories:

  • Health
  • Financial
  • Spiritual
  • Relationships
  • Business/Career

This is where I’m going to start. I need your help in defining Excellence in these areas. If 2019 ended and I achieved Excellence in each of these five areas, what does that look like? What have I accomplished? Does Excellence mean I can’t get any better?

My problem is I have more questions than answers. Where is my help?

How can I remain Motivated to seek Excellence for an entire Year???


“We are what we repeatedly do. Excellence, then, is not an act but a habit.”  Aristotle

I wake up in sheer panic. I dreamt a horrible nightmare.  Men were trying to kill me and the woman I love betrayed me.  I remember her saying, “I’ve been using you this whole time.”  It’s silly, but I find myself slightly irritated with her even though she’s oblivious to the morning’s cruel ruse.  This is not how I wanted to start my first chapter.  I hope this is not foreshadowing on what’s to come.

I’m the only one awake, so the house is quiet.  It’s about 6:45 in the morning I’m excited. I’m motivated. WHY CAN’T I BOTTLE THIS FEELING!!! I’d be a billionaire. How do I keep this up day after day?

I read an article on Forbes online by Kristi Hedges, where she states, 

“Excellence starts with getting very clear on the end state you wish to achieve (winning) and relentlessly driving towards it every day. Excellence requires knowing when to push on (even when you don’t have all the information or the perfect solution), but doing it well and constantly refining as you forge ahead. Excellence means accepting only the best, and understanding that when it is not given that you, as the leader, are at least partly responsible. Excellence reveals itself in the language you use, the questions you ask, the people you surround yourself with, and how you interact with others.”

I found her words helpful.  This has inspired me. Today’s objective is to define what questions need to be answered this year to understand and achieve Excellence in my life. Here are my first thoughts…

  • How do I define Excellence in my life in the areas of my Health, my business, my relationships, my spiritual growth, my personal Growth, my finances, my leadership, my fun, my purpose and love (which I hate to even think about)?
  • How do I measure these areas, or do I?
  • Does every area I mentioned require measurement?
  • Did I miss any important areas?
  • Can I ever achieve Excellence, or is it fleeting as I must constantly strive for even more?
  • Can I have Excellence in all of these areas at once or is it just too much?
  • Do I persona.l.y have a fraction of the discipline I need to attempt this?

Anxiety creeps in my mind.  It’s already appearing more daunting than expected, and IT’S THE FIRST DAY! 

I need your help. Are these the right questions??? Am I on the right track? It’s all so confusing.

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!