For too many people the concept of pursuing excellence may seem like a big, scary and hard task to accomplish, let alone on a daily basis! At Function Health Club, we strive to continually pursue excellence in our fitness and mindset with the goal that in doing so in the gym, it will transfer to the rest of our life outside of the gym. But often times the question is, “where should I start?”
Well, here are 6 keys I feel are the most important in understanding how to pursue excellence. I was successful using these keys thus I feel they will work for you as well!
The ability to recognize that the activities we are engaged in are just that – activities and not things that define us as individuals. These activities certainly are an extension of who we are, however we must learn to separate what we do from who we are. We also must learn to hold any one event in perspective to the larger context.
Maximizing our full potential requires managing life and all the various demands we face in addition to the work required of our performance specifically. Balance is more of a dynamic process compared to what was previously thought, where it was viewed on a scale. This dynamic view focuses on managing constant change and shifting priorities. We must learn to manage the changes in our life including the shift in our priorities as our life progresses.
That energy that comes from the core of who we are as defined by our unique set of gifts and abilities. It’s that part that separates us from all others. We must find what our passions in life are and focus in on them to allow ourselves to utilize the energy we get from them.
This is the process of moving from ordinary to exceptional. Becoming excellent as a performer requires a totally different approach from the ordinary. We are all ‘performers’ in our own respective lives thus we must think differently, we must act differently, we must learn to ‘over ride’ human nature – which implies that we understand how ‘human nature’ presents itself in daily life. We must also understand that we will develop excellence in what we fill our time or minds with. The statement, “go against the flow” really applies to this key. It may not be what everyone else is doing nor what is the easiest path, but in going against the flow you will find yourself moving from ordinary to exceptional.
Feeling at a deep level that one is engaged in an event or sport that is immensely meaningful. Once we have gone through the first four keys and understand each, we must gain this deep feeling of engagement in whatever task we pursue; be it big or small tasks.
Flow is not something that can be predicted, rather it is a special state we train to achieve. Flow, or being in the zone is a performance state in which we experience a sense of altered sense of time and space (Csikszentmihalyi, 1990). Or in other words, a state where there is nothing competing for attention – just complete immersion on the task at hand.
All of these keys take work and focus but if we can accomplish each task to a certain extent, we will be well on our way to pursuing excellence. View each key as steps, the first leading into the second into the third and so on. Gain perspective, establish balance, find your passion, begin your transformation, feel resonance, and train to achieve flow.
One final, but important point to make. Excellence is not an end destination but more so a continual process. We can always improve and grow so we will always be pursuing excellence. However, by incorporating these 6 keys into our lives we will not only enrich our own lives but live a far more meaningful, enjoyable life.
Strive to pursue excellence every day!!
Besides being a regular contributor to the Function Health Club blog, Morgan Hodge is a Practicing Kinesiologist, Strength and Conditioning Specialist, Biomechanical Specialist, and Certified in Functional Movement Assessment and Soft Tissue Release. He is also a competitive CrossFit Athlete. You can contact Morgan directly at firstname.lastname@example.org