People have often asked me, “What do you mean by Mental Excellence in this strategy of yours?” It’s a valid and in fact key question as the mental excellence component precedes all else in the sustained excellence formula. You can’t create lasting culture, develop effective teams or manage others if you can’t manage yourself first and mental excellence is the first step to managing yourself.
Mental excellence has to do with reconciling with the person in the mirror on a daily basis. It’s the attitudes, decisions, principles and belief systems which you use to communicate with yourself and shape your daily behaviors. For example if you make the decision to justify eating junk food every day, it’s guaranteed to effect your physical energy levels and therefore your productivity. It’s also likely to impact back to your mental well being since when you don’t feel good physically it tends to put you into a negative mental state. So there is both a forward and a backward ripple effect.
Additionally, the core principles which make up your mindset play a significant role in how you navigate your personal and professional life. Principles are different in kind and function from say morals or ethics. Whereas morals and ethics govern a persons actions, principles govern the consequences of those actions. Principles function independently, like natural laws such as gravity. So choosing to step out of a 5th story window may be a moral question. What happens once one steps out of that window is subject to the laws of gravity, consequentially there is no turning back.
Some people manage to sustain excellence throughout their lives, often despite tragic obstacles and personal short comings. One common denominator in those people is a core set of principles from which they relentlessly operate. I often use the term, “personal code” to refer to these sets of principles. Theodore Roosevelt for example believed in the value of “Living the strenuous life”. That principle was part of his personal code.
Some traits can double as both principle and virtue, such as Humility. Below is a good post from Inc.com on how to develop humility and some of the productive consequences.
Humility frees you of unnecessary attachments. Here’s how to develop it.