Habits, Mastery & Sustaining Excellence

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It takes at least 45 days of deliberate and focused repetition to create a new habit. Mastery of a skill, on the other hand, requires a set of fundamental habits that relate directly to said skill. Those habits must be refined and developed over time, some estimate at least 10,000 hours but much of that will depend on the person and the quality of practice.

Sustaining Excellence is a strategy that incorporates all of this on a larger scale. It can have several categories including Mental, Physical, Skills, Group or Institutionalized Excellence. The guiding principle is that Habit, Mastery and Sustained Excellence are all cyclical in nature. It’s neither journey nor destination but continual process.

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Goodreads | Review of The Power of Habit: Why We Do What We Do in Life and Business

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Perhaps one of the most relevant books of the last decade. In an age of information overload, connected devices and unprecedented technological change, there gives rise to whole new series of potential habits. This book provides sound evidence to the personal, economic and social implications that these new habits bring.

This book also provides scientific evidence to what I call, “Personal Gravity“; Developing habits of mental excellence leads to new habits of physical excellence, which leads to habits of skills excellence, which leads to habits of excellence at the team and organizational level. That’s the core of the ENMEI Formula.

Source: Goodreads | Bryan Nann (Phoenix, AZ)’s review of The Power of Habit: Why We Do What We Do in Life and Business

 

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The Art of Learning

Below is an info graphic and link from the Facebook page, The Art of Learning. Some of the components are perhaps arguable; The concept of competition and the ‘winner/loser’ debate, for example, continues to rage on but are not necessarily fixtures of the linear model of excellence. In studying people throughout history who managed to find and sustain excellence during their lives, failures and the lessons learned from them are in almost every case a common denominator.

Still, this remains a good illustration of how the linear model of excellence continues to dominate not only business, but politics, sports and most importantly the future of our children’s education.

The Art of Learning.

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The graces of the experts, for a small fee…

 

 

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Somewhere between 29-19BCE, the Greek poet and philosopher Virgil is said to have written his finest work the Aeneid. In it comes the first reference to the famous cautionary phrase based upon the Trojan War described in Homer’s Odyssey and Iliad;

“Beware of the Greeks, even when they bring gifts.”

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Then, during the second half of the 1st century CE (though historical estimates range from around 33AD – up past 150AD) the Apostle Matthew is said to have written the Gospel According to Matthew. In chapter 15, he expands upon this theme with verse 7 where he warns that one should be weary of anyone too eager to give you the right answers or lead you down the path to excellence. Well ok, it was actually the path of spirituality but I think you know where I’m going with this.

“Beware of false prophets who come to you in sheep’s clothing, for inside they are hungry wolves.”

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Much later in the early 1500’s, the use of the phrase, “Caveat Emptor” (Latin for; “Buyer Beware”) began to be used in the formation of common law and would continue to this day. Webster’s Dictionary defines the phrase as;

“A principle of commerce; that in the absence of warranty the buyer assumes the risk of purchase. The buyer is responsible for making sure that the goods and services are legitimate and of good quality.”

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A little over a century later (around 1645AD) in feudal Japan, legendary swordsman Miyamoto Musashi suggested that you don’t need gurus to guide you or the latest gadgets to help you find excellence. He wrote that the formula for mastery of any kind, whether specific skills or total self-mastery was intrinsic, not extrinsic.

So in today’s search for the formula for sustaining excellence, there is certainly no shortage of; prophets of professional success willing to guide you, gurus of self-help willing to lead you, products and gadgets willing to tell you what to eat and when to exercise, academic institutions willing to ‘certify’ your knowledge and experience as legitimate. All you need do is provide them with your credit card number…

But do you really need any of that? Do you really believe that excellence, of any kind, is something that you can buy or complete in ’10 easy lessons’? Do you really believe that you can lose 30lbs. in 30 days and keep it off for the next 3 years? Do you really believe that real education is found in a piece of paper you buy for $60k from your local university, because they tell you it is?

  • There is nothing wrong with finding inspiration in the work of others
  • Mastering new skills, does in fact, often require the instruction of a master teacher
  • New tools and technology can be great assets when used properly
  • Time and relentless action, with purpose, will in fact yield results
  • There is true benefit in periodic reminders of time-tested wisdom
  • Higher education certainly does open up whole new worlds of opportunity

The good news is that the map for sustaining excellence does not end, but begins in the mirror. You need only look, decide, act, repeat.

Cultivating Mental Excellence: 30 Things To Start Doing For Yourself – LifeBuzz

Here is a good post from Life Buzz on specifics to begin to cultivating mental excellence.  While it’s true that the biggest challenge is getting started, the most relevant challenge is incorporating actions into habits that lead to sustained excellence.

Even good habits need to be revisited on a regular basis…People get distracted, they stop exercising or eating properly or spending time with their children or reading to expand their knowledge. Perhaps their patience gets challenged and though they do not notice it, they become incrementally less patient. Over time, these incremental little habit shifts can have a dramatic impact.

This is why “sustaining excellence” cannot be viewed as a road to a destination, a ladder you climb, a building block in a pyramid or some other linear model where you simply ‘arrive’ at the final goal. It’s part of a cycle that must be constantly moving or the entire system begins to unravel.

Will you start? More importantly, will you continue??

30 Things To Start Doing For Yourself. #4 Is Absolutely Vital..