No 34 “Excellence…is not an act but a habit” August 23, 2019
“Excellence is an art won by training and habituation. We do not act rightly because we have virtue or excellence, but rather we have those because we have acted rightly. We are what we repeatedly do. Excellence, then, is not an act but a habit.”
– Aristotle (384 BC – 324 BC)
Greek philosopher and scientist
I want to be excellent. I want to be a champion, a hero, a mentor, a leader, a Rockstar. I want all those things. As the saying reads, it won’t come from my own virtue or excellence, but through daily and constant training and practicing good habits. As I strive every day to make our Arthur Murray School a safe place for all staff and students, it has become a lifestyle, a daily habit of continual training to make these dreams come true. To be a “Dream Maker”, it takes lots and lots of practice and perseverance.
“Determine never to be idle. No person will have occasion to complain of the want of time who never loses any. It is wonderful how much can be done if we are always doing – advising his daughter Martha, 1787.”
– Thomas Jefferson
(1743-1826) Third President of the United States
There have been times when I ran so hard, so long, so fast, that I fell apart. I am referring to the race of life (I have run 19 marathons, so I know actual running as well!) I have learned how to practice the art of rest as well as the art of doing as much as I can. There have been many times when I was typing my blog and could not see the keyboard and reached up to my eyes only to find that I was wearing my glasses (this is happening right now!)
God-willing, I hope to continue serving as an Arthur Murray Professional for many, many more years. But as I venture through my 60’s, I must rest and practice moderation. Moderation is not working 18 to 22-hour days. Some of you are laughing right now based on your own experience. Now, I am learning to power rest and when I have time to sleep, nap, or rest, to do it with strong intent and purpose and truly let my body and my mind rest and recover.
“I don’t think anything is unrealistic if you believe you can do it. I think if you are determined enough and willing to pay the price, you can get it done.”
– Mike Ditka (B – 1939)
American, Football Coach, Chicago Bears
What does it mean to “pay the price”? I have heard of those who with a white heat of desire pursued their goals. Many ended up falling by the wayside through experiencing too many failures, lack of desire and vision, exhaustion, or they just gave up. I have a life habit, when I meet someone very up in years, I ask them their secret. Their answers are life changing. They say they did not live in anger; they ate sensibly, and they exercised. They learned to let go or stress and things that did not matter. They paid the price for a long life by pacing themselves and rolling with the punches of life.
Does paying the price mean having a lot of money and using money to get ahead? Perhaps having riches means truly is having the belief that a task may be accomplished and having the determination to keep on going and not giving up.
“A great pleasure in life is doing what people say you cannot do.”
– Walter Bagehot (1826 – 1877)
English Journalist and Economist
I’m too busy doing the impossible in my life to even hear from those who say I can’t accomplish something. I’m constantly surrounded by the “can do” people and those who are always going the extra mile, the dream makers, and those who make visions reality.
Yes, I want to be excellent and I’m willing to pay the price.
Thank you for reading,
David Earl Woodbury
Keep on Dancing!