Professional

How Not To Be Excellent

Monday of this week, I awoke to the realization that I had made an error. I booked this week’s business trip a day off. Oops. Not good. I was so stressed by my error, I ended up having hours of generalized anxiety and a panic attack on the way to the airport.

It was more than just the trip. I had been sick. Fine. The kids kept me up for the past few nights. Whatever, it happens. Sitting at the gate, however, I realized that if a (fixable) error could spin me into that much of a tizzy, I was off-course in managing my life.

I had been thinking – how do I become excellent? Generally excellent. Is that a thing? Sitting at the gate, I wrote down a list.

Sometimes it’s better to make a “not to do” list. Maybe the answer you are looking for is not in finding a new method, but in discarding your current method.

With that, I give you my list of how not to be excellent.

  • Try to focus on multiple tasks at the same time.
  • Stay up late and get poor sleep.
  • Drink lots of caffeine.
  • Eat sugary foods.
  • Neglect private prayer.
  • Don’t make time to sit and reflect without the input of other minds.
  • Treat people poorly.
  • Procrastinate.
  • Do busy work.
  • Binge anything and everything.
  • Become sedentary.
  • Work more, play less.
  • Let little things stress me.
  • Rush through my work.
  • Rush through anything (like booking a business trip).
  • Forget to be grateful.

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