No! Definitely not. What a Gold medal shows the world is that you are a success, better than everyone else in that competition. What it fails to show is how you measured up versus your last performance, versus your potential, or ask the question, did you achieve excellence?
Psychology professor Jon Johnston encapsulates this idea beautifully.
“Success bases our worth on a comparison with others; Excellence measures us against our own potential. Success grants its rewards to the few but is the dream of the multitudes. Excellence is available to all living beings, but is accepted only by a few.”
Life is not about beating others but about beating ones self. Not being a mere success but ensuring that we continually improve ourselves in the pursuit of excellence. Too often we get distracted by the fact that we are meeting the standard, winning or beating others. When the true measure is have you achieved what you are capable of or did you leave something in reserve because it wasn’t required to ‘win’.
It’s a decision each of us have to make on a daily base will I do what is required or will I strive for Excellence?
The decision is yours.
Starting with death could be seen as a morbid way to start a blog.
But knowing how you want to be remembered or spoken about at the end helps you think clearly about what you are doing now with your life
No one illustrates this better than the late Martin Luther King Jr when he talks about how he wants to be remembered.
“Every now and then I guess we all think realistically about that day when we will be victimized with what is life’s final common denominator that something that we call death. We all think about it. And every now and then I think about my own death and I think about my own funeral. And I don’t think of it in a morbid sense. And every now and then I ask myself, “What is it that I would want said?” And I leave the word to you this morning.
If any of you are around when I have to meet my day, I don’t want a long funeral. And if you get somebody to deliver the eulogy, tell them not to talk too long. And every now and then I wonder what I want them to say. Tell them not to mention that I have a Nobel Peace Prize, that isn’t important. Tell them not to mention that I have three or four hundred other awards, that’s not important. Tell them not to mention where I went to school.
I’d like somebody to mention that day that Martin Luther King, Jr., tried to give his life serving others.
I’d like for somebody to say that day that Martin Luther King, Jr., tried to love somebody.
I want you to say that day that I tried to be right on the war question.
I want you to be able to say that day that I did try to feed the hungry.
And I want you to be able to say that day that I did try in my life to clothe those who were naked.
I want you to say on that day that I did try in my life to visit those who were in prison.
I want you to say that I tried to love and serve humanity.
Yes, if you want to say that I was a drum major, say that I was a drum major for justice. Say that I was a drum major for peace. I was a drum major for righteousness. And all of the other shallow things will not matter. I won’t have any money to leave behind. I won’t have the fine and luxurious things of life to leave behind. But I just want to leave a committed life behind. And that’s all I want to say.
If I can help somebody as I pass along,
If I can cheer somebody with a word or song,
If I can show somebody he’s travelling wrong,
Then my living will not be in vain.”
What will you be a Drum Major for? What will people say when you meet life’s common denominator? What will you change in light of this?