How to be excellent Pt 2

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When we aim to be excellent, is it nature or nurture that helps us most, or perhaps a bit of both?

While we don’t have to rely solely on genetics to be good at something, I do believe we have natural aptitudes which make us all different. If we’re good at something and enjoy it we’re inclined to keep doing it. When we do something we love, we can get lost in the experience and often fail to notice the passing of time.

This is wonderfully empowering. It suggests we have the remarkable capacity to influence our own outcomes. But that’s also daunting. Practice may be the most important ingredient in achieving excellence but, as we know from our own experience, it can be the most difficult.

If we want to be really good at something, it’s going to involve relentlessly pushing past our comfort zone, as well as dealing with setbacks and failures. Even when it’s something we love, striving to get to the next level can be a challenge. It can lead to physical and emotional fatigue, and eventually burnout.

Perhaps that’s why we admire sportspeople, musicians, artists and business people at the top of their game. We admire the dedication, perspiration, choices, motivation and self-control; characteristics we’d like to improve in ourselves.

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