The Excellence Mindset: How to Do Your Best Work?

Have you ever wondered what it takes to be truly excellent at something? What mindset allows some people to achieve at the highest levels consistently?

I just worked with a group of corporate leaders on “Leadership Excellence” a few days ago. 

One of them said, “Siva, I don’t think we should be focusing on being excellent; we should be happy with just being good enough. Pushing ourselves towards excellence is too much pressure.”

I asked the group, “Did you guys watch the recent Men’s Wimbledon game? What do you think about the 19-year-old Carlos Alcaraz winning against 22 times Grand Slam champion Novak Djokovic? Was he good enough, or was he excellent?”

“Carlos was simply superb and excellent”, came the answer. 

The group agreed that striving to be excellent in whatever they do is worth it and decided to build an “excellence mindset”.

What is the Excellence Mindset?

The excellence mindset is a way of thinking that focuses on doing your best work, no matter what. It’s about setting high standards and striving to meet them, even when difficult.

People with an excellence mindset always look for ways to improve their work. They’re not satisfied with mediocrity; they want to be their best. 

There are many benefits to having an excellence mindset. For one, it can help you achieve your goals more quickly. When you set high standards for yourself, you’re more likely to put in the extra effort necessary to reach those standards.

In addition, having an excellent mindset can lead to greater satisfaction in your work. Knowing you’re doing your best work makes you feel a sense of accomplishment and pride. An excellence mindset can help you stand out from the crowd. In a world where mediocrity is all too common, people who strive for excellence are often rewarded.

Challenges of Having an Excellence Mindset

Of course, being excellent is not easy. There are challenges to building an excellence mindset. 

One is the difficulty of maintaining focus and motivation over the long term. It’s easy to get discouraged when things get tough, but people with an excellence mindset know it’s essential to keep going.

Another major challenge today is Shiny Object Syndrome (SOS), a mental state in which people are constantly drawn to new and exciting things, often at the expense of their current goals or projects. This can be a significant obstacle to achieving excellence, leading to procrastination, distraction, and a lack of focus.

Another challenge of having an excellence mindset is that it can sometimes lead to perfectionism. Perfectionists often set unrealistic standards for themselves, leading to frustration and burnout. Excellence is not being perfect; it’s about being better every time than the previous time. 

How to Develop an Excellence Mindset

If you want to develop an excellence mindset, here are a few things you can do. 

First, you need to set high standards for yourself. What do you want to achieve in your work? Once you know what you want to achieve, you must break it down into smaller, more manageable goals. Have a deep desire to improve and make it the best continuously.

Second, you need to be willing to put in the hard work. Excellence doesn’t come easy. You must be ready to make extra effort to reach your goals.

Third, you need to be patient. It takes time to develop an excellence mindset. Don’t get discouraged if you don’t see results immediately. Just keep working hard, and eventually, you’ll see the fruits of your labour.

Steve Jobs was known for his relentless pursuit of excellence. He would often return to the drawing board until satisfied that he had created the best possible product.

Another example is Michael Jordan. Jordan was one of the most driven athletes ever. He was always looking for ways to improve his game and never settled for mediocrity.

The excellence mindset is a powerful tool to help you achieve your goals and live more fulfilling lives. If you want to develop an excellence mindset, start by setting high standards for yourself and then be willing to put in the hard work. With time and patience, you can develop the mindset that will allow you to achieve excellence in everything you do.

What Should You Be Doing?

Set high standards for yourself.

Be willing to put in the hard work.

Be patient and consistent.

Learn from others who have demonstrated an excellence mindset.



Thanks for reading this article. I write a weekly newsletter with some great content around leadership, mindsets, and excellence. I send it out every Wednesday. Over 10,000 people subscribe. Join our community of Learners and Leaders.

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