“Excellence is not a singular act, but a habit. You are what you repeatedly do.” – Shaquille O’Neal

I am not normallya quoter or Shaquille O’Neal, but in this case he was right on point (plus he got the quote from Aristotle).

I frequently ask myself if what I did today was excellent or did I “skate by.” But my excellence is not measured by what I did today. It is what I do everyday, every week and every month. If I want my writing to be excellent, then I should write everyday. If I want my presentations to be the best, then I must present every chance I get. Athletes, chess players, musicians and computer programmers are great at what they do because they do it every chance they get. They build their actions into habits.

The best speech I ever gave was in a humorous speech contest. I won. I kept practicing. I won again. I practiced some more and I won some more. By the time I made it to the finals, I could do the speech in my sleep (literally). Then I lost. But I lost in the Finals not because I didn’t know the material, or my form was off. The winner’s content was simply better than mine. Since then I can always say, “I was excellent that day, and I am proud.”

To be excellent, repeat what you are doing. Others will notice the difference. And so will you.