Life is no doubt a race; a marathon where everyone strives to be good at something, to be ahead, to do something worthwhile, to be the best, to reach the top, to be number one. This is life. It is itself a race because human beings are complicated creatures.

I, myself, am a human being too.

Life today is fast and so is the world. Everybody busy working; typing words, printing pages, signing documents, instructing children and adults, eating, drinking, playing and vice versa. Everyone is on the move, on the go making an era where one needs to pause for some time to feel better.

Yes, one does need to pause and slow down in today’s fast-paced world. One must realize the importance of learning to excel.

People learn just to stay ahead, to win and that is how they have been programmed since elementary school. If one is unable to win, the household and the society then ostracize the person for not winning.

To be honest, winning is not that important but excelling in life is. Victories come by and so do defeats. Think about it: in a game of soccer; there are wins, losses, and draws.

Teams win some, draw some and lose some. The one with the most wins gets to win the trophy.

But are trophies, shields, accolades everything?

You lose, but you lost to win another day. When you win, you win to fight another day.

What it means is that winning may be important, but it’s more important to become good at something that will help you get ahead.

You may not be able to keep the kitchen clean, but you certainly know how to cook great food. That is how you start becoming a good cook to become a great chef. To become one, you spoil and stain a few pans and pots. That’s the beginning of the road to becoming a great chef.

Similarly, to become a great corporate executive; you must first learn the secrets of the trade and the way the corporate system works. Once you understand the ins and outs of the corporate world, every nook and corner of it; then you can become an icon of the corporate world.

What does wisdom have to say about excelling over winning?

Principal wisdom says the best way for a person to achieve what they want in life – whether it’s looking good, becoming successful in the corporate world, worrying less, relaxing quite often, having quality time with family, traveling the world with loved ones – is not to just set specific goals but those specific goals that are realistic and achievable.

However, there is one issue. Those who achieve their goals and those who don’t are having the same ones like each other. The problem lies in the fact that outcomes from achieving goals had nothing to do with them.

The following are the problems with goals:

  1. Winners, Losers and Survivors alike have the same goals.
  2. Attaining a goal is temporary.
  3. Goals are a barrier to happiness. They constrain it.
  4. They end up at odds with long term advancement.

If one must achieve something, they must understand the systems that are involved and being followed.

Take it this way:

  • If you are a coach, your main objective is to top the table and win the championship. Your system is the way you sign professional players, select prospects from the development teams, manage the assistant coaches and practice sessions, manage players and the way training is conducted.
  • The same would be held when you are an entrepreneur. Your goal as one would be to be a billionaire through the creation and establishment of a lucrative business. Your system would be how you test concepts for product/service at hand, hiring needed people, overseeing marketing campaigns & managing finances to an optimum standard.
  • If you are an actor, your objective is to win a leading role to get an award. Your system is understanding the requirements and directions of the director and producer & managing their expectations with the script at hand to produce the best performance ever.

Once you understand the system, then you will be able to move forward and excel.

In case you forgot, A system is a set of rules, regulations and operational procedures about an environment, machine or place that ensures its proper function.

No one learns everything on the first try. They learn it step by step by focusing on what is hand. After deep and thorough learning and understanding of the skill they learn, then they can move forward.

Systems don’t help us achieve goals. Rather, they help us achieve consistency at things we are designed to do best. They help us create an environment for ourselves where we learn. We learn to grow, to excel, to be consistent and to create a better world for all around us.

What does understand the system has to do with excellence? And how does it signify that winning isn’t important?

Excellence comes from understanding all the principles, regulations, rules and procedures, and then learning each thing, each skill, step by step.

To become a chef, one must learn how to be a cook by learning to cook and understanding kitchen etiquette. Understanding which pot makes gravy, which pan is required for frying, when to bake, how to bake, how to handle food, how to cut vegetables & fruits, how to grate and the like are all part and parcel of the road to becoming a cook.

Learning how to lead a team of cooks and chefs helps one become a chef. Once the chef has mastered the art of creating the most delectable culinary delights in a stringent time frame, he/she then becomes known as MasterChef.

The same goes for other professions as well, whether you are a soccer midfielder, a detective, a military officer, a marketing strategist or a dental surgeon.

Remember that keeping up with everything is not possible. Because you must be good at one thing first. No one can do everything at the first attempt. They learn to do each thing step by step, to learn one thing at first, and then learn the other.

This helps people should choose what they want to be, regardless of how much free advice they get. Whatever they want to be, they should immerse themselves completely into it so they can understand what it means to become what they wanted to be.

We hope that your journey to excellence is the best one you will ever have in your life.

Irfan Ak is a digital marketing manager at Branex and a guest blogger on various websites. He is a passionate digital strategist. He has worked with various other brands and created value for them.



Image courtesy of Lucrezia Carnelos.