Hello from Washington State! For those of you who have taken me up on my challenge these past few months to embark upon your journey towards excellence, I’d venture to guess it has become apparent that excellence is a never ending walk towards a constantly moving destination. Does this mean we should not attempt the trek? Of course not, quite the contrary, it is precisely because of excellence’s elusive properties that we should seek it wholeheartedly throughout our lives with the understanding that it will be a continuously moving target (and/or perhaps require us to move to a new state).
You might be thinking, “Now wait a minute Dr. Marilyn, didn’t you say excellence was simply becoming what you were created to be?” Why yes, I most certainly did. Here’s the caveat – throughout our lives there are a multitude of seasons. Within each season our personal excellence may take on different personas. Hence, what worked one year (or in one state) may no longer work the next year (or in the new state). What got you that last promotion may not get you your upcoming one and what enabled you to complete your last goal may not contribute to achieving your next one.
The point worth keeping in mind when seeking personal excellence is that it is a fluid property much like life itself. So often just when we think we have all the answers, life changes the questions. “Why does this happen?” you may ask. I’d venture to say it is the way life keeps us fresh and in a constant state of growth and exploration. Just as water grows stale in a stagnant pool, so too, do our gifts and talents become dull when not in a state of motion and growth.
So you might ask, “If I take the time to achieve excellence in this season of life, how long will it be before that excellence becomes out dated?” A great question and the answer is most often a humbling, “I don’t know.” However, what I do know is that each season can be likened to a caterpillar’s metamorphosis. As we know, a caterpillar is not very attractive to most folks as it undergoes its transformation into a beautiful butterfly. However, once it makes the transition, it is quickly off to begin its journey of pollinating the various plants it comes into contact with as it simply goes about being what it was created to be.
Unlike butterflies, we humans are given a most extraordinary gift in that we have the opportunity to go through numerous transitions throughout our lifetime. I venture to say that this is how life ensures that we do not become stagnant or forget our dependence upon others as we manifest into the fullness of what we are capable of becoming.
As you embark upon your journey towards excellence (whether physically or metaphorically) do not forget that it is a cycle that will be repeated over the course of your lifetime as seasons come and go. Through it all, we can take solace in that we need never focus on perfectionism. Even the most beautiful butterfly, when held under scrutiny, will show its perfect imperfections; this is as it should be no matter what area of the world you reside.