Sustaining Your A-Game

“We are what we repeatedly do. Excellence, then is not an act, but a habit.” – Aristotle

We live in a world that is driven by competition. Human nature has grown to find that, through competition, businesses and people perform significantly better. Competing gives people a goal to achieve and something to lose. Though it isn’t a perfect system, the idea of constantly performing at an optimum level is both desirable and admirable.

The sad part is that we drop to a level below our capability far too quickly. Humans were made, first and foremost, for survival. That being said, your body will use what energy/fat/muscle is necessary and nothing more. Your body also adapts and learns as it is faced with different circumstances. Therefore, the more comfortable you get with something, the less your body has to use or work for it. Why is all of this so sad? I’m glad you asked.

While being able to adapt and become more comfortable with our surroundings is a wonderful thing, the competitive world around us wants us to continue to exceed our own limitations. Get too comfortable where you are and someone working to be better is going to pass you. People naturally desire comfort. But the only way to continually get better is to challenge yourself. Hence, our world of competition.

What does all of this have to do with habit and excellence? Constantly performing at an exceptional level can become just as much of a habit as anything else. Habits make us comfortable. They are the norm for our bodies and can easily be accomplished without much thought. While we do need to be challenged in order to perform, looking for challenges and actually facing them becomes a habit as well. That is not to say that the challenges are ever easy. But looking for them, mustering up the motivation to pursue what you want, and taking the challenges head-on can be just as much a part of everyday life as eating or sleeping.

Your life is full of opportunity. Some of it falls into your lap. Most of it must be found through diligent searching. Many opportunities in life are unknown to us. What I mean by that is that you never know if that person you’re talking to will be the next president of the United States. The ability to sell yourself comes with every handshake, conversation, and meeting you have. That’s why it is always important to have your A-game as an everyday habit.

How do you make a habit of it? Press the “Page Up” key a couple of times and reread what Aristotle said. “…repeatedly do.” That’s it. If you force yourself to constantly play up a level, you will find yourself being able to do so without thinking about it so much. What comes next? Find the level above the next.

“Climb to the top of a mountain and you will be able to see the top of the next one.” – Zig Ziglar
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