the pursuit of excellence

I’m learning (though I’m never quite learning it fast enough) that the pursuit of excellence in everything I do is infinitely better than settling for mediocrity.

It should seem obvious that the pursuit of excellence in everything you do would be the surest road to maximizing your potential, yet so few of us strive to do just that.

Why is that?

Rather than settle for average, why don’t we give it our all, try our very best, and never give up til the job is done? Why don’t we keep pushing for greater? Why is it so difficult to go the extra mile or put in the extra effort or even to make that extra telephone call to a prospective customer, when doing so is the obvious difference between being merely average versus that of being head-and-shoulders above the competition?

Success is Gained in the Pursuit of Excellence

There’s one thing I know for sure about the pursuit of excellence, and it is this:

You will never be disappointed in your pursuit of excellence, for there are no traffic jams along the extra mile.”

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Here are seven reasons why the pursuit of excellence will always, always, always be the better option when compared to settling for mediocrity.

  1. Nothing of any real significance happens to people who linger in the status quo. (Quick…name an amazing event in human history that occurred without anyone trying to actually “do” something. No, I couldn’t think of anything either.)
  2. You were created in the image of God. Therefore, you have the ability to do excellent things over and over and over again. —>[Tweet this point]
  3. The world is already filled with mediocrity, so don’t settle for adding more white noise. (Providing valuable content, amazing products, and doing more than was expected will set you apart from your competition.)
  4. You grow and develop as a person when you set out to do more than is merely expected or required. (People who pursue excellence in their niche become leaders in their niche, without question. People will notice the effort. It gets rewarded in either dollars or attention, and sometimes in both.)
  5. People will begin to follow you on social media and perceive you as an expert. (Because there is so much “average” out there in the world, we can’t help but notice your pursuit of excellence. You stand out when you travel along the extra mile.)
  6. Pursuing excellence shows that you aren’t a victim of procrastination. (People who procrastinate provide nothing of value in the midst of their procrastination. It is only when we create and ship that we offer value to the world. You can’t pursue excellence at the same time you’re procrastinating. It’s simply not possible.)
  7. People who tend to pursue excellence have less stress in their lives. (Let’s face it. When we put off for tomorrow what we should be doing today, we tend to stress about it until the project gets finished. For example, I’ve had a 3-5 hour project hanging over my head for a few months now. I’m finally going to tackle and complete it tomorrow, but I’ve stressed about it for weeks now. I can’t wait until it is behind me so that I never, ever have to think about it again. And what bothers me most about it is that I didn’t tackle it sooner. Ugh.)

Pursuing excellence rather than settling for mediocrity is what you’re called to do in life. It is your calling in your work, your career, your ministry, your marriage, and your life in general. You were created to produce excellence.

So press on, don’t ever stop giving it your best, and don’t let the jealous voices around you (or even the small voice inside your head) ever convince you that you aren’t made for the MASS PRODUCTION of greatness.

QUESTION: What other reasons do you see as benefits for the pursuit of excellence, rather than settling for mediocrity? (Respond by leaving a comment below.)

Photo Credit: Marco Crupi Visual Artist via Compfight cc

Reader Interactions


  1. Man, you’ve got total agreement from me. I wrote a blog post a couple of months ago after reading someone else’s blog post saying not to try to be excellent but to try to be different because it makes you stand out from the crowd. I saw that as telling people to be mediocre; ugh. If you’re not going to try to be the best then step aside and let those of us trying to be proficient get the job done. I’m with you all the way.

  2. came across ur piece in a waiting room. not sure Jesus would advocate this unless He is at the helm. I would be cautious in encouraging such pursuits due to our human tendencies toward power, personal gain, approval, even showing God how deserving we are. Check out Genesis 11:6 as well as a bible word search on excel & it’s derivatives.

    The quote u shared is true as it is for another road less traveled. May God be glorified in at least 99% of ur life!! Numbers 6:24-26

  3. In the pursuit of excellence, you ought to strive while fully committed knowing that you have come from far from mediocrity and you are still far towards your excellent destiny.

  4. Sometimes, excellence just isn’t worth it.

    You say,
    “People who pursue excellence in their niche become leaders in their niche, without question. People will notice the effort. It gets rewarded in either dollars or attention, and sometimes in both.”

    But that’s just the thing. Sometimes, you strive and strive for the betterment of yourself and others. You think outside the box, keep your thinking flexible and adaptive and energetic, become a mental gymnast and find a way where others fail. And yet, when it finally comes down to it, those who have the power and ability and resources refuse to recognize these facts and reward you accordingly. Sometimes, you just have to recognize when to cut your losses, and accept that mediocrity can at times actually be more worthwhile than such hard work that leaves you empty-handed.

    If that’s something you’ve never experienced personally, then all I’ll say is I’m glad you’re not in such a place. But there are others who are–where no matter how hard they try, how smart or strong or fast or good they are, it just doesn’t matter. Those who ought to care, don’t. I hope you never have to experience such a condition, but I do hope you can empathize with those of us who have.