As we strive to develop a culture of personal excellence, a useful tool is reflecting on effort and setting short-term goals for the term ahead. Because schooling and learning can quickly become routine, students run the risk of just going through the motions. Having medium, short term and daily goals can be a way of being very deliberate about the way we want to go about our daily tasks.
Aristotle said, “We are what we repeatedly do. Excellence, then, is not an act, but a habit. “
The term ‘personal best’ is useful in this regard. The truth is we probably cannot maintain the same level of excellence at all times but if it is our default approach to what we do, it begins to define how we approach all things in our lives.
Personal excellence also brings with it a great sense of satisfaction and a sense of pride and accomplishment. This intrinsic motivation takes us off the ‘roundabout’ of box ticking and allows us to be truly present in every moment with the approach that a job worth doing is a job worth doing well.
Developing a habit of excellence is not an experience but a journey. All of us are at varying points on this journey. I read a delightful quote recently that summed it up beautifully,
“If today you are a little better than you were yesterday, then that’s enough.”
- David A Bednar
As parents and teachers assisting children in developing this focus, we will observe the incremental growth and improvement in determination and attitude. Once students experience the joy and satisfaction of this approach, it motivates them to strive for even greater heights.
By Justin Krause, Principal of Ellenbrook Christian College and Beechboro Christian School