Sunday, June 19, 2011

Being Excellent

During the Conquest of India, Alexander the Great, while passing through a jungle met dancing mendicants/ yogis. Thinking they were useless ( unambitious) vagabonds, Alexander ignored them and continued his conquest. However, during his return journey from the conquest, Alexander again encountered those dancing yogis and asked them what the reason was for their dancing while they had not achieved anything...and rest of the story is well known (If you are unfamiliar with the story, please look it up).

 It is also well known in Zen Buddhism that the very best are not known. These people are nearly absolute, therefore beyond any dualism of being the best or the most excellent and all comparisons associated with being the best:

I read a very good article in HBR, "Six Keys to being Excellent at Anything". In short, these six keys are:

  1. Pursue what you love.
  2. Do the hardest work first (If you are pursuing what you love, the work will not be hard). 
  3. Practice intensely (If you practice what you love you don't have to do it intensely).
  4. Seek expert feedback, in intermittent dose (Don't worry about feedbacks for things which you love).
  5. Take regular renewal breaks (If you do what you love, then doing that itself will be renewal).
  6. Ritualize practice (One can't ritualized what one loves, it is a dominant part of his being).
Pursue what you love and the rest will fall into place.

Most of us love and hate in equal amount, and like a pendulum, we keep on swinging from one side to the other:

Then some of the extremes fall off the balance of the pendulum, and either hate more than they love or love more than they hate, and so become eccentric,or intelligent people (Now, I'm not saying we should fall off the balance).

So one can be excellent if one loves something to the extreme. The problem is we don't love anything to an extent that the path for reaching Absolute Excellence becomes visibly clearer. Anyway, one has to start follow those six keys.

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