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The Pursuit of Excellence

“And what are you going to do now?” asked President Goodman, my Mission President.
It was the summer of 1985, and I had just completed my full time mission for the church in London. In our departure interview he gave me a little booklet entitled “The Pursuit of Excellence.”
The introduction was as follows; “The Pursuit of Excellence is an achievement challenge designed to help a participant develop a Christlike life of love and service. Accomplishing this objective requires a diligent and serious effort in fundamental aspects of a truly Christian life—spiritual, intellectual, social, physical, and in service and character.”
And so my own quest in the “pursuit of excellence” commenced.
It was a voluntary initiative, there was no award or completion certificate, it simply encouraged you to set stretching goals….. and I did. Frequently!
In fact, many years later, Monic set up a similar successful programme for the Relief Society in Dunfermline, based on the same little book.

What is excellence?

Excellence is a curiously powerful word. It implies the highest standards and great devotion to something.
In the New Testament, Paul encouraged the Philippians (4:8-9) to pursue excellence and to practice the things that had been taught to them.
He wrote; “Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is commendable, if there is any 𝐞𝐱𝐜𝐞𝐥𝐥𝐞𝐧𝐜𝐞, if there is anything worthy of praise, think about these things. What you have learned and received and heard and seen in me—practice these things, and the God of peace will be with you.”
Oftentimes too many of us settle for less than what we can actually become. Many choose to live far below the privileges and possibilities of their own lives.
It requires effort! But we need more excellence in our thoughts, in our motivations, in our faith, in our actions, in our drive and in our determination to live life at its best.
Excellence awakens ambition, emboldens enlightenment and inspires a journey of self-discovery.
Are your goals and ambitions in life aimed at below your very best?
Or are they simply mediocre?
Are you willing to practice excellence?
Choose to live up to the level of your possibilities – today!

Small steps everyday

Stuck in a rut? Feeling a bit flat? Every day just feels the same? Not getting anywhere? Is it Thursday or Friday? Life feels dull & boring?

I’m certain many of us are feeling like that right now. I know, because its been confirmed in many recent coaching conversations!

Yesterday, whilst out on a walk with my daughter, trudging laboriously through the snow to Tesco (a highlight of the day), the underfoot conditions made it very difficult just to even put one foot in front of another at times. Yes, it can be tough! Yet, small steps helped.

So, what can we do about it?

I know there is a great power in establishing good 𝐡𝐚𝐛𝐢𝐭𝐬 and 𝐫𝐨𝐮𝐭𝐢𝐧𝐞𝐬. However, right now lets change things around a bit!

There is great power in the old phrase “𝐯𝐚𝐫𝐢𝐞𝐭𝐲 𝐢𝐬 𝐭𝐡𝐞 𝐬𝐩𝐢𝐜𝐞 𝐨𝐟 𝐥𝐢𝐟𝐞.”

Start by looking for ways to add different experiences to your day and take that first small step and then a few more.

Make some new plans, have some fun, help others, try something new, be spontaneous, call friends, take that walk, volunteer, exercise, journal! Above all – take action! Go and do!

What variety of ideas have you tried recently?

Take a few small steps today!

Council Together

I am grateful for the many opportunities to council together with friends, colleagues and especially family members this last year.

There have been many challenges to address over the last few months and as I look to the year ahead, I am certain there will be many more.

Meeting together as a family council, we set technologies aside, we listen to one another, we discuss concerns, we make plans, set goals, we support and strengthen one another. Jointly, we search for solutions to the problems of the day. When open and candid conversation is filled with love, patience, kindness and respect for the opinions of each other, the council has always been a success.

In addition, when each member of the family is invited to contribute to the discussion, they can and do feel part of any decision reached. In turn, this leads to positive reinforcement of their own feelings and supports our family to move forward in a unified manner, as we each take ownership of the issue.

Whether it is around the family dinner table, the work canteen table, or the board room table, the principles of sitting in council together are universal.

Why not give it a go today? Focus on an issue and ask – What can we do about it? What are your ideas?