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Archive for Excellence

Keep Your Edge

The Super Bowl is rapidly approaching, with gala events and the hoopla involved. Big name entertainers will perform at half time and the commercials are usually mind bending. (My favorite is the Budweiser Clydesdales. Just sayin’). Two teams have competed throughout the season and are now coming down the home stretch. Players are hyped up but tired, for they have been working hard since summer. This is the ultimate accomplishment for this arena. Coaches are feverishly working out plays, practicing them in great secrecy. To be able to spring something totally different on the opposing team can mean the difference between a win or a loss. And it adds to the excitement of the game. Playing unstuck.

The Patriots are old hands at this venue, for this is the 9th time they have been to the Super Bowl. But this is uncharted territory for the Eagles. Philadelphia is listed as the underdog going into the competition. But that’s nothing new. At the beginning of the final push, they embraced the role. Some of the players wore dog masks after an early win, inspiring fans to get their own. The heads of German Shepherds and white poodles filled the stadium. The masks were bought out again last Sunday after routing Minnesota. Unstuck guerilla warfare.

How to keep their edge? The teams are at the top of their games. But how to stay sharp, be on top and win? That’s the question. One way is to disregard to hubbub and fanfare. You have practiced. You are prepared. Focus on the basics. On what you already know. Do your best. Think clearly. And work with your team. Live unstuck. #UnstuckLiving

If you stay ready, you don’t gotta get ready.

—James Brown, King of Soul

Excellence Should Be a Habit

Paul Chryst is the coach for the Wisconsin Badgers football team. He is known for his emotionless sideline demeanor, especially when compared to the billboard of head coaching characters in the Big Ten. What is particularly sobering is that as a program, Wisconsin will never stop being Wisconsin: sturdy, disciplined, homegrown and efficient. This coach follows the policy started by the prior coach, Barry Alvarez, and recruits for the team from within the state. Very unusual for a program that typically goes nationwide to court and develop prospects. And his motto? “Excellence should be a habit, not an accident.” End result? Chryst and the Badgers beat the Miami Hurricanes in the Orange Bowl this last weekend. They lived unstuck.

I was considering his motto when out on my morning walk. It seems to fit with the theme of the new year when I take a look and rescript my place in my life, my world. New Year’s is the time where the world stands still, not for long, but for enough time for me to catch my breath and see where I want to go. While I’m doing that, I like the idea of developing the habit of excellence in what I take on. Whether it be a project, learning new techniques to help my clients or upping my game of physical activity, it’s time to focus on “doing things right.” Not to the extreme of “paralysis by analysis” but to the point where I can get better at the skills I’m developing. As the phrase goes, “you can’t fly with the eagles if you’re hanging with the turkeys.” That’s unstuck living at it’s best.

Want to fly with the eagles? Or hang with the turkeys? Live unstuck. #Unstuck Living

What you do today can improve all your tomorrows.

—Ralph Marston