How to Achieve Excellence

A few thoughts about mastery.


Elaine Grant

3 years ago | 1 min read

A few thoughts about mastery.

I am impatient. Whatever I do, I want to be excellent at it. Right away, which of course is a philosophy in perfect opposition to the “beginner’s mind” we need in order to learn anything new.

I found myself thinking about impatience, practice, and excellence this weekend, in one of those “duh, slap your head” moments. I went cross-country skiing for the first time in two years. It was fun and nobody was pointing and laughing, but graceful? Not at all.

I was frustrated! I wanted to be excellent, without any practice.

Last week I wrote the 400th episode of a podcast I produce. And I looked back at early scripts. Without any critique, the 400th was far better than the 50th. Because I write every single day.

So now I need a cross-country skiing trail in my backyard so I can practice every day. So I can become excellent at it. Not today.

But in three months, I’ll be a lot better than today.

It’s OK to be bad at something new. It’s more important to try it, and keep at it. And it’s also human to be impatient, especially in this achievement-oriented world.

So keep going. One day at a time. Look back a few months from now and see how far you’ve come.

What new thing are you learning? How’s it going?

Originally published on medium.


Created by

Elaine Grant







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