On The Road To Excellence

“A racehorse that consistently runs just a second faster than another horse is worth millions of dollars more. Be willing to give that extra effort that separates the winner from the one in second place.”

–H. Jackson Brown, Jr.

Harriett Jackson Brown Jr. is a well-known American author renowned for two of his inspirational books, Life’s Little Instruction Book, Volume 1 and 2 that made it to the New York Times Bestseller List between 1991 and 1994.

Hold on a second; why are we discussing horses here? Agreed, this is not a forum for horses or even horse-trading. However, we still compare the strength and power in comparison with horses when discussing our favorite automobiles, right? So, take it easy, Dear Readers, and let’s get to the point.

For all practical purposes, excellence is the name of the game. When you beat all the competitors, even the closest one, even by a whisker, you claim your right to the glory of a Winner. The best, the fastest, the sharpest, the most powerful and the most efficient performers stake their claim to excellence and therein lie their rewards.

“The road to excellence is always under construction”


Excellence is the recognition you earn upon completion of specific tasks in a far superior manner than everybody else. Excellent chefs prepare amazingly tasty, flavorful, and creative dishes that invite accolades from the world’s best-known food critics, and connoisseurs alike. Excellent tailors design outstanding dresses for the royalty that most others could only imagine in their dreams. Excellent swimmers, athletes, archers, sportsmen, and sportswomen win Olympic Gold Medals and become global celebrities.

No matter what discipline we talk about, excellent performance earns the highest possible respect. At the same time, another fact comes to the surface that we cannot afford to take lightly. It relates to broken records. Yes, that’s right; records that get broken at regular intervals. No matter how well you performed today to earn the laurels, there is always someone else gunning for your position.

Each time we give an excellent performance, we set the qualifying mark for the next incumbent one notch higher. To beat our record of excellence, this person must take that achievement as the yardstick upon which his/her performance will be measured.

I am reminded of a statement made by a wise man about ‘runners-up.’ Instead of going into the merits (or implied demerits,) of not winning a Trophy for a 2nd place win, I would much love to give credit to this runner-up for the simple fact of giving the toughest fight to the Winner. The role of this person lies in constantly raising the bar higher so the Winner has to keep training and performing at his/her highest caliber. Not only that, he/she also set own goals higher in the future. The end result is the glory of your name getting etched on the Trophy. Would you rather be in this position or stay contented with giving tough fights all your life?

Please allow me to borrow a quote from Oprah Winfrey: “My philosophy is that not only are you responsible for your life but doing the best at this moment puts you in the best place for the next moment.”

How can you dispute the wisdom of such a super-successful Media Personality, Entrepreneur, Philanthropist and highly acclaimed people’s person? In the above-mentioned words, she has given us one of the clearest and the most concise directions for continued success. We all know the age-old wisdom: ‘Output is directly dependent upon input.’ More money you deposit in your bank account the more you will be able to take out. Have you ever seen a bank lend money to someone broke? Not me! However, the human capacity commands an immense amount of untamed energy that can circumvent the toughest obstacle, dive to the deepest depths of oceans and climb the highest mountains, touch the galaxies and create unimaginable gadgets. It knows no limits whatsoever.

Until and unless we make it our life’s mission to make each day of our life more productive than the one before, there is not much chance of attaining excellence in any field. The Athletes, the Sportspersons, the Mountaineers that plan on climbing the highest peak in the world, the super successful Leaders, Executives, and Entrepreneurs, they all work diligently to make gradual progress, day after day, and keep building on their minuscule gains in small steps. The accumulated effect of such gains brings them to the cusp of glory, not ‘Chance.’

There is an old Chilean Proverb: “Small Steps Take Us Far.” No wonder, our quest to improve our performance level just 1% each passing day can double our efficiency in less than four months. Is there any other method that you know of and would like to share? I am all ears!

The above proverb teaches us the immense value of consistency in life with a focus on daily improvement. For all practical purposes, this is the ONLY vehicle we can ride on the road to excellence, no other. At the same time, let us also not forget another important truth about this road: there is no end. It is an endless road that offers amazing rewards to those that continue the journey. In this journey, you must maintain your cutting edge by ensuring superb quality of your performance.

The quest for excellence is neither a race nor a competition. It is also not a reward that someone can bestow upon you in recognition of a political donation or other such favors. It is the process of a continued hard-fought battle against your own productivity. Soon you show signs of slackness, someone else will beat you at your own game and earn the glory.

On a final note, please allow me to invoke the inner spirit, lurking somewhere within your own conscience, that wants to beat all odds and create an outstanding persona out of your average or above-average demeanor. You would easily realize the simplicity involved in making graduated gains at a regular pace to go from ordinary to extraordinary, then move on to outstanding before riding the bandwagon of excellence.

I have been more than blessed in my life as my parents taught me some very valuable lessons through quotes and philosophies expounded by some of the historically immortal achievers. One of these lessons goes like this: Every job is a self-portrait of the person who did it. Autograph your work with excellence.”



Bharat Mathur
Bharat Mathur
WHERE goal setting and systematically achieving each one of them has been the ‘Mantra’, where earning trust by delivering value has been an uncompromising principle and where deeply impactful experiences have made an indelible impression to look directly into the eyes of toughest problems and tackling them head-on has been a major cementing glue in the foundation, Bharat Mathur fits the bill, hands down! Creating value for others, out of the challenges his career in the “C” Suite kept throwing at him left, right and center, Bharat now finds solace in being a ‘Guide by Your Side’ rather than a ‘Sage on the Stage with An Eye on What You Buy’! Past 4 decades of Bharat’s life have been no less eventful than that of anyone else in similar circumstances. However, the way he lived from one challenge to another and stayed focused on his goal is clearly visible as much in his Coaching as in his #1 Best Seller Book: “you Are YOU-nique: Realize Your True Worth”! His next book project tackles ‘Internet of things’ (IoT) from the viewpoint of a layman and helps understand this fast-approaching revolution in simple, easy-to-understand language with live examples: “SMART PHONE + I o T = INCOMPARABLE OPPORTUNITIES” Nurturing a number of successful businesses, mentoring a lot more towards astronomical growth and helping them identify and eradicate trouble spots, Bharat has rightfully earned the nickname: ‘Achiever’ Send him Bouquets or Brickbats, Bharat loves it all!

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  1. The only way to achieve excellence is to work on the fundamentals. Whatever activity we do, there are fundamentals that we must constantly learn and train. The fundamentals are those rules, those specific knowledge, those technical elements that characterize our activity. Constantly training the fundamentals leads us to excellence, that is to tend to the best, leads us to the absolute superlative.
    Excellence is an art obtained through training and habit. We do not act well because we have virtue or excellence, but we have rather these two because we have acted correctly. We are what we repeatedly do. Excellence, then, is not an act, but a habit (Aristotle).

    • Thank you, Dear Aldo, for your consistently powerful value addition to my articles on various subjects. This one is no exception. You are absolutely right about the crucial role of fundamentals. But for this focus, we will all be shooting in the dark. Consistent improvement, or for that matter any improvement can only happen when we move in the right direction, keeping the fundamentals in mind all the time.

      I am sure you have taken note of how I explain the process of excellence as an endless journey. Why, because there is always someone gunning for your position. The moment you show any signs of slackness, your dream of excellence goes down the drain.

      Thank You, with Warm Regards

    • Appreciate you have taken the time to read my post and sharing your significant insights.
      Regards, Aldo