Perfection is the goal, excellence is the path. Winning coaches have a saying, “Practice like you plan to play.” They know that repetition of any action results in a repeat pattern of performance of that action. Practice your sport, your music, your art, your craft, or your sales skills half-heartedly or sloppily, and when the time comes to perform for real, that’s how you’ll play–half-heartedly and sloppily.
When you approach a prospect half-heartedly, or when you’re tired, or not on your “A” game, you re-enforce mediocrity and erode excellence. You’re better off to spend a low energy day doing paperwork or rest or pursue something else rather than spend a day being poor to mediocre. It’s too easy to justify one bad day, only to see bad days become habits. Practice excellence in all that you do so excellence becomes a habit, not a surprise.
We are what we repeatedly do. Excellence, then, is not an act, but a habit.