People expect you to be above average.
But very few people want you to excel.
Friends may cheer you on if you’re willing to carry an extra load. Your family may support you through a season of overtime at work. Your team may applaud your extra effort on a special project.
If you’re going to excel, to shine, to rise above, to stand out, to really be among the best in your field, don’t expect everyone to rally behind you.
Why? Because excellence costs.
Your pursuit of excellence will cost you time. It will cost you money. It will cost you the shame of many failures en route to success. Those close to you will share those costs. In today’s distracted culture, excellence requires a high level of focus and tough choices. These choices will naturally disappoint some of the people closest to you. Everyone who has pursued excellence – writers, musicians, pastors, artists, parents, plumbers, athletes, teachers – understands this. It seems counterintuitive, but your commitment to persevere in your calling over many years may actually be threatening to those who don’t share your level of zeal or discipline. They may ask you to dial it back or to be a little more balanced.
If you excel, people may think you are odd. That’s ok. You are.
God created each of us to be excellent at something. Don’t be afraid to discover what that is and go for it.
We need you to lead us to new frontiers. Go ahead. We want you to excel.