Monday, 28 December 2015

Pursuit of Excellence

Excelling, Enriching & Consummating life
“God touched His excellence, when he created human beings.”
This is a favorite statement of Swami Vivekananda.

This statement when introspected is pregnant with so many meanings which helps one to understand the various dimensions, attributes of the word EXCELLENCE.

Firstly the product of excellence is so incomparable and nonduplicable. In such a compact frame; it is a source of constant wonderment to all of us, as to how God has built in so many features, faculties, competence, etc.

Secondly, for God too, excellence is an on-going never ending pursuit requiring committed, concentrated & consistent efforts.

On the above subject Swami Vivekananda has shared another potent statement namely:
“God created human beings in his own form.”

This means that, in the pursuit to touch excellence God did not keep back anything with himself. He was totally selfless and giving during his pursuit of creating human being. The outcome we all know has been unparalleled. In spite of all the advances that we have made in science & technology, we have not been able to create anything comparable to human beings.

The definition of excellence which has appealed to me the best was the one given by the management guru, Philip Kotler. He defines excellence as:
“DOING THE RIGHT THINGS BETTER & BETTER ”.

Incidentally there is a close co-relation between efficiency, effectiveness and excellence.

Efficiency is defined as “Doing Things Right ”.
Effectiveness is defined as “Doing the Right Things ”.

As can be deciphered, excellence encompasses both efficiency & effectiveness i.e. doing the right things (effectiveness) better & better (efficiency).

I realized that search of excellence albeit effectiveness is one of the guiding principles of all extraordinary persons.

Peter Drucker in one of his most acclaimed management books “The Effective Executive” very emphatically states that, Effectiveness albeit excellence is a learnt, cultivated or a self developed quality one is born with or inherited.

He enumerates five practices or habits of mind which when acquired and mastered by a person, would help him become effective.

These five practices or mental habits are:

  1. Know thy time – Time Management Skill
  2. Focus on outward contribution – being result oriented and responsible for pre-decided goals.
  3. Making strengths productive
  4. First thing first – Prioritizing
  5. Learning to make effective decisions – that is right steps in right sequences.


I found the above five points very relevant as these habits and the practices become the foundational framework on which one can build the platform for excellence.

I have personally learnt, experienced and realized that apart from the above habits & practices what helps one touch excellence is the total involvement in that activity, being joyous in the very act
of performing that work, being totally in the present moment, being oblivious and unbothered of the results or fruit of the action, wanting to extract every ounce of the potential within you while performing any work. Also one has to be totally selfless and wanting the world getting the benefits of your actions for the better.

I experience this state of mind when I conduct the annual summer basketball camp for the children every year in Bombay. Around 200 to 250 children in the age group of 8 to 18 years attend this basket ball camps at Goregaon Sports Club, Mumbai. I have been conducting these camps for the last 12 years and truly relish, enjoy and derive true joy and happiness while conducting these camps.

In retrospective analysis, I get present to the fact, that I touch excellence while conducting these camps. I realized the reasons for my touching excellence in this activity, which are as follows:

  1. My total love and involvement in the Activity.
  2. My passion and inborn talent in the coaching & training.
  3. My total selfless disposition while doing this activity. The remuneration that I get from these camps is donated to charity.
  4. My total self discipline and total integrity while discharging my responsibilities. When I ask children to run five rounds of the ground I personally run 6 to 7 rounds. I literally walk the talk in every aspect of the endeavor & discipline. Be it in time discipline, hard work, self exertion, commitment, etc. The outcome of the camp is the visible transformation of the children in the area of physical fitness and positive mental attitude.

As I am the stand for the possibility of fitness, health & joy, I experienced that the children were getting touched, moved and inspired by the above possibilities. They in turn effortlessly learnt skills of the game plus realized the potential to do any physical activity. I see them becoming physically fit, mentally tough and emotionally matured during the camp.

I believe that when a person touches excellence he gives expression to his inner divinity. This is the reason why there is pure joy, contentment, peace and happiness.

I for one believe that this is the only true success which makes human beings existence meaningful and worthwhile.

The important and positive external outcome of touching excellence is also very evident and tangible.

The summer sports camp at Goregaon Sports camp is identified with basket coaching camp. Among all outdoor games including cricket it is the basket ball camp which attracts maximum children.
There are families who have been sending children every year for the last 4 years.

I also realized that during the summer camp period my efficiency and effectiveness in my other areas of life - be it work front, social front, family front also improves for the better. This makes you present to one more fact of life with regard to excellence. When you touch excellence in one sphere of activity it has its positive repercussions in other aspects of life as well. How you do anything
is how you do everything.

Having experienced true joy and happiness from these sports camps, now I have decided to pursue the same as my profession as well. I realize in our country health and fitness is of a low standard and is given the lowest priority and importance I want to start a business enterprise which can bring back health, fitness and joy in to people’s life.

 In pursuance of this vision, we have started a sports management company which will endeavor to get sports back into people’s life. We are developing appropriate modules of one day, weekend
programs, with the above mission in mind. We have already approached some top corporate companies & received very positive feedback.

I believe that if a person focuses his effort in the area of his true calling, the chances of achieving excellence is definitely better. Also on introspection I released that in the current business which
involves manufacturing & marketing leather promotional items, my endeavor is not just to make legitimate profits without getting joy and happiness in the work. That would leave me hollow and
unsatisfied. I realize this fact that what motivates me to make my passion also motivates me in my business. We proposed to convert our existing company to manufacture designer sports bag & kits in sync with our sports management venture.

I feel the above changes will enable me to accelerate my pursuit of excellence.

I also clearly realize in other areas of life where I am not excelling; many of my actions, practices and habits are not commensurate with those required for touching excellence.

One of the fundamental thoughts which has impacted me maximum is about mediocrity . It is my belief that being contented in living a mediocre life is the biggest disrespect and insult to God.

Being in mediocrity which I feel is opposite to being in excellence.

Mediocre life implies living a mundane, joyless, boring existence.

Unfortunately majority of human beings today have these mediocre existence as they have forgotten that we have been basically created to touch excellence in every pursuit and activity. We have been blessed with so much latent potential, that we have the capability to touch excellence in each of our activities, thereby experiencing joy and pure happiness.

In Bhagavad Geeta, Lord Krishna says:
“Karmanyevadhikaraste,
ma phalesu kadachana |
ma Karmaphalaheturbhurma
te sango’stvakarmani” ||

This clearly shows us the path to touch excellence constantly.

When you totally immerse yourself in the work you are doing; without thinking of the fruits thereof, it automatically guaranties the quality of the output of your work. Also your total dedication and commitment increases the chances of your touching the excellence constantly.

Today in modern management there is a lot of focus and emphasis on total quality management & total quality person. I feel the above teaching of Lord Krishna is a sure shot way of achieving both.

Every extraordinary performer lives his life making the following two declarations:
“ My today should be yesterday plus.”
“ My best is yet to come.”

Our passionate commitment and constant endeavor to cultivate the appropriate habits of body and mind in the search of excellence is a sure shot way to enrich and consummate our human birth & life.



The above article comes from my book 'Unleash your Potential' which reveals the principles to Optimize your & your team's performance, productivity & profitability...


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- About Arunaagiri Mudaaliar



Arunaagiri is an Author of best selling books like 'Unleash your Potential' & 'Jogging for Life Success', an International Sportsman, a Successful Entrepreneur, a widely loved Yoga Teacher and a reputed International Corporate Trainer.


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