Friday, 18 March 2011

In the Quest for Excellence


the Karijo twins and big siz Eddah Karijo


I am reading for exams ... I should put reading in quotes because I am posting to my blog, my Business Finance notes are lying open before me and my mathematical calculator is switched off and to be honest I am tired - funny enough I am tired of trying to read ... not tired of actual reading. But my reality is pretty stark in the recess of my mind - I ended my job contract ...even though I could have had an extension just to get time read and to pass my exams (read a month of brokeness beckons), my company is dormant for the second year running (wow time flies) I have carried last years resolutions over to this year and added one more which is "To get things done".

Coming from a family of high achievers my kid sisters the Karijo Twins Edna and Eva ...my big sis Eddah Karijo in her own right is an achiever she is one of the 40 people in Kenya trained as M&E specialists she holds a Masters degree MPH (monitoring and evaluation) which and is still pursuing another Masters degree MPH (leadership) and my brother Benji is a renowned editing professional in the movie business ... and of course this does not look too good for yours truly.

But anyway family pressure and societal pressure all consist external pressures...and I have a personal policy never to factor them into my decision making or goal setting.

My internal pressure though is what counts and there is so much of it right now. I want to get everything done and I feel "delayed".

Anyway this is why when I found the link to an article on how to be excellent on Mrembo I was most interested.

Just to give you the most intriguing point I found on the article was that to be excellent at anything we do not need to be born with the talent although endowment is important. You just need to push yourself ... for 10,000 hours ... so anyway my motivation to you and me is just to keep at it.

The link led me to Harvard Business review blogs to an article by Tony Schwartz. I advise you read the whole article here is the link

http://blogs.hbr.org/schwartz/2010/08/six-keys-to-being-excellent-at.html

and here is an excerpt


Six Keys to Being Excellent at Anything
Here, then, are the six keys to achieving excellence we've found are most effective for our clients:
  1. Pursue what you love. Passion is an incredible motivator. It fuels focus, resilience, and perseverance.
  2. Do the hardest work first. We all move instinctively toward pleasure and away from pain. Most great performers, Ericsson and others have found, delay gratification and take on the difficult work of practice in the mornings, before they do anything else. That's when most of us have the most energy and the fewest distractions.
  3. Practice intensely, without interruption for short periods of no longer than 90 minutes and then take a break. Ninety minutes appears to be the maximum amount of time that we can bring the highest level of focus to any given activity. The evidence is equally strong that great performers practice no more than 4 ½ hours a day.
  4. Seek expert feedback, in intermittent doses. The simpler and more precise the feedback, the more equipped you are to make adjustments. Too much feedback, too continuously can create cognitive overload, increase anxiety, and interfere with learning.
  5. Take regular renewal breaks. Relaxing after intense effort not only provides an opportunity to rejuvenate, but also to metabolize and embed learning. It's also during rest that the right hemisphere becomes more dominant, which can lead to creative breakthroughs.
  6. Ritualize practice. Will and discipline are wildly overrated. As the researcher Roy Baumeister has found, none of us have very much of it. The best way to insure you'll take on difficult tasks is to build rituals — specific, inviolable times at which you do them, so that over time you do them without having to squander energy thinking about them.

Tony Schwartz is president and CEO of The Energy Project. He is the author of the June, 2010 HBR article, "The Productivity Paradox: How Sony Pictures Gets More Out of People by Demanding Less," and coauthor, with Catherine McCarthy, of the 2007 HBR article, "Manage Your Energy, Not Your Time." Tony is also the author of the new book "The Way We're Working Isn't Working: The Four Forgotten Needs that Energize Great Performance" (Free Press, 2010)

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Loving life and living it. “Live with intention. Walk to the edge. Listen hard. Practice wellness. Play with abandon. Laugh. Choose with no regret. Appreciate your friends. Continue to learn. Do what you love. Live as if this is all there is.” (Mary Anne Radmacher)
Give yourself completely in everything for that is love and only when we love can we find God.