December 30
I've always tried to go a
step past wherever people
expected me to end up.

Beverly Sills


Today's Meditation:

I think that the end of the year is a good time to think of things like this--after all, aren't we pondering how we're going to approach the next year in our lives?  We have a blank slate ahead of us, and we can fill that slate any way we choose--and it simply doesn't matter what we've done in the past, how we've approached things.  We have many things ahead of us, many decisions to make and tasks to undertake, and if we simply try to meet others' expectations, then how will we ever excel?

Personally, I've been unpleasantly surprised very often at the low expectations that some people have of others.  I've seen college papers of mediocre quality being given "A's."  I've seen people in the Army being give commendations for simply doing their job, but not going any further than the minimum.  I've seen people promoted simply because no major problems occurred in their current job, even though they've never really done anything to set themselves apart from anyone else.

I have the power to decide that I don't want to make my decisions on what I want to do or how I want to do it based on the expectations of others.  I always try to go beyond expectations, and thus I give myself a fighting chance to do something truly worthwhile.  I may not accomplish something excellent--I may fail--but at least I'll have a chance to succeed.

"A step beyond."  It's a wonderful phrase.  I may make it my motto, and write it on a piece of paper and post it in a place where I'll see it regularly.  These words can be very, very important to me if I allow them to be.

Questions to consider:

When do you generally go a step or two beyond the expectations that other people have of you or your work?

Why do so few people seem to want to do as Beverly has done?

What's the difference to you between mediocre and excellent?  When have you most often reached the latter?

For further thought:

Do a little bit more than average and from that
point on our progress multiplies itself out of
all proportion to the effort put in.

Paul J. Meyer


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