ifindkarma. elegance is refusal.

June 12, 2011

Be excellent.

I want to be truly great.

I want to do something great.

So the question is, how do we become excellent?


You don’t become great by trying to be great. You become great by wanting to do something, and then doing it so hard that you become great in the process. ~ xkcd 896


Interconnectedness takes me from that illustration, to a place that makes me want to watch a Tony Robbins video.

Tony says being great depends on tiny differences that put a person in a state of certainty, confidence, and flow.


To be excellent, we train ourselves emotionally. Get rituals.

Incantations, not affirmations, embody what we want.

Incantations help us navigate MUSTs vs SHOULDs.


As we move from within our own minds out to interactions with others, influence is essential.

Because when two people are having a conversation, the one who is more certain is going to influence the one who is less certain. Always.


This is why I’ve been thinking a lot about conversations lately.

And conversations are the foundation of 106 Miles.



106 Miles recently had a conversation of greatness, which inspired me to find 11 great quotes…

11) “Greatness doesn’t take two months, or even a year. It takes years of focused practice to achieve even an ounce of it.” ~ Trizle

10) “Only one who devotes himself to a cause with his whole strength and soul can be a true master. For this reason mastery demands all of a person.” ~ Albert Einstein

9) “On the road to great achievement, the late bloomer will resemble a failure.” ~ Malcolm Gladwell

8) “Success is moving from one failure to another with no loss of enthusiasm.” ~ Winston Churchill

7) “Excellence is an art won by training and habituation. We do not act rightly because we have virtue or excellence, but we rather have those because we have acted rightly. We are what we repeatedly do. Excellence, then, is not an act but a habit.” ~ Will Durant, not Aristotle

6) “Excellence is not a skill; it is an attitude.” ~ Ralph Marston

5) “You do not possess a natural gift for a certain job, because targeted natural gifts don’t exist. (Sorry, Warren Buffett.) You are not a born CEO or investor or chess grandmaster. You will achieve greatness only through an enormous amount of hard work over many years. And not just any hard work, but work of a particular type that’s demanding and painful.” ~ Geoffrey Colvin

4) “Perfection is achieved, not when there is nothing more to add, but when there is nothing left to take away.” ~ Antoine de Saint-Exupéry

3) “Put your heart, mind, intellect and soul even to your smallest acts. This is the secret of success.” ~ Swami Sivananda

2) “It’s not what you take but what you leave behind that defines greatness.” ~ Edward Gardner

1) “It’s not where you take things from; it’s where you take them to.” ~ Jim Jarmusch

Now, I am incanting to take excellence to me.




I want PandaWhale to be excellent.

I want 106 Miles to be excellent.

I want my favorite pizza place to be excellent, too. (This will take time. Right now, people hate us on Yelp.)


And in my state of incantation, I include greatness.

As if I’m climbing the Ron Swanson pyramid of greatness.


Be excellent to each other, and party on, dudes.

Don’t just be excellent. Be excellent to each other.

Be excellent. Go beyond a limit.

This takes my mind to an epic night. A really epic night.


After a party like that, it’s difficult to focus.

I want to hear Lady Gaga’s “The Edge of Glory“!!!

Sing it, Gaga!!!

I’m on the edge… of glory…
And I’m hanging on a moment of truth… 

And I’m dancing like no one’s watching!!!

Did YouTube invent Lady Gaga or vice versa?

No worries. Hakuna matata!! Or is that…

Hasa diga eebowai!!


Where was I?

Oh, right, dividing my attention.

Unlike attention, happiness is something that multiplies when it is divided. (Thank you, @aaker @padmasree @paulocoehlo!)


Now, where does motivation come from again?

Tony Robbins says understanding motivation is the key to happiness.


Daniel Pink says we are happiest and most motivated in our work when we have the opportunity for mastery.

Now, I’ve been told it takes 10,000 hours to master something.

That said, being good at something makes us like it more.

And there is much power in perseverance aka “grit”.

Thinking about all of this puts my mind into a state of flow.



Which brings us back to where we started: xkcd 896.

Repeat after me: Do something so hard that you become great in the process.



  1. Wake up full of awesome!!http://blog.pigtailpals.com/2011/08/waking-up-full-of-awesome/

    Comment by Anonymous — September 11, 2011 @ 5:31 am

  2. Beware decision fatigue.http://www.nytimes.com/2011/08/21/magazine/do-you-suffer-from-decision-fatigue.html?pagewanted=all

    Comment by Anonymous — September 11, 2011 @ 5:32 am

  3. Be who you are, as hard as you can.http://ifindkarma.posterous.com/be-who-you-are-as-hard-as-you-can

    Comment by Anonymous — September 13, 2011 @ 5:31 pm

  4. Moderate overconfidence is best for excellence.http://106miles.net/convo/285/moderate-overconfidence-is-best-for-founders

    Comment by Anonymous — October 20, 2011 @ 11:55 pm

  5. Incredibly inspiring story about a guy with cerebral palsy who climbed El Capitan. I loved what he said about why he loved the outdoors: because then you find your REAL limitations, not those put on you by others.http://sportsillustrated.cnn.com/greatness/If you don’t have goals, you don’t have fulfillment.http://106miles.net/convo/369/if-you-dont-have-goals-you-dont-have-fulfillment

    Comment by Anonymous — December 6, 2011 @ 1:17 am

  6. Have the courage to follow your heart and your intuition.http://ifindkarma.tumblr.com/post/13808604199/have-the-courage-to-follow-your-heart-and

    Comment by Anonymous — December 6, 2011 @ 2:38 am

  7. If you want happiness for a lifetime, help someone else.http://ifindkarma.tumblr.com/post/15044617147/if-you-want-happiness-for-a-lifetime-help-someone

    Comment by Anonymous — December 30, 2011 @ 9:36 pm

  8. Create a masterpiece.http://ifindkarma.tumblr.com/post/15551917384/creative-process

    Comment by Anonymous — January 9, 2012 @ 8:20 pm

  9. Ron Swanson’s stash says: Be excellent. Achieve greatness.http://stashing.tumblr.com/post/18450688429/ron-swansons-stash-says-be-excellent

    Comment by Anonymous — February 28, 2012 @ 8:47 pm

  10. The 12 Laws of Karma:http://pandawhale.com/convo/539/the-12-laws-of-karma

    Comment by Anonymous — March 10, 2012 @ 5:23 am

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