This famous quote, first stated by Abraham Lincoln, is almost synonymous with the idea of greatness. Unless you were born in the mid 90’s and are a suburban white male with an unexplainable obsession with Drake, you may think Lincoln was the “greatest man who ever lived”. He did not achieve such immortality by preserving the union, by freeing the slaves or even by slaying vampires, he did so by working arduously to be the best. He would never have stopped before achieving his desired result. Why do anything if you aren’t willing to put in the work and be the absolute best?
As a web developer, I’m currently in a bidding war with another development company over work building a site for the Ashland Surgery Center and yesterday, I submitted several mockup website designs to help push the owners in my favor. When I first submitted them, I thought to myself: I’ve already delivered work and haven’t even gotten the job yet. They’ll look favorably upon that(just as I do when I hire someone) and I’m likely to get the work. I was struck with an epiphany though – I realized today that I would not be getting that job. I’m even confident enough to post the results before hearing the verdict and here’s why: the designs I submitted are perfectly adequate.
Well “perfectly adequate” doesn’t sound that bad, one might say. But first of all, this client probably isn’t looking for something “adequate”, and more importantly, what does submitting mediocre work mean for who I am as a person and for my work in the future? Where do I go from there? Do I continue making adequate websites for your average shops around town? How do I progress? I took a long look at the website belonging to a contact of mine; one who charges between $15,000 and $60,000 per website. I had to ask myself, “Will I ever get there?”.
The only way to overcome mediocrity is to look back at your life and actions constantly, evaluate yourself and always strive for perfection. That contact of mine is one of the best because and only because he strives for perfection every time.
So how does this relate to the outdoors? Getting outside gives you time to reflect back on your decisions, back on your work and back on your life. If you never take that time, how can you see what you’re doing wrong and find the path to perfection? Isn’t self-progression what life’s all about? Taking the time to enjoy your life is the only thing that will give you the foresight necessary to live and get ahead. Otherwise, you’ll be stuck in the same old track doing the same old thing and unable to look to the future or learn from the past.
If you have a moment, please check out this video.
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