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Volume 11, Issue 21: Excellence is Mundane

I am finally reading Mark Batterson's "Win The Day" book. It is what I expected it to be - a great read. I am so glad to have it. The other day I was so impressed by a couple of lessons in the third chapter that I made my kids read them out loud during our hangout time at the dinner table. This is one of the benefits my family is accruing from having dinner together every night. It's not just for catching up and laughs but also learning together and taking in God's word.

The lessons I pulled out aren't new to me, but how Mark put them across is the best way I would want to pass them along to the people I am mentoring like my children. I had them read these lessons out loud to drum some of the points I have been reinforcing to them recently. The first lesson is "Excellence is mundane." The second is "Consistently consistent." And the third is "One more lap." Let's start with the first lesson in this post and take it from there.

The first lesson is "Excellence is mundane." Here, Mark used the example of Michael Phelps, the most decorated Olympian of all time, winner of twenty-three gold medals. This was a perfect example as my kids are familiar with Phelps from their years of intense swimming training. Mark brought out the fact that although Phelps body is tailor-made for the pool, we tend to overemphasize genetics while underappreciating work ethics.

When Phelps was a teenager, he agreed to train on Sundays at the request of his coach. His coach said, "Great, we just got 52 more workouts in than your competitors, because most people take Sundays off."

Mark put it rightly so that the gold medal generally goes to the person who puts in the most time and effort. All other things being equal, fifty-two extra workouts is what wins the gold, wins the day. And that's true no matter what you do. The secret is surprisingly simply, says Mark: "Excellence is mundane." This is good because it means the playing field is more level than you might think.

Stressing the point, Mark continues by saying that it's easy to envy the success of others while ignoring the sacrifices that made it possible. "Quit envying their outcomes and start imitating their inputs."

I like what Mark says next. He says, "Excellence seems miraculous but it's actually quite mundane. Excellence is a habit that is repeated consistently and correctly over and over again."

That's it for the first lesson, very simply put but quite on point. I picked this lesson because one of my children is at a place of switching between statements like, "Mathematics is actually easy" and "I am just not good at math." The other one seems to be working hard at both his studies and sports but I can tell that he can do better at both.

This lesson isn't just for my kids. It is for me too and many adults. It's a reminder to me to do better. There are so many things that I can do better. So I want to bask here and let it sink in so that I can make a mental choice to go after excellence once again. We will tackle the second lesson in the next post, consistently consistent. Stay tuned.


For His Glory,

Lillian Chebosi



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