At the end of the funeral people were mingling and reflecting on a life well lived. Off in the shade of a tree, the groundskeeper waited patiently. I had a question for him: Did he know the location of a gravesite for a childhood friend now gone 35 years?
“Sure,” he answered, then pointed. “You’ll find him in section C, down a steep slope, under a tree, and directly across the lane from Smith’s big stone.”
I looked at the endless sea of markers, then at this man I’d underestimated. “Have you been doing this a while?” I asked.
“17 years,” he said.
“Have you memorized the names on all the stones?”
“Not all of them, but close,” he said with a smile. “People say I’m crazy for working here. But I love it. I’m perfect for this.”
The pursuit of excellence (and its sister, personal fulfillment) is full of risks: You have to expose yourself to those who will think you’re crazy. The judgments of others, real or imagined, will ring loudly: “you shouldn’t,” “you can’t,” and “I’d never do things the way you are” are constant judgments flung at those willing to explore their own brilliance.
Don’t believe the nonsense.
When we quit thinking and acting as we believe others would want us to, we discover what we’re meant to do. Then excellence happens.
What are you perfect for today?