Motivational Monday #40 Excellence
“Excellence is in the details.
Give attention to the details and excellence will come.”
My eldest son recently celebrated his fourteenth birthday. This year in discussions prior to his birthday it became clear that there was a single gift that he wanted more than anything else.
Now the challenge was that it was over the budget, slightly, and that meant that should I over reach the budget and get him this gift he wouldn’t get anything else.
As we take our family budgets serious my wife and I talked about this and finally we decided to extend things and get the single gift. There really wasn’t anything that he wanted as much and it seemed very likely that he would really like it.
What worried us was that within the family no one has ever had only one gift. Everyone has always had the traditional collection of items. So our concern was that it would seem a bit minimal.
Giving it some thought we decided to wrap the gift (a war gaming set from Games Workshop in case you were wondering) in entirely inappropriate, and contradictory, Hello Kitty birthday paper. (Hello Kitty being suitable for 6 year old girls and not 14 year old boys in case you didn’t know.)
There was a private joke within the family about Hello Kitty and we knew my son would be suitable shocked and slightly embarrassed (in a good way) by the wrapping paper!
On the morning he opened his gift I presented it to him wrapped inside a black cover which I pulled off at the last minute to dramatically reveal the Hello Kitty paper … it’s fair to say he was suitable shocked!
After that he opened it and at that point we pretty much lost contact with him as he dove into the depths of the gift and minutely looked over every piece of gaming kit for quite some time.
He told me later that his birthday celebrations had been “excellent” and that the gift giving was something he would remember for a long time. He was more than content with the one gift..
So one gift worked just fine but I don’t think it was just the gift that made things excellent. It was my wife’s idea to use the wrapping paper and mine to dramatically reveal the paper. It was the birthday breakfast my wife had cooked and the home-made cake she had baked. It was the family games we all played and the film we all watched to round off the day. And each of those items had been chosen with specific care.
In other words it was the details that made it special.
Even down to the gift that my son got – it was the detail of the figures and the quality of the gaming set that he talked about for days afterwards. Time and effort had gone into creating a good product and because he spent his time looking at the details of it he gained an enormous amount of pleasure from it.
And that’s the point I really want to share today – paying attention to the details in life is a very powerful way to create a better life for ourselves and for those around us.
We have a habit of saving such attention to detail to key points in our life – interviews, birthdays, weddings, client meetings etc. But how powerful would it be to live like that normally?
Yes it takes a little more time and effort but when you start to look at the details of what you are going to do for someone else it has been my experience that it frequently becomes quite simple to increase the impact of what you are doing.
It’s often not about doing something extra or something new but rather doing what you would have done anyway just in a slightly different way.
Think of the difference this could make to the people you work with and to the experience your customers and clients have from you. All by making one change – focusing on more of the details.
And why limit your new focus on detail to other people?
Think about yourself and your life. What are you planning to do today for yourself that you could do with more attention to detail and thus get more out of it?
For example I’m guessing everyone reading this is going to have lunch or dinner at some point later on … what detail could you change to make it a more pleasurable experience for yourself?
Perry Paxton was right – give attention to the details and excellence will come.
Until next time, be successful!
Hello Kitty is a trademark of www.sanrio.com
Warhammer 40k is a trademark of www.games-workshop.com
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