What does excellence means?
I checked some source in the internet, and the first result that I got was, "The state, quality, or condition of excelling; superiority" When I check the meaning of excellent, I got as the first result "Of the highest or finest quality; exceptionally good of its kind". So if somebody is an excellent guy, it would mean that he's of the highest or finest quality, and he's exceptionally good of its kind.
But that's not the kind of people I'm going to talk about (I just like wasting your time :)). What I want to talk about, is about people who has the "excellence" property in his or her personality. This kind of people, differs with the excellent people. They are not of the highest or finest quality, and they're not exceptionally good. What they possess however, is the attitude that they're going to give their best for everything. They are the pursuers of excellence, they live their lives with excellence. It's not about who or what they are. It's about their way of life, always refusing to accept or settle for the mediocre.
I really like the book "Run with the Horses" from Eugene H. Peterson. When I first read the title, I was like, what does excellence have to do anything with a horse? But Eugene H. Peterson has this very interesting concept which intrigues me very much at the beginning. Imagine someone asked you, "How fast can a horse run?". You might answer "quite fast". Then maybe another question, "How fast can you run?". Well, maybe also fast, but it sure will be slower than a horse. Then, the final question, "If you need to race against a horse, will you still do it?"
Our reaction to the above question, define parts of who we are. Some people will fool himself by saying he could do it. Some people will think it's useless and not do it. Some people will think it's a waste of time, etc. There will be many kinds of people, and usually the majority will be negative. However, the people with the excellence property in his personality, will usually struggle and think really hard how to do it, and try to make it possible. They usually understand that they have to do it, and they will usually really try to make it possible. This kind of people, who always give their best in every needed situation, no matter what it is, is the people who have the excellence property.
I'm also not talking about perfectionist people too. There're a huge difference between perfectionist and people with excellence property. There are a few differences, but I will just point the major one. The perfectionist people is usually obsessed with perfection because they want to satisfy their own emotion. It makes them feel good when they do it, it's usually their desire to quench their emotion. The people with the excellence property usually doesn't do it for their own emotion. In fact, their emotion is not their master. Usually, it will be for the benefit of other people. In most cases, it won't affect them if they are not giving their best, but they still give their best anyway. It's like a way of life. If there's something driving them, most of the case, it will be something greater or not their own selves.
This kind of people is usually not many. Whenever I met one in my life, I'm really happy about it because this kind of people is really dependable, and they can really be trusted with all kinds of stuff, and you can have a peace of mind when they're handling something. Unfortunately, the people most of us met along the way will be more like:
NO, we can't do it.
NO, it's impossible.
NO, it's too hard.
NO, it's too complicated.
NO, we don't have the know-how.
NO, we will never manage to learn it.
It's always hard to work with people like that. It's not yet even started, but many are so negative about it, and nobody wants to give their best to try it. So many people also give up on the first sight of problem.
People with the excellence property doesn't have to be very intellectual or powerful man either. Again, people with the excellence property is not the excellent people. They don't have to be superior in terms of ability. It's how they act. Usually if they keep true to their selves long enough, of course the ability will come along as they learn, but they don't have to be born excellent. It's their way of life, how they are living life to the fullest, how they're trying to do their best every time is what make this kind of people really valuable.
I would suggest you to catch one alive if you see one :)