In 1644, a child was born. He lived to be 93 at a time
in history when the average life span was but 35 to 40.
He taught himself his trade and began his career. He
often worked alone with primitive tools, but his focus
every day was to put the best he had into his work. The
man made violins. He labored over each and every
process and step to ensure that he had "autographed"
them with excellence and the best that was in him. He
created his own personal standard of excellence for his
craft, and he actually signed his name on each instrument
that passed the test.
Today, some three hundred years later, the name of
this craftsman who was committed to excellence is the
benchmark for the best in musical instruments. His
name? Antonio Stradivari! His Stradivarius violins sell
for hundreds of thousands of dollars because they are
When Stradivari labored, he did not know of the
legacy he was creating. He was doing his best, day in
and day out, to reach his standard of excellence. He
didn't spend the extra time and care to get the accolades
of upper management or to be the top producer in
the company. He did it because excellence was part of
his focus, mission, and obsession.
It is easy to do world-class work when a boss is looking
or a supervisor is around. But the test is in what you
do when no one is looking. High achievers have developed
the ability to stay focused when no one else is
around. Does your quality or performance fluctuate
based on who is in the office or which customer you are
serving? Excellence is not something that you can just
turn on and off whenever you feel you need it. It is a
habit rooted in your attitude about your life and career.
Are you just going through the motions day to day,
or are you creating a masterpiece? Autographs are
valuable because they are rare and are tied to excellent
performance. In today's world, superior effort and
service are becoming endangered species. Is the autograph
you place on your work and service each day a
Stradivarius or a Michael Jordan? Or is it unknown,
with little value? Autograph your career and your life
Having a firm commitment to excellence, like
Stradivari, has an amazing effect on your achievement
motivation. When people who are simply going
through the motions or who are just working for a paycheck
hit a challenge or obstacle, they often run to
their boss and get him or her to do it, or they procrastinate
by getting a cup of coffee or shuffling the papers
on their desk. On the other hand, when individuals
who are committed to excellence hit a similar challenge,
they immediately bounce back with energy, and
they are actually exhilarated by the chance to stretch
themselves to overcome the problem. A commitment
to excellence will create focus, and focus will assist
you in maintaining your positive motivation and in
creating a balanced life.
So, start today and autograph your work with
Learn more about Denis Waitley and his many timeless books and audio programs.