What does it mean to be exceptional?
Is it having more Twitter followers? No. Is it having the most “likes” on Facebook? No.
“Exceptional” should not be undermined in being compared with “recognized”.
“Exceptional’s” impression is lasting.
It does not need validation. Exceptional doesn’t know limits, it simply is.
Being exceptional for some comes naturally, but for most, it is a skill to be developed, not unlike carpentry or sculpting.
It doesn’t just happen, “Exceptional” takes work. It takes practice and dedication and absolute refusal to be ordinary.
“If you expect greatness, then you’ll achieve greatness.”
Exceptional people have incredible expectations of themselves.
It took Abraham Lincoln 44 years to become one of the most exceptional Presidents in American history. He was evicted, lost his mother at an early age, rejected from law school, had two failed businesses and mountains of debt, watched his wife die, suffered a nervous breakdown, lost a total of seven elections and faced 44 years of defeat before he ever saw success.
Albert Einstein was a high school dropout at 16. His teachers believed he was mentally challenged, called him lazy and told him he would amount to nothing.
Michael Jordan was cut from his high school basketball team.
The story of every exceptional person in history is riddled with obstacles, detractors, and incredible pressure.
In every instance, there was a conscious commitment made to be the exception.
Exceptional expects greatness and works tirelessly conditioning itself to be the very best.
It does not make excuses. It does not accept defeat.
Exceptional is dedication to a passion and a promise to be the best.
Every skill, every industry, and every practice has it’s way to define “the basics” Painting is basically putting paint onto a surface. Acting is performing on stage or camera. Modeling is showing off clothing or other items.
But when someone dedicates themselves to being exceptional, they commit their lives to ascending so far beyond the basics, even those with similar talents can not comprehend their dedication.
The Sistine chapel is a good example.
To create this work of art, Michaelangelo used a painting technique called Fresco, which is basically painting on wet plaster.
It requires a ton of prep time, specific materials, an in-depth knowledge of the process, and a very confident brush stroke. Once the wall was prepped and wet plaster applied, the artist had a matter of hours to apply the paint before it dried. If mistakes were made or segments dried, they would have to be chipped off with a chisel and started completely over.
Take into consideration that Michelangelo was also 70 feet off the ground on scaffolding working by candlelight with his neck craned back for 4 years- paint and plaster dripping onto his face and into his eyes, and you can still only begin to comprehend his dedication to being exceptional.
Get the picture?
How are you exceptional?
How are you pushing your own understanding and reinforcing your dedication to what you do?
How do you plan to ascend?