You may be good at what you do, you may even be great at it, but are you exceptional? Do you even know how to get there?
Taking each step to elevate yourself in your field of expertise is difficult. The hardest step you can take is from great to exceptional.
There is no magic formula, no pill you can take. There is no great secret to it. All there is dedication, relentless hard work and consistency.
Here are a few ways to build this into your life.
Obsession. Focus and obsession will naturally elevate you towards excellence. To be so dedicated to your craft that you live and breath it every waking moment ahead of everything else. Of course not allowing that obsession to become unhealthy and this is why I have mentioned focus alongside it. The two go together hand in hand.
Passion. If you really want to excel in something it also has to be your passion. Passion will drive that dedication and will excite you. When you try to excel in a work environment it can at times just feel like a job if the passion isn't there. You can't build passion over time so it needs to be there from the start and develop.
Self-belief. You must have the self-belief that you can, that it is fundamental to your life and that you must become excellent. You must be the one to believe in yourself. No one else can do that for you.
Stay hungry, stay foolish. These are the words of Steve Jobs who knew a thing about becoming excellent. Develop an appetite for excellence. Desire it as much as you want to breathe.
Work hard, endure the bad times but never quit. It will not be an easy road to excellence. You will always come across obstacles but you have to keep moving past those. There will be times that you feel you aren't moving forwards but never quit.
Discipline. When you can discipline yourself to stick to the pursuit of excellence it will happen.
Let's make no mistake about this. Going from great to excellent is hard. It's a huge leap to make and that's why very few people actually ever achieve it. It takes more than you thought it would but if you have the desire strong enough you will achieve it.
Take a look at those people you admire that have already achieved what you set out to do. Take a look at their life stories. Not the shiny success stories but the cold hard facts of what they did to get there and ask yourself are you willing to suffer the same as they did? Make the same sacrifices they did? Take the risks that they did?
If at any point the answer is no, then excellence isn't for you.