I spotted this bumper sticker on a parked car as Steven and I strolled along a sidewalk in Maine last summer. I actually stopped and took a picture of it. Why? It’s a good reminder. It’s direct. It’s simple. It’s honest. And yes, it’s easy. Easier than you think.
The word excellent scares people off. They think it’s “over the top” and “highly ambitious” when really the definition is just “very good of its kind: eminently good”. Not so scary or unattainable in that light.
Being excellent is being mindful of the mundane, routine, everyday life most of us live and purposefully taking it up a notch. It’s making life more enjoyable with an action for another, your tone of voice, a thoughtful task done. A please and thank you. It’s giving consideration to someone else’s point of view or situation – sometimes making a concession. It’s in following through on your word and keeping a promise.
So while it’s not anything over the top or highly ambitious, it is being eminently good, and being so consistently. It’s within everyone’s reach. It costs nothing – it’s only the giving of yourself.
You can be excellent in any relationship whether it’s with a partner, a child, a parent, a coworker, a sibling or a friend. We’re naturally excellent in the first blush of our relationships. It’s easy when things are fresh and new. Personalities haven’t clashed, differences in thoughts and beliefs haven’t surfaced, and often the challenges of life that tend to wear you down haven’t happened yet. But then they do. Months and years pass and it’s easy to hold a grudge, fall into a rut or begin to take for granted this other person who truly does mean so much to you. You lose what being excellent to each other brings your relationship.
Spotting that bumper sticker stopped me in my tracks. You can’t be on a 30 year journey with someone and not stumble a time or two, which Steven and I have done. But our past practices of embracing the little daily things we do for each other, the respect we feel for and show each other, the humor and the love, and the mindset of being a team, are what’s always brought us back on course and to the incredible place we are now. A lifelong set of practices wrapped up in 5 little words on a bumper sticker. Be Excellent to Each Other.
Take a moment and think of the ones in your life who are important to you. The ones you love. Go be excellent with them. Be excellent to each other. Do it now. Do it today. And every day that follows.