A story goes like this. There was a man who made a living by selling balloons at a fair. He had all colors of balloons and when the business was dull he would attract the crowd by releasing a few helium filled balloons into the air. Once a small kid asked him, "whether a black balloon will also rise up in the air?" Moved by the boy's concern the man explained to him that "It is not the color of the balloon but what is inside that makes it go up". The same thing applies to our lives too. It is what is inside us that count. The thing that is inside us and helps us to move up in life is our "Attitude". The greatest gift that we possess is that "we can alter our lives considerably by altering our attitude". Striving for Excellence is a wonderful attitude which can help in bettering ourselves in every genres of our existence.

Mediocrity is a very strange phenomenon. People often tend to get hooked to it. They start perceiving the world as a perfect place with everything going just fine. There is neither hunger for knowledge nor the urge to improve themselves in every facet of their lives. Such people lead a diminutive life, like the "Bonsai Tree", never blossoming to their full potential or abilities. The human mind is an intriguing entity. It can be moulded and shaped the way we want to. If we want to create new vistas for our personnel growth, we need to start thinking in that direction. The more we stretch our mind the more it expands, like a Rubber Band. The quest for excellence starts with this simple fact of keeping our mind vibrant and curious. Steve Jobs, in his famous Stanford commencement speech, sums it up quite nicely with this dictum "Stay Hungry. Stay Foolish". Stay Hungry - Keep looking for improvement. Stay Foolish - Keep Learning.

Excellence comes when we take pride in giving our best. Every job is a self portrait of the person who did it, regardless of the nature of the job. We would not have had a Taj Mahal or a Mona Lisa if Ustad Isa (Architect of Taj Mahal) or Leonardo Da Vinci (who painted Mona Lisa) would have settled for mediocrity. We always need to give out our best and do it right the first time, and every time from then onwards. Most people forget how fast you did a job, but they will always remember how well it was done. The best insurance for tomorrow is a job well done today. The persistent urge to better ourselves in every facet of our lives should be the underlying tenet of our life's mission / vision statement. Only then we can tread confidently on the path to "Excellence".

Let us aim for a masterpiece daily and autograph our work with excellence.

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