A Fraction of Excellence

Monday July 25, 2022

[To watch a video of this post, please click here: https://youtu.be/6Mn5zYECSak]

Strong, noble character is a great aid to good mental health… I believe! In this blog, I’d like to weave three strands together to really encourage all of us to keep on keeping on.

The first strand is knowing that ‘enough’ is not 100% - far from it in some situations. One of my favourite studies on extraordinary leadership found that employees would rate their leaders as ‘extraordinary’ if they were strong in three of sixteen characteristics. That’s right – only three out of sixteen were enough to have a major impact on the high opinion the staff had of their leader. Three sixteenths was the fraction of excellence!

The second strand is one of my favourite lists of virtues that I would like to develop and be known for: love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faith, gentleness, and self-control. I believe strength in any of these nine would be a great aid to robust mental health. For example, imagine the impact of improving your patience. What would that do for your resilience?

3/16th of 9 is 1.6875! By this I mean, if the three sixteenths principle works with character traits you’d only have to be outstandingly brilliant in two of the nine to be perceived as having excellent character! Would you pick two of the nine for me now? I’ll take ‘love’ and ‘joy’ as an example.

Imagine people saying of you, “Every time I meet with them, I leave feeling so loved and appreciated!” And, “They radiate joy!” Or, “They radiate joy in everything they do!” Or, “They are a joy to deal with!”

My third strand brings me back to one of my favourite joyous people – a lady who radiates ‘faith’ too – faith in my ability and potential. Yes, it’s my piano teacher. I fumble through a piece and my inner dialogue makes certain I know how badly I played it! Not so my piano teacher. No, she picks up on even the tiniest point of improvement or excellence and praises my progress – she amplifies excellence. All this, with a joyous beaming smile on her face. I’d be surprised if she ever loses a student – she makes people feel great and hopeful and motivated. However, that’s not the strand. The strand is ‘hands separately’. As the exercises and pieces become more sophisticated, she asserts the hands must be learned separately first to build muscle-memory. This gives me ‘permission’ to take it slowly.

Weaving the strands together, I believe to have a very encouraging week you and I would only need to pick two of the nine noble characteristics, and even then, work on them only one at a time – and slowly! That fraction of excellence would be more than enough to deliver the feel-good factor this week for you and those on the receiving end!

It’s ‘Joy’ and ‘Patience’ for me this week. Which will you choose?

A Moodscope member.

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