S6E8 - Excellence Is Inevitiable With This One Component
Shawn Buttner: hey everyone. Welcome to this week's episode of the Meaningful Revolution podcast. I'm your host and certified high performance coach, Shawn Buttner, and we got a great episode for you today because as we've been working on this podcast, as I've been trying to figure out how to evolve it, how to get it to its next level, it got me thinking about this topic of excellence.
And we're talking in the meaningful revolution, people finding that fulfilling transformation, that purposeful impact in their lives. But how do you really get there and what is this idea of excellence? It's something I've talked a little bit about in different ways on the podcast, to me it's.
Always giving a hundred percent [00:01:00] of yourself in whatever you're doing, but if you really wanna get excellent at something, like that's part of it. But it's also how long can you sustain that energy that, that level of focus, that level of commitment. Because if you were to study and be a blacksmith from the time you were 12 to the day that you died, You're gonna know how to work with metal.
You're gonna know how to forge things at a much higher level the longer you've been at it than someone that at 30 was like, Hey, I want to see what this is all about and see if I can do it. So it's very important to. Put that into the equation because
excellence really, if you think about it, is inevitable, but you just have to stick with it long enough to see it.
And so many people don't. So many people are spread thin doing a whole bunch of things, they give up learning how to play guitar [00:02:00] before they get really good at it, or they expect to be great at running a business, the first business that they tried, but, there's a reason why we have sayings out there in the world that says, practice makes perfect that, show that the game that we're really playing in our lives is about staying power.
It's about commitment. It's about discipline versus perfection, which is, when I hear people say, follow your passion, and I've said it, it's a really nebulous term, but what I mean by it is to. Follow those meaningful pursuits that will help you stick with the pursuit no matter what happens. Good, something good happens, something bad happens, something in between happens.
You are fully committed to being great at this thing. And it's a tenet of personal development. it's a, at the heart of what I do as a coach, but I do fully believe that the longer you stick with things, then that the, the better we get and it's inevitable [00:03:00] and. If you don't have that idea, if you don't realize that all it is how long you can stick with something in your life, that's when you end up bouncing between a thousand different things.
Not really finding your thing, never getting great at enough or at one thing in order to really realize the full enjoyment, the fuel full abundance, the full financial reward or what have you from that, in that endeavor and. I'll tell this story like when I was in high school, when you're younger, you're trying out a bunch of different things.
Anyways, I, freshman and sophomore year was on the football team, right? American football. And, I was a lineman, which is crazy because I think I was like 160 pounds wet. I was going up against 250 pound guys at the other schools or in our district, That I'm pretty sure put steroids in the water area because these were [00:04:00] tall, big, Midwestern kids.
And I remember putting my whole, like when I was at football practice, I would put a hundred percent of my body and mind and my effort into it. And I started on the team and that, that was great. And then something happened like sophomore year. Or just remember thinking like, I don't love this.
I can push myself. I, no pain, no gain, all that kind of stuff. But, I would constantly be like, what am I doing here? I don't have hopes to play in college. I don't have hopes to play in the NFL and I'd rather play music. I'd rather, do something a little that's a little more aligned with my interest and why am I doing this?
And. I realized at that point that part of it was I was trying to impress my dad, I was like, oh, that was, I didn't even realize I was doing it at the time, but that's part of it. part of it I wanted to [00:05:00] see if I could do it. part of it was just kicking the tires and then I realized that I got caught up in that commitment.
But I never did fully love the sport. junior year I remember going up to the coach saying I had to quit. And cause my mom, my brother had played and she's Hey, I'd rather you not play. And I'm like, I don't have a good reason to give to you why I should, So all these different factors played into that, but at the end of the day, like it wasn't.
A hell yeah. and if it's not a hell yes, it's a no. And I just did a video on that and I'll put that below in the show notes. and then you figure out, or at least I did that. Okay, maybe being a football player is not my thing. It's not the thing I'm passionate about. It's not the thing I want to stick with, even though I was.
Good enough to, make the team and, start even though I was underweight, just because you have an opportunity or you've been doing something [00:06:00] doesn't mean that you shouldn't take stock and be like, why am I doing this? And, is your heart really in it?
Because, how long will you stick with something, is the question we're asking ourselves in this episode. And so I wanna put it on you. is there something in your life that you've, aren't giving your all because you don't love it, or you're giving your all, but you just don't feel it and you can't see yourself doing this over the long term.
It could be a relationship, and I want to address that. sometimes, being excellent and sticking with something, it is. Highly dependent on your level of agency and influence in the situation. So if you have a relationship with somebody else and they're a terrible human being, sticking along for the long haul is not going to be good for you.
It's damaging you. It's not a good situation that you need to get out of in that particular case. And [00:07:00] so I'm not saying that this is a foolproof formula, right? That just sticking with it will make things better. Cause that's definitely not. The case, and it's off often infinitely more hard to stick with something you hate doing or with people you hate being around versus something you do love to do or you, the people you do love to be around.
those are a couple of things to keep in your back of your head too, that this is just Hey, just stick with it. It'll all work out because it won't, like sometimes in those abusive situations or situations where you're harming your health, your mental health, Your emotions. it, you really have to do the math and think, okay, long term can I sustain this?
Which is always the question and is this really good for me? So I'll throw that out there too. But, so if you're wondering, okay, like how do I. Stick with the things that I do love those meaningful pursuits. And how do I carry through. I have a couple ideas for you [00:08:00] here today, so make sure you have your notes taken out.
And the first thing to think about is what do you find meaningful, or what are your meaningful pursuits like? What are those things that by doing it, you feel on purpose, you feel excited, you feel like you're really, contributing and adding to the world or. with a high level of service and excellence and keep that in the forefront, right?
Like connecting with the why is what other personal development folks will say could be really impactful. And I'll share this with you, like very recently, I've been digging into how tools like Chat, G P T, can help you perform better, right? I'm a high performance coach. I'm also a former and recovering software engineer, and This idea of how this new tool can help us get better at our jobs, generate higher quality ideas.
How do you really speed up your workflows? [00:09:00] Is all things that I've been thinking about and trying to implement in my world. And it's been extremely fun. Like I have not been excited about a piece of technology and probably since the internet, when I was in high school and. The ability to combine what I'm doing now with my clients and say, no, there's a new way we can't up our productivity together.
And this is what I've been doing has been really fun and like I said, like I could talk about this stuff like technology and. AI and chat b t ad nauseum all the time. I'm just super, super excited about it and so that's something I'm incorporating into my business now, which is why you've seen or a couple podcast episodes about AI.
Currently, if you follow it in my other content on my YouTube channel, I've been doing a series on AI there and I'm also running a live training this, or January 16th on Friday. [00:10:00] Or not January. Geez. we are in June. It'll be June 16th here. So a week from the, this Friday as of recording and the release of this episode.
So if you're interested in that. and I'm just, it's just me talking through a high performance perspective how any professional can use check G P T to accelerate. Their profession. Especially if you're a therapist, if you're a coach, if you're a knowledge worker, content creator. I have a couple of ideas for you that I'd love to share in non-technical terms, cuz I know some of those trainings are geared towards technical folks.
sign up for the free live training one hour, the 16th Linked Below, wherever you're watching this video. but that's what I talked about. Note your why. No. and follow those things that you find excitement and you find joy, you find that you could talk forever about,and connect with that.
That's the first idea. Okay? Second idea is, [00:11:00] If you have your meaningful pursuit figured out and you know why you do it or why you're excited about it, or that you just are excited about something, then thinking about benefit extension. And what do I mean by that? This is, something I learned from my mentor, Brandon Bashard, but it's answering the question for yourself is, who needs me to role model a higher level of excellence in service right now with this pursuit?
If your job is to solve world hunger, you're a nonprofit, you know who is looking up to you in your organization, who's looking up to you and your family, friends, and peer group that you need to serve with a higher level of excellence, if not to lead the way in your field and just show people how to act with integrity, with character, with heart, and that question a lot of times.
Can get you back in the game when things get tough, right? If you're struggling at [00:12:00] that nonprofit, the benefit extension of what happens if I show resilience. If I show creativity and resourcefulness and solving this problem, how will the people around me, be impacted, maybe inspired, or at least those types of questions.
Super powerful. So the question like, who needs me right now to show up with integrity, with character, with leadership, with service and excellence? That's a great question to ask yourself. especially in regard to your meaningful pursuits. third thing I like to call this, know the flow, right? There are ebbs and flows of any project.
There'll be ups, there'll be downs. It's temporary. But knowing when to take a break is important, right? It's, here's a another story. When I was a junior programmer at my first corporate gig at Walmart, I, was assigned a [00:13:00] bug and it took me two weeks to figure this thing out, and I beat. My head on the desk staring at this code for two weeks.
I come in with coffee and just for, 10 hours, look at this thing for two weeks, and it's frustrating, right? But I had this. I needed to figure this out, right? This was, I really loved technology and computers even back then. and I turned it into a career. So I'm like, I'm gonna figure this out.
This is part of my identity. This is going to help me become a better programmer once I figure out why this thing isn't working, why it's breaking. And after two weeks, I found out I had one character that was lowercase when it should have been uppercase. In the dang code. And I was furious. It was such a, this is the thing that's been stopping me for two weeks of my paid job.
And I'm not sure if you've ever had that feeling. [00:14:00] It's relieving, you feel a little embarrassed, It's like this is so simple. And I just couldn't, I was just in front of the problem for too long. And so what I learned from that story, Is, one, a Keenan, super excited and then it just got a drug on and it got messy.
And,I have a friend and former client that likes to call this the murky middle, when you're in the middle of a task or project and. You just can't see the way out of it right now. That's the time to push. That's the time to double down. That's the time to think, oh, there's going to be something important that I learned here.
And for me it was, make sure you have everything capitalized that should be and not capitalized, you should be. And that was incorporated into my bug finding process for wherever after that point in my career. I learned that. I learned that. Also part of managing that flow is to not sit on a problem for longer than an hour without [00:15:00] getting an extra pair of eyes on, because if you don't relate to the code example, another example is if you've ever written an English paper, for high school English class, and you stared at the thing for three days.
And then, you turn it in and you have all these weird grammar mistakes that you couldn't see because you were just in front of the problem for so long. So you need that extra perspective. A and so don't sit in front of a problem for too long, without taking a break, without getting a new perspective with some fresh eyes.
So that's why it's really important to know the flow, right? There's going to be ups and downs. There's going to be. times when you're gonna need to switch shift perspectives, either by taking a break to manage your energy or getting someone else to help prevent you from falling into the pit of despair.
Okay. Alright. Fourth idea to keep you on track. When you are [00:16:00] chasing excellence in your meaningful pursuit, it's to make sure you're taking bold action towards it and. What do I mean by that? Bold action is finding the challenge line of whatever you're doing. So in my case, I was a software engineer and pushing your skills, right?
You don't want it to be so challenging that you just get frustrated and quit. You don't want it to be too easy to where you're not actively learning or increasing your skill. But there's this, sweet spot. Where you're pushing the limit of your capabilities, and that's when you feel progress.
That's when, if you can find those opportunities and boldly chase them, it can really accelerate your learning. another way of saying this is early on in my career as a software engineer, I hadn't said no. Or I said yes to everything. I never said no. hey, we have this thing. We need somebody to work on it.
I'm like, yes.[00:17:00] raise my hand. there's, I think you, you learn as your career grows that maybe you don't do that all the time because it could lead to burnout because it was getting pulled in like a bajillion different directions. But I will say that I learned how to manage priorities. More effectively by saying yes to everything.
For a while I was exposed to a lot more different types of software engineering problems that, helped me advance my career, get promoted later and all that. And so that was a bold action and I had to learn my way out of that. But, and I think everyone can probably relate to that in their careers too.
But you have to take those bold actions. To build skill. And then the fifth idea is to focus on learning and skill development, right? So not only taking bold action towards that challenge line, but being intentional and you know what? In my software here, I [00:18:00] needed to get better at debugging. Let me, for the next month, only fix bugs, right?
So let me, learn how to analyze code, find out where it's broken, all that kind of stuff so that I'm a better developer going forward. We're. Maybe I'll think, oh, I should put some extra logging here. So when it breaks the person that has to fix it, which is probably gonna be me, but maybe not me forever, will have a good idea of what's going on.
what in your career, or in relation to your meaningful pursuit, is the skill that you need to get better at? Is it public speaking? Is it writing? Is it, a whole other host of things? Is the actual craft of, being a clinician in a therapy session with someone? what is that skill that you need to be actively taking both action to develop so that you eventually reach mastery and excellence?
So with that said, again, I just wanna remind you that, [00:19:00] excellence is inevitable, but you need to find that reason to chase those meaningful pursuits, right? You don't want to be chasing the wrong thing, and then give up at the first sign of trouble, but just. Stick with it folks. It's really amazing when you absolutely have that passion, that, that desire to, to get great at something and share it and be the role model for those around you that can really change your life.
So that's where we'll leave this episode of the Meaningful Revolution. again, I'm Shaw Buttner and I go out live with more joy, more personal growth, and more impact in your communities, and we'll see you guys next week.