In modern public relations and marketing, "excellence" is a much overused buzzword that tries to convey a good impression often without imparting any concrete information (e.g. "center for excellence in ...", "business excellence", etc.).
The Ancient Greeks had a concept of arete which meant an outstanding fitness for purpose. This occurs in the works of Aristotle and Homer. Aristotle once said. "We are what we repeatedly do . . . excellence, then, is not an act, but a habit." Another related concept was eudaimonia which was the happiness which resulted from a life well-lived, being prosperous and fulfilled. The equivalent concept in Muslim philosophy is ihsan.
Practice makes perfect
Studies have shown that the most important way to achieve excellent performance in fields such as sport, music, professions and scholarship is to practice. Achievement of excellence in such fields commonly requires approximately 10 years of dedication, comprising about 10,000 hours of effort.
This was continued in the book Outliers .
- Capodagli, B., & Jackson, L. (2007). The disney way; harnessing the management secrets of disney in your company. New York, New York, United States of America: McGraw-Hill books. ISBN 978-0071478151.
- Karl Anders Ericsson (1996), The road to excellence: the acquisition of expert performance in the arts and sciences, sports, and games, ISBN 978-0-8058-2231-1
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