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Aug 30, 2010

"We are what we repeatedly do. Excellence, then, is not an act, but a habit." --Will Durant (translation of Aristotle)

Six Keys to Excellence

Until recently, Tony Schwartz accepted the myth that the potential to excel is predetermined by our genes- that some people are born with special talents while others aren't. Lately though, his work with dozens of executives reveals that it's possible to build any given skill or capacity in the same systematic way we build a muscle: push past your comfort zone, and then rest. Talent, then, may actually be a simple reflection of how hard we're willing to work. Encouraging us to take ownership of our desired talents, he explains, "If you want to be really good at something, it's going to involve relentlessly pushing past your comfort zone, along with frustration, struggle, setbacks and failures." To help us, Schwartz offers six keys to achieving excellence: Pursuing what you love, practicing intensely, taking regular breaks, and doing the hardest work first.

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