March 31: The Secret to Excellence
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Probably at least once a week somebody asks me, “How can I write a great book?” Or “I’ve always wanted to write a book. How can I write a great book about this subject?” Or, “I’ve been working on a book. How can I get it published? How can I be successful publishing a book?” There are a lot of questions around this sort of stuff in my life.
It’s natural for us to seek out people who have been successful at something and to ask them questions. What are we doing? We’re looking for coaching.
You see, nobody achieves excellence at anything without coaching. I say it again: Nobody achieves excellence at anything without coaching.
If I look at my own life and I think about all the people who have helped me in any aspect of my life, very rarely was it a formal coaching relationship. It was a conversation or a series of conversations. We were talking about things: “I’m working on this . . .” Or “I’m struggling with this . . .” Or “How did you do that?” Or “How did you make that happen?”
Coaching plays a critical, I mean, an absolute essential part in our lives. Think about when a woman has a baby for the first time. What does she do? She asks other moms, “What did you do about this?” Or “What did you do about that?” Or maybe she asks her own mother or her own grandma, “What’s going on here?” Or “How do I . . . ?” It’s just part of the generational experience of humanity that we pass knowledge along, that we pass wisdom along, that we pass know-how along to other people. It’s essential for excellence.
You see people say, “I’m going to do it all on my own. I’m not going to have any teammates,” or “I’m not going to have any coaches,” or whatever. What happens? Mediocrity. They make silly mistakes. They make amateur mistakes that never would’ve been made if there was any coach around or any experience around.
One of the things about the Church is that the Church is basically saying sometimes, “Don’t do these things, because I want to save you from incredible suffering. Don’t do these things, because I want you to avoid these horrible situations that will be painful for you.” We of course don’t see it that way.
Coaching is essential to excellence. Whatever you want to be excellent in your life, you need coaching—you need coaches. And of course the spiritual life is the same. Who is coaching you spiritually? It doesn’t mean, “Oh, I need to have a spiritual coach.” If you do and if you can, that’s a great thing, but it’s hard to find. And it may be that your spiritual coaches do become the saints. It may be that your spiritual coaches do become books. We have to be constantly looking for spiritual coaches because we need them to achieve excellence in the spiritual life.
Maybe the first question is, “Are we striving for excellence in the spiritual life, or are we satisfied with mediocrity? Because as soon as we start striving for excellence, we start looking for spiritual coaches.
Matthew Kelly, Resisting Happiness
Nobody achieves excellence at anything without spiritual coaching.
Seek out a spiritual coach.
God, help me to know that holiness is possible for me.
Today’s personal reflection features Dynamic Catholic team member Adam Lewis. Adam is our direct mail coordinator, coming to us from Wilmington, Ohio. Adam could eat rice and beans all day, aspires to hike the entire Appalachian Trail, and would probably be a winning contestant if there was a Jeopardy for Bible facts.
Who has coached you in your spiritual journey?
Let us know in the comments!