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“Excellence is never an accident. It is always the result of high intention, sincere effort, and intelligent execution; it represents the wise choice of many alternatives.” ~Aristotle

Sunday

Today is the official start of Spring: The final round at the Masters Golf Championship. Or at least that’s what my son, the scratch golfer, tells me. “It ain’t Spring until somebody puts on the green jacket, mom.”

On Saturday three players put up a score of 64 for their third round; birdie after birdie in perfect conditions posted on the leader board. The players continue to demonstrate excellence in action.

Today, for the first time, officials decided to start the final round early in the morning in an attempt to finish the tournament ahead of a major storm system and torrential rains. They’d been watched carefully by meteorologists and reporters for days and the projections proved accurate.

More excellence in action by both the weather people and tournament decision makers.

I’m enjoying the visuals as much as the golf: the azaleas in bloom, the green of the grass, the manicured fairways. The groundskeepers at Augusta National Golf Club—off camera—have exercised diligence in detail as well.

I am reminded that even with errant shots, or putts missed by inches or storm projections moving more quickly than anticipated, excellence is a combination of persistent practice, constant refinement and choices made under pressure.

By that definition, every person on the planet has an opportunity to become excellent at something, whether it’s golf, or art or cooking or writing or singing or dancing or cutting hair or anything else.

One bad hole doesn’t mean you’ve lost the round. It means you’re continuing to improve on the road to becoming excellent.

But that’s a choice of attitude.

And attitude, not aptitude, the main reason anyone becomes excellent at anything.

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