“We are what we repeatedly do.
Excellence, then, is not an act but a habit.”
Your true success in life begins when you make a commitment to become excellent at what you do, according to Brian Tracy, who helps individuals and organizations achieve their goals. Are you committed to being the best watchmaker or clockmaker you can be? If you are, then you must practice every day doing the best work you possibly can. Challenge yourself to learn as much as you can about this profession. You learn by attending every class you can, checking out books from AWCI’s library, watching a video, working with a mentor, or asking someone who has experience in whatever your endeavor is. If you have a timepiece that you wish to learn about, ask questions and read about it. Study it before you take it apart. Photograph it as you disassemble it, which will help you particularly if it is a complicated watch or clock.
You have heard me say develop a network of people you trust and can rely on for help, but you must also be willing to give back. You can’t get more than you give any more than you can take a pint container to the well and bring back a gallon of water. You can’t give a frown and expect a smile in return; neither can you give anger and expect kindness in return. What you give with a generous heart you will get back multiplied many times.
Let’s go back to the root of the word excellence, which is excel: to surpass, to be superior. In our labors let’s strive for excellence. Will you obtain perfection? I don’t believe so, but you can come pretty darn close. It breaks my heart to see a nice timepiece with burrs under the bridge, or solder on a bushing in a clock, or the many other types of poor workmanship that we encounter. We’ve started a new column in HT, “Watchmaking Excellence: CW21 Standards,” which will show good work and bad work side by side. This will help us in our pursuit for excellence. This information should be first presented to our members and then to the public, so they can see what good work looks like. We plan to have a similar column for clockmakers.
Aristotle said, “We are what we repeatedly do. Excellence, then, is not an act but a habit.” So, we should make sure that what we repeatedly do is good practice, because if we continually do subpar work, that will become a habit. We have heard that practice makes perfect. However, if your practice is wrong, you won’t attain perfection. Good work habits get good results.
Strive for excellence in your work.