Have you ever looked at someone who seemed to have great success in their relationships, finances, personal health, career and life in general? When we see someone who seems to have it "all together," the natural response is to ask ourselves,"What's their secret?"

The "secret" to excellence really isn't a secret. In fact, Jesus revealed this life-changing nugget of wisdom to the world two thousand years ago. I'm going to tell you Jesus' "Secret to Excellence" in just a moment, but first, I want to share a quick story about my son, Connor, and how he reminded me of this excellence principle.

Connor's Second Grade class is putting on an in-class play called "Lightning Larry." There will be no audience outside of his classmates, and every person in the class plays a role. Connor came home from school super excited about his part. He said, "Dad, I really need to work hard at my part. It's important to the whole play, and I don't want to let anyone down. I want to do my very best!"

I said, "Wow, that's great, buddy! What's your role? Are you Lightning Larry?"

He shook his head no, and with pride beaming from his little eyes he exclaimed, "I'm Citizen Number Five!"

He was so excited to have a role that it didn't matter to him that it wasn't the lead or that his character didn't have a name or that there wouldn't be a huge audience watching. He took on his duty with enthusiasm and resolved to be the best "Citizen Number Five" ever. I'm sure he will be!

Connor reminded me of a success principle taught by Jesus when he said, "If you are faithful in little things, you will be faithful in large ones. But if you are dishonest in little things, you won't be honest with greater responsibilities." (Luke 16:10)

The key to excellence isn't holding back until somebody finally offers you a "big break," but it's faithfully and enthusiastically embracing the seemingly small tasks while recognizing that everything we do deserves our best effort. Excellence in "little" things always leads to "big" opportunities.

Imagine how this simple principle could transform your relationships and your career?

What would your marriage look like if you made it your mission to be fully present and engaged in every interaction with your spouse? What if you looked for constant opportunities to build up and encourage your spouse?..."Let everything you say be good and helpful, so that your words will be an encouragement to those who hear them." (Ephesians 4:29)

How could your career improve if you worked wholeheartedly at even the mundane tasks realizing that your daily work could actually be a sacred act of worship..." Work wholeheartedly at whatever you do, as if working for the Lord, not for human bosses." (Colossians 3:23)

Your parenting, your finances, your health, and most every other area of life could drastically benefit from the "Excellence Principle." So, give it a try! Stop taking shortcuts and trying to coast by on the minimum effort! (I'm talking to myself here too!)

Never see any person or any assignment too small for your very best effort. I think you'll discover what Jesus has taught all along...Excellence in the "little things" will eventually create a BIG impact!

This article was originally published on Patheos. It has been republished here with permission.

The Secret to Excellence
The Secret to Excellence / via Dave Willis
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