- to surpass others or be superior in some respect or area; do extremely well: to excel in math.
- to surpass; be superior to; outdo: He excels all other poets of his day.
It occurs to me that there are two interpretations of the measure of excellence. They may sound like the same thing, but they`re not.
- The one is the quality of something, including the quality of a skill.
- The other is the definition of that measure.
The second way is to redefine the skill of cooking. Does it mean being capable of putting together a recipe for roast lamb, or does it mean putting a frozen dinner into a microwave oven?
However, there is a third way to evaluate excellence, based on an objective standard---the standard of excellence. To have such an objective standard, though, we first must have a clear and concise definition of something. To excel, then, like the word "quality," means how closely something approaches that definition.
Excel, then, means that an event or object surpasses the expected measure. It doesn`t mean it surpasses someone`s feeling of expectation. Nor does it means surpassing what the "crowd" can manage to accomplish.
In todays world, how much resentment is there over the common use of consensus to determine value? How often do we hear that something is only valuable if "the market" (consensus) says it`s valuable? Without really seeing it, we sort of automatically agree that something is only excellent if other people say it`s excellent.
What about your own products, your own skills; are they valuable only if a group of strangers decide they`re valuable?
What if you`re stranded on an island in the Pacific, and you know how to condense water out of humid air? Does it matter if anyone at all around you considers this a valuable skill, or if there`s nobody around you? Your knowledge enables you to live and survive, and ultimately, that`s the standard of measure---does this promote your life or not.
Think of the kids we see today who have access to miraculous technology in their toys, clothing, educational materials, healthcare, and food. Yet they take it for granted. If nobody teaches them how to evaluate quality and excellence, they grow up to believe that everything is of equal value. To them, cooking a frozen breakfast is no different than eating in a fine restaurant. It`s all the same, none of it being excellent, all of it being run of the mill or a naturally occurring event.