Essential Walk #13: Excellence

Thoughts on Excellence Free E-Newsletter Series
Volume 22, Issue No. 9b
May 1, 2024

By Dan Coughlin



Our essence has different modes.

In MWD (Merriam-Webster Dictionary), mode means a preferred way of doing something.

A person could be in silent mode, talkative mode, inquisitive mode, or reflective mode.

My definition of excellence is doing whatever you’re doing as well as you can while simultaneously learning how to do it better the next time.

When your thoughts, emotions, and will are in excellence mode, then your essence is focused on doing whatever it is doing as well it can while simultaneously learning how to do it better the next time. This is all happening at your essential level. No one can even tell at first where you are heading because the starting point of excellence is in your essence: your thoughts, emotions, and will.

When you see excellence in action in an athletic or musical or acting performance, it’s easy to forget that the excellence began in the performer’s thoughts, emotions, and will. All you’re seeing is the manifestation of that inner excellence.

A person’s essence can be in excellence mode, status quo mode, or decliner mode. The particular mode you are in serves as a generator for your thoughts, emotions, and will. You choose your mode, and that mode will deliver a certain amount of energy to your essence, which will in turn affect the level that your essence is reaching for.

Essential Walk Questions for You to Consider

  1. What mode do you want your essence to be in, and why do you want that mode?
  2. What mode are you in right now?
  3. What do you think you need to do to either shift to your desired mode or stay in your desired mode?

Republishing Articles

My newsletters, Thoughts on Excellence, have been republished in approximately 40 trade magazines, on-line publications, and internal publications for businesses, universities, and not-for-profit organizations over the past 20+ years. If you would like to republish all or part of my monthly articles, please send me an e-mail at with the name of the article you want in the subject heading. I will send you the article in a word document.

Back to Newsletter Page