Whether am I on the basketball court or on the rugby field, in Physics class or English, moving from one house to another or cooking an omelet, I hear the phrase “Give it your 110%.” Now, besides the fact that is impossible to give 110% in anything, this phrase annoys me. People say it because they want others to achieve something; they want others to pursue excellence by encouraging them to give it all they have. Sure people may try their best in the moment, but excellence comes in the preparation. In reality, everyone tries their best in the moment; the hard part is trying your best in preparation. Regardless of the phrase, the pursuit of excellence has been around for a long time and will continue to be around for a long. But what does it mean to pursue excellence? What does it mean give something your 110%?
I think to truly pursue excellence, or give something your 110%, we need to define those things. If we define them then the 110% phrase doesn’t bother me so much. We can’t allow those phrase to be broad, vague terms that have a generic meaning. If excellence in school, to you, means getting an A on the next test then pursuing excellence means doing all you can to get that A. If giving your 110% on the rugby field means you run down every kick then do that: push yourself to run as fast as you can and recover the ball. Everybody defines excellence and the pursuit of excellence differently. You have to define what excellence is to you. Only then will you be able to pursue excellence.