Some people have greatness thrust upon them. Few have excellence thrust upon them. . . . They achieve it. They do not achieve it unwittingly by doing what comes naturally and they don't stumble into it in the course of amusing themselves. All excellence involves discipline and tenacity of purpose. --John W. Gardner
I love quotes... I use them frequently in writing. I thought this one was especially insightful. One of my professors in college used to say, "The only place where success comes before work is in the dictionary!" Though a bit more homespun, I think it conveys a similar idea to the Gardner quote above... Greatness doesn't necessarily equate to excellence. Excellence is more elusive.
That said, I need to ask myself, "In what areas of my life am I being excellent?"