the pursuit of excellence doesn't mean 'perfect'


Just flowing on from last week’s blog post about the pursuit of excellence and realising our potential and how that should be our minimum contribution to the next wave of whakapapa coming through.. yeah, cool, all about that but while I was reflecting on this kōrero I became aware of how this kōrero could be misinterpreted to mean that pursuing excellence equates to perfection, or not without fault, no wrong decisions, mistakes, rejections etc. etc.

Heck no! Well, not my experience anyway.

I’m trying to become the best version of myself I can, and unbecome what I’m not (the wants and desires others have for me). The standard has been set by my tupuna (ancestors) and to me, how they lived was excellence. That’s what I’m striving for, that’s what and who I’m holding myself accountable to first and foremost, and that’s the measure I use to gauge whether or not I’m on the right track.

But that doesn’t mean it’s a straight forward, clear cut, perfect pursuit. “Pursuing excellence”, is part of our whakapapa, it’s part of our DNA and our pūrākau (stories, myths, legends) are riddled with tales of adversity, challenges and dysfunction - and how we overcome them nonetheless and fulfil our birthright to live in excellence.

We’ve got the Tāne vs Whiro kōrero, te ira atua separating Ranginui (Sky Father) and Papatuanuku (Mother Earth), our tupuna leaving Hawaiki to come to Aotearoa… all of those stories speak of the adversity our tupuna faced and how those types of moments served as somewhat of a catalyst to help build the capacity required to eventually overcome the challenge, the problem, te mea, te mea, te mea…

Pushing limits and extending ourselves beyond our comfort zones, physically, mentally, emotionally, spiritually and everyway-ly to attain and become excellence.. means being in the unknown.. it means being vulnerable, exposed, confused and uncertain. It means trying something out and it probably failing, and probably being useless at it. It means getting feedback from others about what you’re doing, who you are and what you ought to be doing with your time instead…

It’s all part of the process. Whiro attacked Tāne once upon a time with Te Aitanga-a-Pēpeke,

what would Whiro’s army look like in a modern context, in your life? Hecklers, "haters”, excuses, self-doubt…

catch my drift? We’re whakapapa in action, we’re the war between Tāne and Whiro, the separation, all the other pūrākau between then and now, all manifested and expressed in our own way. It may not be perfect, but so what.

It’s a blueprint for how to realise potential, overcome adversity and pursue excellence..

I’ll order ten, please.

Āku mihi ki a koutou, otirā ki a tātou,


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