The Pursuit of Excellence: The Quest Revealed, Life, and Internet Marketing

by John Zajaros on August 29, 2009

I’ve written about excellence in marketing and in life many times over the years.

Lately, I’ve been thinking a lot more about what I can only classify as the pursuit of excellence. You see, the older I get the more I realize excellence is not only subjective, it is elusive. By subjective and elusive, I mean no one really gets there, not by a long shot. Interestingly, when we get close to what we perceive as excellence, and who actually decides whether we have achieved anything of the sort, someone moves the bar.


By who’s definition?

The truth of the matter is excellence, like learning, and even life itself, is a process rather than a singular idea, concept, event, and/or destination. Even the definition is, as stated above, subjective, meaning the word itself is an abstract construct, elusive, even an illusion!

Wikipedia defines excellence as follows:

“Excellence is the state or quality of excelling. Particularly in the field of business and organizations, excellence is considered to be an important value, and a goal to be pursued. Excellence is derived from the Latin word excellentia.

Significantly, the parts of the definition most important here are:



“a goal to be pursued.”

Excelling and a goal to be pursued! Thus implying a process, an action being taken, pursued.

So, how to we get there from here? Well, it’s kind of like the old one-liner…

”You can’t get there from here!”

Or can we?

Interestingly, once we acknowledge excellence as an abstract, a subjective ideal, it becomes easier to approach. Notice I said approach, not achieve! The fact is, in striving to achieve excellence…we may become excellent. Or, we may at least appear to be excellent!

You might say:

“That’s a contradiction!”

Well, in a way you are right. It’s a paradox, a conundrum, a logical postulation that evades resolution, an intricate and difficult problem (Merriam-Webster Dictionary definition of conundrum).

However, in striving to achieve; in excelling, a process; pursuing, an active state of being; in working each and every day towards excellence, as elusive as it may be, we come as close as humanly possible to it. We are, in essence, progressing towards the ideal, the abstract, the subjective concept.

Ultimately, we are perceived by those around us as attaining a degree of excellence…rare in anyone’s world! The interesting thing about the pursuit of excellence? The ultimate conundrum in our progress towards the elusive abstraction? In this case, conundrum is defined as a riddle whose answer involves an unexpected twist.

We don’t have to be excellent!

People don’t expect perfection, often used synonymously with excellence. We simply have to demonstrate our willingness to pursue it. The progression towards perfection, towards excellence, is a lifelong endeavor, learning and growth as a process along the avenue of life.

What happens as we excel…a process? Pursue excellence…an elusive ideal?

We progress as human beings…we uplift ourselves, our associates, our business, our life! In fact, our life becomes excellent…our associations with it!
Do we ever get there?

I’ll let you know when I get there!


Professor John P. J. Zajaros, Sr.
Skype: johnzajaros1

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