Excellence Quotes

Most popular excellence quotes

We are what we repeatedly do. Excellence, then, is not an act, but a habit.


In Search of Excellence.
Excellence costs a great deal.
Strive for excellence, not perfection.


Next to excellence is the appreciation of it.


It takes a long time to bring excellence to maturity.


The sad truth is that excellence makes people nervous.
Every man is entitled to be valued by his best moments.


All things excellent are as difficult as they are rare.
What the crowd requires is mediocrity of the highest order.

mediocrity the public

The study of what is excellent is food for the mind and body.
The secret of joy in work is contained in one word—excellence.
All I want is the best of everything and there's very little of that left.
We are what we repeatedly do.  Excellence, then, is not an act but a habit.
First-rate people hire first-rate people; second-rate people hire third-rate people.

management managing people

Excellence is not a destination you arrive at. It is the benchmark for your journey.


Life is like a play: it's not the length, but the excellence of the acting that matters.


This is excellence—the following of anything for its own sake and with its own integrity.


It is a wretched taste to be gratified with mediocrity when the excellent lies before us.

mediocrity taste

To rest in the arms of perfection is the desire of any man intent upon creating excellence.
Excellence encourages one about life generally; it shows the spiritual wealth of the world.
One that desires to excel should endeavor in those things that are in themselves most excellent.
The mediocre always feel as if they're fighting for their lives when confronted by the excellent.


It's a funny thing about life; if you refuse to accept anything but the best, you very often get it.


Excellence in any pursuit is the late, ripe fruit of toil, and toil must needs be wearisome, at times.
Most of the excellence we see in the world is the product not of talent or genius but of self-respect.


The Good of man is the active exercise of his soul's faculties in conformity with excellence or virtue.
It is the privilege of any human work which is well done to invest the doer with a certain haughtiness.

arrogance work

In every power, of which taste is the foundation, excellence is pretty fairly divided between the sexes.
The pursuit of excellence is less profitable than the pursuit of bigness, but it can be more satisfying.
Anyone who has achieved excellence in any form knows that it comes as a result of ceaseless concentration.


I did some excellent things indifferently,
Some bad things excellently. Both were praised,
The latter loudest.
The secret of joy in work is contained in one word - excellence. To know how to do something well is to enjoy it.
Each honest calling, each walk of life, has its own elite, its own aristocracy based upon excellence of performance.
I was raised to believe that excellence is the best deterrent to racism or sexism.  And that's how I operate my life.


The renown which riches or beauty confer is fleeting and frail; mental excellence is a splendid and lasting possession.
As there is but one step from the sublime to the ridiculous, so also there is but one from the ridiculous to the sublime.
There are some faults so nearly allied to excellence that we can scarce weed out the vice without eradicating the virtue.

vice & virtue

Real excellence and humility are consequently not incompatible one with the other; on the contrary, they are twin sisters.


The quality of a man's life is in direct proportion to his commitment to excellence, regardless of his chosen field of endeavor.
If happiness is activity in accordance with excellence, it is reasonable that it should be in accordance with the highest excellence.


My parents always told me that people will never know how long it takes you to do something. They will only know how well it is done.

quality work

It is more to my personal happiness and advantage to indulge the love and admiration of excellence, than to cherish a secret envy of it.
When I am working on a problem, I never think about beauty but when I have finished, if the solution is not beautiful, I know it is wrong.
Whoever I am or whatever I am doing, provided that I am engaged in a socially acceptable activity, some kind of excellence is within my reach.
Every activity performed in public can attain an excellence never matched in privacy; for excellence, by definition, the presence of others is always required.
I have given before to this group the definition of happiness of the Greeks, and I will define it again: it is full use of your powers along lines of excellence.


Art is simply a right method of doing things.  The test of the artist does not lie in the will with which he goes to work, but in the excellence of the work he produces.
The less justified a man is in claiming excellence for his own self, the more ready he is to claim all excellence for his nation, his religion, his race, or his holy cause.
You cannot learn very much about excellence from studying failure.  Of all the infinite ways to perform a certain task, most of them are wrong.  There are only a few right ways.


Excellence is a better teacher than is mediocrity.  The lessons of the ordinary are everywhere.  Truly profound and original insights are to be found only in studying the exemplary.
From time to time there appear on the face of the earth men of rare and consummate excellence, who dazzle us by their virtue, and whose outstanding qualities shed a stupendous light.

example the human condition

If you don't do it excellently, don't do it at all. Because if it's not excellent, it won't be profitable or fun, and if you're not in business for fun or profit, what the hell are you doing there?
Badness you can get easily, in quantity: the road is smooth, and it lies close by.  But in front of excellence the immortal gods have put sweat, and long and steep is the way to it, and rough at first.

obstacles sweat

Excellence, to me, is the state of grace that can descend only when one tunes out all the world's clamor, listens to an inward voice one recognizes as wiser than one's own, and transcribes without fear.
Define excellence vividly, quantitatively.  Paint a picture for your most talented employees of what excellence looks like.  Keep everyone pushing and pushing toward the right-hand edge of the bell curve.
Excellence in life seems to me to be the way in which each human being makes the most of the adventure of living and becomes most truly and deeply himself, fulfilling his own nature in the context of a good life with other people.
If falls your lot to be a street sweeper in life, sweep streets like Raphael painted pictures.  Sweep streets like Michelangelo carved marble.   Sweep streets like Beethoven composed music.  Sweep streets like Shakespeare wrote poetry.
Gentlemen, we are going to relentlessly chase perfection, knowing full well we will not catch it, because nothing is perfect. But we are going to relentlessly chase it, because in the process we will catch excellence.  I am not remotely interested in just being good.
I would urge that the yeast of education is the idea of excellence, and the idea of excellence comprises as many forms as there are individuals, each of whom develops his own image of excellence.  The school must have as one of its principal functions the nurturing of images of excellence.


If a man is called to be a street sweeper, he should sweep streets even as a Michaelangelo painted, or Beethoven composed music or Shakespeare wrote poetry. He should sweep streets so well that all the hosts of heaven and earth will pause to say, 'Here lived a great street sweeper who did his job well.