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The Habits of Sustainable Excellence

October 11, 2022 6 min read

The Habits of Sustainable Excellence

Anyone who is serious about excellence comes to learn that it is based on perennial principles, which extend beyond any one person or pursuit. Excellence takes time, is non-linear, and there are a variety of paths to get where you want to go.

Here are nineteen interrelated habits for the journey, all of which are based on my experience working with elite performers over the past decade and my research and reporting for The Practice of Groundedness: A Transformative Path to Success That Feeds — Not Crushes — Your Soul.


1. Focus on Process over Outcomes

2. Build Deep Community

3. Balance Appropriate Stress and Appropriate Rest

4. Prioritize Consistency over Intensity

5. Learn to Have Fun While Working Hard

6. Understand that Progress is Non-Linear

7. Take The Work Seriously — But Yourself, Not So Much

8. Know That Feeling Good and Doing Good are Generally in Alignment

9. Don’t Worry About Being the Best; Worry About Being the Best at Getting Better

10. Do the Work Before Talking About the Work

11. Lean On Routines — But be Willing to Release from Them

12. Develop a Daily Physical Practice, Which Need not be Heroic

13. Cultivate Emotional Flexibility

14. Care Deeply

15. Accept Failure as a Part of Growth

16. Show Up — Even, Perhaps Especially — When You Don’t Want To

17. Learn from Experience When to Grit and When to Quit

18. Don’t Forget to Experience Joy

19. Practice your Values

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