Thanks for hanging in there with us last week and listening to our “Encore” presentation of the “White Blank Page” episode.

This week, we’re back in the studio, and we got a brand-new episode for you. On this latest episode of How I See It, we wrestle with the ideal of “excellence” and how to pursue it in a healthy, sustainable way. We discuss how the relentless chase after excellence can become draining and debilitating. Mark argues true excellence is less about perfection and more about living wisely and maturely day by day. Tune in to hear our full conversation on reframing excellence.


How are you, sir?

I’m good.

I’m well.

Thank you.

Are you feeling excellent?

Oh, huh.

I’m not necessarily feeling very well.

I’m good.


Very well.

Very good.

But not excellent.

I’m not sure.



The excellence is one of those words that I’ll be honest with.

Excellence is one of those words that I struggle with.



Is that because?

Well, why is that Mark?

Give me some reasons.

Well, I think of excellence in some ways like perfection.


That there is this.






That there’s this point that I could reach.


That I have arrived, if you will.


And I think there’s something to be said for doing things with excellence.

and yet, like perfection, it’s like, it can make what is good seem insufficient.

~ Yeah, yeah, so it’s interesting what you just said in the sense that you kinda feel like excellence is something you can achieve, that’s kinda what you’re saying.

~ Sure.

~ I feel like my struggle is kinda the opposite in the sense that excellence feels like a sliding scale to where it is unachievable.

~Oh, okay.

~And once you reach a mark or a point, it moves.

~It moves, yeah.

~I got you.

The bar just got higher because I achieved excellence.

What I thought was excellence.

Now, excellence has gone even higher.

~It’s like that carried on a stick.



~Bring it back to the stick.

I understand.

~Always the stick, Mark.

{laughter} This time there’s a carrot too.

I got you.


But you know, the carrot on stick stuck to your back, right, or whatever.

So it’s like, “I’ll always dangle it in front of you and you’re chasing after it.

” And then you think you got it and then it’s, “Nope, it’s the same distance away and you got to take a break for a minute.

” That’s kind of how I.



See, we’re already looking at this one word from polarizing.

That’s right.

And yeah, we’re both in the same place of like, “Yeah, it’s a word description.

” struggle with her.


A triggering word, baby.


Which, here’s why I think that’s a little bit ironic.

Well, I won’t speak for myself.

I’ll let you tell him I’m excellent.

But that’s gonna say Mark is definitely a guy who pursues excellence in the things that he does.

I can attest to that from my perspective.

He’s not a, he’s not gonna to sit on his haunches and saying, well, good enough or whatever.

And you know, we gotta talk about that too.

~ I’ll let you share your point of view.

~ Yeah, ’cause sometimes that decision to do that is actually excellent because it’s about, you know, priorities.

But again, it really comes down to the definition of excellence.

But I think of you as somebody who cares about your work and wants to do the best you can do, which each thing that you’re tackling, which I think is excellence.

~ I hear you.

~ Go ahead.

~ Yeah, I, you know, thank you.

~ You’re welcome.

~ Hey, good job.

(laughing) I can see your head getting bigger.

~ Oh no, like you say.

~ I’ve got to listen to that Pride episode.

~ That’s right, that’s right.

~ No, that was just, if you haven’t listened to the Pride episode, Mark doesn’t take compliments well.

(laughing) So his thank you is actually a very huge achievement.

~ There you go.

~ I would consider that excellent growth there, Mark.

Thank you.

But moving right along in that process, I think excellence is gonna be one of those things that is gonna be viewed.

And here again, you shared how you see me.

I share, I would see you in that dynamic as well, based on what you do for your job.

and I see you as the IT guy, and I think of perfection even more so because in that context, if the scripting, the stuff you do, has one error in it, it’s not gonna work.

So I respect this.

~ I wish that was true.

~ Well, that’s how I see it.

(laughing) And from a programming perspective, I’ll let you finish.

~ Yeah, that’s how I see it.

And I extend that to you as well.

And yet I also realize that everybody is gonna bring a different perspective of what excellence is.

And some of that is going to be, you know, related to, related occupationally.

I think that’s where we’re gonna, you know, tend to view a desire for excellence.

And I think, you know, some things that might be more important, like my family relationship with God, I might not necessarily put the same effort into that I do what other people might see.

You follow me?

It’s probably far easier to be excellent or strive for excellence in the areas of occupation.

~ Yeah.

~ Because I think we are continually, or there is that standard– – Measurement.

~ That measurement, yes.

That basically says, okay, this is what we’re looking for.

And I think that’s simpler to be able to achieve.

And yet at the same time, that’s not always, you know, where our best energy, should, you know, it’s not always where our best energy, that’s not always our best priority in that, where my energy goes.

And I think for me, excellence and energy kind of relate to one another.

Because I think it takes a certain amount of energy to achieve excellence.

And sometimes the difference is, well, I just don’t wanna put that effort, that much effort into it.

~ Yeah.

Yeah, easier to talk about occupation and measurement.

It kind of made me think about how someone or often, and people like me in particular who care about approval, we optimize for approval.

So sure.

And you know, excellence, we’re going to pursue, you know, and this is something I have tried to mature in, right?

like work towards demonstrating excellence where the measurement happens and not so much work.

Does it, which is why I would get my priorities out of WAC sometimes and optimize for that approval instead of, like for instance, my family is, to me, my most important job, but sometimes I forget that, to the degree where I’m not, I’m optimizing for the approval of others and putting my excellence somewhere where, you know.

~ Yeah.

~ Yeah.

~ Yeah.

~ So I think that’s, go ahead.

~ In a place where we desire affirmation, that’s where we would tend.

~ Or we can see the measurement numbers.

And it’s much clearer, right?

So it’s like, okay, today I gotta win.

~ It’s easy to quantify.

~ Yeah.

~ Yeah.

~ Yeah.

I think, yeah, it’s a good one.

Quantification and excellence.

You know, I think often can go hand in hand.

~ Agreed.

~ In that pursuit.

~ Yeah.

~ Sure.

~ It’s good.

~ And I think there’s that point where, you know, personality will come in the play.

I think, you know, when you were sharing your, your aspect of approval, you know, your desire for approval, I think of, you know, as we’ve talked about before, the love styles, you know, the pleaser, you know, that person that just wants to be able to get it right, do it right, you know, so that they are viewed as pleasing.

I think at times it is more difficult for that personality style to wrestle with excellence because I think it is that moving carrot type thing.

It’s like, well, I did it the way you wanted it done, but it still wasn’t good enough.

~ Yeah, and the moving carrot thing a lot of times is from others, but also a lot of times from ourselves where it feels like, oh, if I achieved that, it must not be hard enough.

Almost like, so you, so that carrot can then use to stay stuck to your own back.

So every time you move, you kind of move your own goal, you know, because it’s like, well, that wasn’t good enough for whatever.

I think, because I do think some people are self-driven in that way to where that becomes a problem where it’s never good enough.

And actually, you know, it’s a stick in the sense that it can be problematic in someone’s life, but it could also drive them to excellence or they’re truly outstanding in their field, whatever that is.

You know what I mean?



So help me understand from your perspective, the difference between excellence and perfection.


So that’s a good one.

Because like you said, they’re kind of becomes synonymous where I think the reason they feel connected is because perfection is without flaw.


And excellence is a moving target.

So in order to feel like you achieved excellence, you have to be able to say there can be nothing better, right?


Therefore, you know, excellence, that moving care in front of you hits a wall of perfection and you can catch it now.





No, I see it differently.

I see I see the excellence as a 95, 98, whereas perfection is the 100.

~ Well, no, I agree with you.

~ Oh, okay.

~ I guess what I’m saying is.



~ I think we journey through excellence to get to perfection.

~ Yeah, I agree with that.

I guess, yeah, yeah, go ahead, go ahead, go ahead.

~ No, it’s okay, but I think, but there again, we’re not gonna always achieve perfection.

~ Yeah.

~ And so that’s the difficult part.

and where is it to the point of, and I think this is part of the wrestling for many people as well, you know, it’s like, well, if I can’t get there, or if I see myself as being unable to get there, there’s no use bothering.

So I won’t even necessarily try at times, I won’t necessarily put the effort into learn, because if I can’t do it at that level, then there’s no use even trying.

~ That reminds me of Frisbee last night, Mark.

(laughing) How’s so Justin?

~ So Mark and I have laid all of it for his be last night.

It was very fun.

~ It was Steve.

~ And one of our good friends, Will, was on my team and he was throwing in such a way last night to where it was, okay, so what– – Often happens is someone will really believe in you.

I’ll throw the Frisbee way too far.

~ Sure.

~ And you look at it and you go, nope, right?

~ Sure, you make that instant judgment.

~ Right, right.

And it’s just like kind of like what you’re saying, well, I can’t reach there, so I’m just gonna stop here.

~ Sure.

~ Right, like not even, I’m not even gonna try.

~ You’ve already made up your mind.

~ Right, or maybe I’m gonna, you know, give like a half-hearted effort and be like, “Well, it was your fault.

“See, I tried.

” Kind of thing.

~ Sure.

And sometimes you can do the opposite where you don’t believe enough.

And so, you know, it’s like, I can’t shoot for excellence because I’m not given the opportunities, right?

But I think the perfect throw is the one that I have to bust my butt to get to that Frisbee.

~ Sure.

~ The chances that the person guarding me is gonna get to it before me slim ’cause it’s out there in front of both of us.

And I’m closer, you know, I’m on my– – One step ahead.

~ Right, exactly.

So that’s where I feel like, you know, excellence comes into play is like, it drives you to go beyond maybe what you think you can do, just beyond that limit and it causes you to go further than you would.

And I feel like that can be a good motivation for excellence.

You know, but I do think you’re right.

Sometimes we put those standards so far out in front of a person to where they either don’t try or they give it, you know, kind of half-hearted effort and going, Well, look how far I came and look how far you feel.

Like clearly you’re the one here, you know what I mean?

~ No, I hear you.

~ I don’t know, it just made me think about that.

~ It made me think of it as you were describing that.

It makes me think about good goals.

~ Yeah.

~ You know, I think you know, goals do tend to help motivate us.

But to lofty of a goal is debilitating as well because it’s like, – You’re discouraging.

~ Discouraging, yes, that’s a better word.

but being able to recognize, okay, yeah.

And I think it’s interesting ’cause when I think of, you know, excellence, perfection, typically for me, certain people come to mind.

You know, people that I respect in their, you know, occupational world or, you know, and granted, sometimes when I think of, you know, perfection, I think of, you know, people will quite often use, you know, the terminology OCD, you know, that kind of thing.

And I, it’s interesting as we’re having this topic, how many different people will tend to come to mind in that process that I might respect from excellence.

And then others that I think, you know, from my perspective, get caught up in, you know, trying to be perfectionistic, having certain things just certain ways.

And it’s like that effort from my perspective can seem futile as in a striving for perfection to where nothing can be out of order.


You know, it’s just, yeah, it’s funny how this topic is just bringing in a multitude of thoughts to mind and yeah, in that process, people circumstances.


And it’s interesting how it is, you know, I think what I, another part that comes to mind is basically, you know, the CR dynamic of being able to recognize, no, we’re just, because I think I so often, excellence or perfection can be masks we wear.


You follow me?


In that desire to do the things.

In an attempt to be bulletproof.



Whereas, you know, CR, that safe place, you come as you are, you’re there, you know, You don’t have to have that armor on, if you will, that says, “Okay, I’m bulletproof and I’ll show up and I’ll do my duty and then I go home recognizing, “Nah, I’m not that person.

” Or, “I may not be that person that everybody thinks I am.

” I think that’s a real struggle at times and that’s where, because it’s not that people won’t have just like you shared about myself even, you know, it’s like, yeah, not sure I fully agree with that.

And yet that’s where you come from.

That’s that’s your perspective.

And in that, you can say, Hmm, I’m wondering, you know, if other people are to the degree other people, see you as that way can can make it seem like, okay, they just don’t know me.

Like I know myself, even though that includes my perspective of myself.

~ Yeah.

~ And I think that becomes the wrestling as well.

Part of the wrestling.

Does that make sense?

~ It does make sense.

~ Okay.

~ It makes a lot of sense.

I think, again, excellence is such a squishy topic, right?

So it’s like one person’s perception of excellence could be another person’s perception of incompetence or missing the mark or whatever.

So that’s another thing where a lot of high performers, someone will say, I’ve never seen someone be better at that than you.

And they’ll just be like, you have no idea.

It’s just terrible.

You know what I mean?


And that’s like a tiger woods.

Like no one’s going to compliment him because he’s, he’s in her critic because I already say, no, you don’t understand.

It’s not, it’s not anything like you thought it like you’re wrong.


I mean, and so I feel like that’s, that’s one thing about excellence.

It’s a squishy topic too.

And I also say like excellence, the pursuit of excellence can become debilitating.


Like what you said to the degree, I don’t know, debilitating isn’t, it isn’t what I’m going for.

It can become a labyrinth.


So you’re never going to reach the exit.


Because you’re lost in this labyrinth of excellence.

And you know, you’re, you’re, I got to fix that imperfection.

And it’s like, he looked to your life, Oh, I got to fix that imperfection.

So I also think, you know, because I kind of hear what you’re saying about even your own perception of yourself, Mark.

And the fact is you get stuff done, which that doesn’t come with a perfectionist.

Does that make sense?

Like being able to turn through and get things done and, you know, every day you can see you’re moving towards completion, right?


I feel like a perfectionist, they get lost in that labyrinth to the degree where, you know, Finishing maybe isn’t on the radar.

I hear where you’re coming from.

You get what I’m saying?


So again, it depends on what you view excellence as as well, because I think there are some tradeoffs in our everyday work that says, am I going to perfect this or am I going to get it done?



I hear you.

Because that maybe that’s part of your qualification, if you will.


Yeah, for sure.



And I think excellence looks like getting things done, right?


In the real world, that’s what excellence looks like.

but again, I think someone who’s a perfectionist sees excellence as, yeah, perfection, right?

Like, I don’t know.

~ You used the word Tiger Woods, the name, excuse me, the name Tiger Woods, as you were describing or we were talking about that, Robin Williams comes to mind for me.

~ Okay.

~ You know, someone, and I think that’s, it might be the combination of someone who I perceived as being excellent in their craft.

And yet, I think maybe he got at times lost in that labyrinth of not being able to see his worth in the other things he was.

And here again, I’m not speaking of him.

I just, I value, you know, who Robin Williams was as an actor.

And to me, it was a sad thing that he, you know, ended up taking his life.

And I think it was that pursuit, if you will, and that ability to have have a level of, okay, yeah, I do this, I do this one thing well.

And that doesn’t mean that I’m a terrible awful person in these other things.

And I think as you were describing that dynamic, that came to mind for me.

And I think at times, and you can speak to this maybe as well, when we have such lofty dynamics, that the labyrinth that you refer to can lead to that depression, disappointment.

You know, it’s like, so I think that’s another, I’m just thinking about that excellence and how it can be difficult.

~ I really like what you’re saying about excellence being that 98% kind of thing.

And I think that’s really something we should all embrace.

But again, I think it gets lost and we translate it for perfection.

Or sometimes we think of excellence as the 101, like the extra credit, right?

And it’s like went above and beyond, that’s excellent.

And so that can be a get-in-loss in that pursuit of, well, I have to go above what’s expected in order to be excellent, which is I think can become problematic.

But when you think about that pursuit of excellence and people who are at the top, Robin Williams being an example, – Sure.

~ The stamina it’s required to stay at the top is unbelievable.

Like people who aren’t at the top cannot understand the amount of effort it takes to stay at the, you know, king of the hill, right?

~ Sure.

~ And I think someone, I can think of Tiger Woods again, like how long he’s been on the top and how long he’s been clawing to stay at the top.

Like he gets in this major accident, you know, – Sure.

~ Breaks things, whatever, and now he’s clawed his way back to the top and you gotta imagine it’s just so draining.

And then you can also see how it takes everything in him to stay there to the degree where he doesn’t have much left to maintain his family in some of those dynamics where he’s had issues relationally, some pretty significant ones that tend to get kind of forgotten about as he claws back to the top of excellence in the world of golf.

But I think just the amount, and go back to your term energy, the amount of energy it takes to stay at the top of a thing is more, you know, so much more than the amount of energy it takes to stay two rungs below that ladder.

~ Sure.

~ Right?

And it’s like, well, they’re not that far.

So it can’t be that much.

No, you don’t understand.

Every wrong closer to the top, right?

Is gonna be that exponentially harder.

~ Sure.

~ And so I think of Robin Williams too, like your example, like you’re only gonna, no matter how good you are.

~ Right.

~ Tiger Woods, right?

~ Sure.

and Robbie Williams, you cannot stay at the top forever.

You can’t because you’re gonna die for one, right?

Like there’s a natural limit to your abilities.

But the off chance, like I should say, if you started at the top young, the chances that you’re gonna stay at the top of the rest of your life are pretty slim.

So what do you do once you slip down those rungs?

Is that who you were, you know, and I feel like in a lot of cases you start to see how lives crumble when that’s no longer something they can claim.

And Robin Williams, I think, might be an example of that.

I know he also had some mental health sicknesses that Louis body dementia or something.

Was that him?

~ Not that I recall, but I’m not saying.


~ I think you definitely had some mental health dynamics in life.

~ We’re gonna have to fact check that, but yeah.

~ I’m pretty sure.

~ You brought it up, you’re gonna have to check it.

~ No, no, no.

You want me to look right now?

I will.

You can you can I mean, I’m okay either way.

I don’t I don’t see that.

It’s not true But I think we’re saying we’re not sure.


Yeah, that it might be him.

Yeah, but yeah, the point is Yeah, and hit in his life I can see how staying at the top became you know impossible And he kind of slipped down and and then that became something that was hard to not see on a daily basis I’m no longer up there.

Yeah, and I want to want to be maybe where again, you see someone like Tiger Woods was like, probably to be healthy, he could have slipped from the top by now, you know?

And maybe a few times he has, but he just always has to climb right back up there to the degree where, I don’t know, it kind of just like, I admire it, but I also feel like maybe not the healthiest individual.

~ So let’s bring this back to a personal dynamic.

~ Sure.

Do you other than the ultimate Frisbee?

Do you have an area that you might be striving to put too much energy in excellence?

Do you have an area where you might be, or maybe you’re operating at the 98, but maybe that needs to adjust some?

~ Yeah, I think– I’m not, I think that reminds me of like, Andy Stanley choosing to cheat.

~ Yes.

~ That’s kind of that process that comes to mind.

~ Yeah.

And just to- – I was asking, yeah, I could go ahead and clarify that.


~ Catch the, uh, Linda up.

Or listen to Linda, uh, if you don’t know.

Choosing to cheat, I think it was a book, but it was definitely a sermon by Andy Stanley.

It’s this idea that if you’re gonna cheat somewhere, you cheat the ministry, not your family.

That was like one of his primary points is a lot of times.

~ Prioritizing.

~ In the prioritizing we do.

~ Yep.

~ Yes.

~ And he was saying a lot of ministers fail in the sense that they prioritize the ministry over their family and therefore lose their family or whatever.

~ Sure.

~ And so his concept of choosing to cheat is really about just priorities and learning how to prioritize the right things over the things that feel like the right things.

~ Sure.

And that’s where my question to you comes from is like, is there an area that you know, you might be in your personal dynamic putting more energy than you need to in that pursuit of excellence for someone else?

Yeah, so this, yes, I’ve struggled with that my whole life.

The thing is I have a natural limit that kicks in called depression.


What I find is when I pursue excellence and when I say excellence, I mean the perfection version of excellence.


Um, in any one area, especially when it comes to trying to maintain or achieve approval, uh, it’s not sustainable for me.


It becomes a task masker.

It contributes greatly towards depression.

And when, when those things start kicking in, thankfully, uh, I’ve learned over my life that that’s a natural limit or that’s like a natural sign that, hey, maybe this thing, you need to stop or scale way back or whatever.

And so I’ve had periods of that in my life.

I think I’ve talked about this before, but for a while I was leading the Celebrate Recovery Ministry at our church and recognized that pursuit of excellence there took more out of me than I eventually had, right?

And other things started to take more of me, both my family and work to the degree that what I had left to give at CR never felt like enough.

It always felt like I was falling short.

And you know, I’m not saying that’s even true.

I’m just saying my perception of it and my struggle with this word excellence.

And you know, it’s like you can always look around kind of that labyrinth idea.

You can always look around and say, oh, look, that’s not excellent.

And therefore I need to work harder.

And sometimes you look at that and you go, I just don’t have the energy today.

So not today, but tomorrow.

And that not today, but tomorrow I really need to fix that.

Can drain you of energy over the course of time, right?

~ Sure.

~ Whether you’re doing the thing or you’re not doing the thing, the fact that you feel like you should be doing the thing can really be draining.

And so for me, it became just a daunting, daunting thing that I was never gonna get to excellent because there’s too many, too many cracks where excellence was leaking out.

~ I gotcha.

~ And so I was like, I no longer could have this idea that I could reach excellence.

It was more like we’re losing excellence.

I’m getting further from excellence because of these cracks leaking.

And again, very much a perception thing in a subjective thing.

’cause I think I would hope you could look at the ministry outside and say, “No, it was great.

“It was doing great.

” It’s healthy, it’s whatever.

It had more to do with me and my abuse.

So that’s kind of a long-winded answer.

I also wanted to talk about code and programming ’cause you did mention.

~ Yeah, go ahead.

~ I mean, your idea is like it’s perfection or not.

It’s one or zero.

It’s working or it’s not.

~ I gotcha.

~ And I would say it’s more like building a house.

~ Okay.

~ Right?

Like you can build a house 100,000 ways, right?

And when it’s up and constructed and you drive by, it can look, that’s done, that’s complete, it looks good.

It is excellent, right?

~ Okay.

~ And you would know as a builder, like just because something looks done and complete and perfect from the outside doesn’t mean it works correctly or it’s gonna stay in the test of time.

Or you walk in the front door and it blocks the kitchen, like you can’t get to the kitchen or whatever.

~ Sure, sure.

~ You know, it’s like weird choices where you’re like, ah, it worked in this one case.

~ Sure.

~ You know, you walk in the front door and you know, the front door works, you can get in, but then you realize, well, what if someone’s in that room, you just, they can’t get out now, whatever.

You know what I mean?

Like some of those things that require experience and design and things like that start to break down over time or in certain uses that weren’t considered in the beginning, right?

or something can be under-engineered and start to fall apart over a little bit of use, right?

Or something can be over-engineered to where it’s like, “Hey, we wanna replace this hardwood floor “or we wanna place this carpet with hardwood or whatever.

” And you start to try and pull the carpet up and it’s got a cajillion staples or you think about those cases where something is over-nailed or whatever, right?

Code is very much like that in all those ways where yes, you can get it towards working, but it doesn’t mean it won’t break when this person does that while you’re doing this, right?

~ Sure.

~ Or it doesn’t mean it won’t break after repeated use, or let’s say it worked for two people coming in the door, but when you got 22 people coming through the door, all of a sudden it breaks because it’s, you know what I mean?

~ Sure, I hear you there.

~ So it’s very much like, I would say, building a house in that sense, and perfection in that world can look like over building.

~ Okay.

~ Right.

~ Sure.

~ And that’s one thing I struggle with sometimes is like that pursuit of perfection of like, this will be built perfectly, but it comes at the expense of it being built, right?

~ Sure.

~ And you go around and around, you rebuild things and you go, “No, that’s not, you know, that doesn’t square enough with this other door jam.

I’m gonna take, take them all down, start over.

” – Sure.

~ Right?

And so you can kind of get lost in that reprogramming things, refactoring is what we call it, you know.

~ Okay.

you can get stuck in that loop of refactor.

~ Yeah, yeah.

And there’s been many times in my career where I just get lost in that.

And yet there’s this healthy balance.

It really is about pursuing excellence, but also being willing to say, “But it’s done and it’s working and I believe it’s done well.

” You know, that 98% to where you’re actually getting things that I’m moving forward.

But that, it can be hard.

~ Yeah.

~ Yeah.

~ No doubt.

How about you?

~ How about me?

~ Where you potentially, what was the question?

Like struggle with.



~ Excellence.

~ Excellence.

~ Yeah.

~ So it’s caused you to push too far or something.

~ Sure, I think my personal area would tend to be, you know, work or even, I know you’ll use the word performance, but that aspect of getting things done.

~ Yeah.

~ And at times that will be, I can admit, and I think it can be cyclical as far as based on my other relationships, like my relationship to Chris or the kids or that kind of thing, because I think those relationships are the ones, like where you’re sharing that aspect of energy helps you recognize when your excellence is out of priority, mine is my family or the relationships that I have to the point of if I’m not doing what I said I would do with them.

And because for me, I think even as different as male and female, I think we can tend to, I can tend to put my excellence towards work ’cause I see that as being a provider for my family type thing.

~ Yeah.

~ But I also realize there are times when I could pull back in that area to be more available for Chris and the kids type stuff.

And I think that’s the part.

And I think there are times when it is more cyclical.

And then in those areas at those times of our, where Chris and I are related, when maybe when she’s off school, and she has more time available, it seems like I’m just going away and working all the time more so.

And that’s a cyclical dynamic.

It’s not that her opinion is an important or that I’m completely out, but being able to accept that influence from other people to be able to say, Okay, yeah, is it that I’m gone that much more or is it that we’re, you know, one of us doesn’t have the same things that were, you know, kind of same diversions, if you will, that kind of thing to where I think that can play into it for me personally is being able to say, okay, yeah, I’m able to recognize I’m putting too much energy towards this.

And then we’re also able to have that conversation that says, okay, is this typically the routine energy?

And is it the fact that there’s something else going on that tends to, that’s tending to view this dynamic differently?

You know, and I think that’s the, that’s the where the, that’s the difficult part of excellence based on two different standpoints.

~ Yeah, well, ’cause I mean, you kinda, you know, hit on a very important point, which is needs changed, seasons shift, and what looked like excellence and one season may not look like excellence in another, and yet our only measuring stick is our past successes and achievements a lot of time.

I shouldn’t say only, it can become that way to where I’m not getting as much done as I was previously, and that’s our only measuring stick instead of recognizing yes, but I’m doing also increasing my energy over here, and that matters.

So this is an important deduction and excellence in this area because I’ve moved it over to this other area.

And if we’re short-sighted, we cannot see that connection and it can cause problems one way or another.

~ Exactly.

~ We step away from the thing where we should be diverting energy too, or we just get down on ourself and beat ourselves up ’cause we’re not producing over in this other area.

like we used to.

Yeah, it can be detrimental if we’re not able to step back and see those connections and do it intentionally.

~ Sure.

And that’s the thing too that I’m referring to.

It’s like, and I don’t mean to make it seem as if, you know, my work’s always the most important, but yet I’m also, I’m learning to understand that there’s a value in being able to take advantage while a healthy awareness of those cycles to be able to say, okay, yeah, during this time when there might be more time for Chris in a schedule, I can pull back some to be more available because there is gonna be a coming season where we’re both kind of consumed with the occupational dynamics as they restart.

And I think part of excellence, if you will, is being able to take those seasons into consideration to know kind of the season to be able to say, okay, this is our time to reap, and this is our time to sow, type dynamic, because I think so often, and I think, I’m not trying to shift in a different direction, but it may sound that way for a moment, but let me bring back.

~ For as being again?

~ No, definitely not.

I think so often we are very, as individuals, we are very unaware of how many cycles are operating all the time.

In other words, we’ve talked about creation, but I think in our mechanized world, there’s typically a focus on being able to purchase something to do that job.

And we don’t, and at times we ignore many of the cycles that I think are designed into the creation, if you will.

And I think for me growing an awareness of the cycles and how to not benefit, but yeah, ultimately that awareness allows me to see that cycle and be able to adjust accordingly.

Because if I’m not aware of the cycle, I just continue to do the same thing because I’ve always done it that way.

In this mechanized way, this is how you do it.


And I think there is a part of excellence that’s complete, that’s aware of the cycles and the changes.

And because I mean, I guess it’s just, that’s a passion for me, that being able to identify like life cycle stages and all the things that happen with that, because like you said, there’s gonna come a day when we’re gonna die.

So how am I living my life now in such a way to be able to make that transition and do it well?

To where I’m training, I’m bringing up other people in the things that I know how to do in such a way that promotes that cycle living that says, okay, when, and granted, there again, culture has changed to where we don’t necessarily have that transgenerational handing down of some information, but I think that is a helpful part of living in excellence is when I can take that sage wisdom, if you would, Um, wisdom, if you will, that says, well, you know, have you thought about it this way?

Should we mention the fact that we’re I’m okay with that.

We’re picking up on this conversation about excellence.


As Mark was about to say some amazing stuff, the recording stopped in true excellent form.

~ We are exposing our excellence, our level of excellence.

~ That’s right.

~ So you were saying– – Yes.

I was talking about life cycle stages and how having the benefit of seeing, that sage wisdom that comes from someone who has seen the cycles before I think adds to our ability to live in excellence because if I’m just living my life in a mechanical way that does the same thing over and over again.

And I’m not accepting influence from other people, then I’m missing out.

And it’s kind of, it’s even actually become a little more personal for me since that dynamic, the since that day we recorded, because since then, my mom has passed away.

And what I’m recognizing, I’ve lost that opportunity in some ways, but it’s interesting to me because as I remember the conversation we were having, this process of excellence, I’ve thought about it in this context of Psalms 31, where I think, excuse me, not Psalms 31, Proverbs 31, where we think of the Proverbs 31 woman, okay?

And that in and of itself has become a representation of what excellence is, you know, because here’s this woman out here, you know, that everyone should, you know, follow after, you know, that’s the goal, if you will.

And I’m thinking, and as I’m thinking about that, rethinking that, you know, the actual proverb talks out, you know, who can find an ex starts out who can find an excellent wife.


Well, the reality of it is I think that excellence comes with time.

The ability to see because because I believe that that proverb was written about a specific woman at a specific time that that writer actually knew a person.

And I think so often we can lose sight of that in the excellence.

This is what you have to do in comparison to that Proverbs 31 person.

I’m not measuring up.

But yeah, if I’m able to say, if I’m able to have people coming into my life that are able to identify that and see, well, are you doing this?

Because I think that’s what it comes down to.

Who can find excellence?

I don’t think is something we attain at the snap of a finger.

We can’t just become that.

I think of when I thought of that verse, I’m thinking about in context of my parents actually, you know, I would say my dad found an excellent wife.

Was she an excellent wife 63 years ago?

Probably not.

Was the potential there?

Of course.

But I believe that excellence was something that they were that relationship was something they were able to build into near perfection to a certain degree by identifying the cycles and patterns of relationship over time and building on them.

And I think that’s what having those people, those sage people in our lives that are able to say, yeah, but have you noticed this?

And then when this happens, then you’d Excuse me, then you do that.


And I think that’s where, and I think we can get lost in trying to attain that upper excellence instantaneously, and not allowing it to be a process of just living in daily obedience.


You know, and I think that’s where that, that if you will, over time, and I think, you know, there again, culturally, as we’ve become a little more divided, We’ve lost that ability to have that sage influence in our lives.

And it, and it, I think we miss out on the ability to walk in excellence every day by talking with God first and saying, okay, what would you have me to do?

Not looking at other people saying, okay, that’s what excellence looks like.

Or my past output.



Not not allowing that to here again, when we go too far forward, I believe we’re in God’s territory and we go too far backwards.

I believe we’re in God’s territory.

We have to recognize we can’t change the past and we can’t control the future.

So our ability to basically stay in the moment and be doing the things that God would want me to do as a parent, as a husband, as a follower, not necessarily in that same order.

But yeah, as a follower of Christ, how that influences me as a father, as a husband, as a father, and from there on down, a son, those kinds of things, that’s what I’m thinking about that.

I think we can get lost in trying to make everything excellent right now.

Does that make sense?


Yeah, I feel like there’s a maybe a crossover between wisdom and true excellence, right?

So a lot of this episode is basically talking about our conflation of excellence with perfectionism.


When I think we’d best, we’d be best off to conflate it with wisdom.



This excellence looks like wisdom.

Because wisdom tells you the right thing to be doing at the right time.

And Proverbs 31 woman comes out of Proverbs, the wisdom book, right?

It follows up with excellence.

And I do believe as you operate in wisdom, excellence will follow you.


But it’s not the goal.

It’s not the thing that carried in front of you.



And I think that’s your point is like we’re about, we should be about doing the things we should be about doing.

doing in the context of what God’s called us to do on a daily basis.

And some days, I mean, we just, we just re-release the white blank page.




The encore.

But as I think about that, that applies to this in the sense that we need to reset, we need to blank that page and start over and think about what does excellence really look like?

Because I thought it was going to look like this.

building the barns, the storage for my, you know, like using that example that the Bible talks about this guy, this rich guy who had all these plans for building God basically said, you don’t have that’s not that’s out of your control.

That’s whatever that, you know, but like, that’s what I thought it was when I started this week, but right now it feels like all that’s going to arrive.

What is true excellence look like for me this week?

I think maybe it looks like focusing my attention on, you know, my children who just went back to school and there’s They may be struggling, they’re not, but maybe they’re struggling or whatever.

It’s like that’s where excellence has shifted to this week.

~ Sure.

~ And I think we can even recognize part of excellence if we want to include wisdom is also intentionality.

~ Yeah.

~ You know, that ability to be aware and say, okay, what is it this week?

Not in a reactive sense, but in a proactive sense.

it says, okay, this shift is coming.

I’m aware of this.

And I’m willing to have the preemptive conversation, even if you will, to be able to say, hey, this is coming up.

You know, how are you feeling?

And then when we’re there, it’s like, hey, how’s it going?

You know, that kind of thing.

And I think that’s, that’s the part of us when we’re in that authentic space to be able to live that way, because as I’m reading about this, there’s different parts where ships and food, and it’s like, I think every person, definitely every woman has those characteristics, and it’s just a matter of broadening that dynamic over a lifetime.

As I’m thinking about that in the context of eulogizing my mom, all of these different things come to mind.

And I’m recognizing they are laudable.

And yet I’m also recognizing that’s not likely who my dad married.

I know it’s not who my dad married 63 years ago.

That kind of thing.

So that’s where that thought of excellence and the sage And because I do think so much that it reminds me, I hope I didn’t mention it in the first bet, but it reminds me of that country song where the guy talks about I hear voices.

And it’s basically I hear my grandfather say, I hear my dad say, I hear voices all the time.

It’s not a mental health issue, but it’s the fact that I have these sage thoughts that go through my mind.

don’t do this, do that.

And I think when God, or is that voice and when I’m walking in obedience, I think the excellence, if you will, follows over a lifetime.

~ So then you could also say, the excellence we’re defining is closer to wisdom, closer to maturity.

~ Yes.

the excellence that’s attained through maturing.

And maturing is not a process that can be expedited.

~ Yes, I agree.

~ It comes with what it comes with.

~ Like a seed.

~ Yes, and today, maybe your version of excellence is not your ultimate excellent standpoint, but it is what you have today.

But trusting the process of maturity.

~ Yes.

And that comes with that daily review of, you know, yeah.


And being able, and I think when we started the podcast, you know, when we did, you know, I think we were talking about, you know, the context of excellence and perfection.


You know, and recognizing there’s only ever been one perfect person, right, you know, and so therefore my desire to attain perfection is, is, is, yeah, competing is futile.

is futile.




That too.

And yeah, there is that process of being able to say, okay, am I going to live today to its fullest?

And am I going to make the most of the opportunities I have?


But yeah, I’m going to trust God for the difference versus my ability to say, okay, I’m going to get there today.


It’s going to happen today.

And I think that’s where, you know, I think that as I’m sharing on that, I’m reminded of that scripture that talks about, you know, those these guys say, Hey, we’re going to go to this town and we’re going to do this.

And it’s like, no, you guys just don’t get it.

You know, you can’t be guaranteed what tomorrow says.

So, you know, don’t go there.




Kind of like your guy with the barn, you know, same same context.

I know what’s going to happen.



Today’s what I get.

Today’s what I need to live in all, you know, authentic relationship with Christ in such a way that I’m doing what he would call me to do.

And that’s where we get if the good Lord wills and the kirk don’t write.

There you go.

There you go.

I like the use of the word Creek.

I’ve had that.

I’ve almost happened to challenge myself to say it that same way.


Over over much learning.

I only say it in that specific phrase.

Oh, yeah.


Oh, it’s it’s Greek.

That used to be used to be the way I said it all the time.

Great, great.

Oh, yeah.

That’s Pennsylvania.

Oh, yeah.

That was a that was a southern thing.

No, that was a.


I would say that I would say, “Krick.

” Yeah.

My family will pick on me.

There’s a few words that I have learned to resay.

And “Krick” me too.

“Krick” would be one of them.

Bolt is one for me.

Parler is one.

And I still have to say I still have to enunciate.

Yeah, I have to watch all this because I’ll say, yeah.

I’ll say it differently.

But that’s my transition.

Part of my transition.


That’s right.

That’s right.


You say parlor correctly.

That’s part of excellence.

You said that very well, by the way.

I mean, I mean, I can say it quite like that.

ID, IV, happy.

I think you did.

I think you know, I know I emphasize at PAR part.

Yeah, very much to wear.

~ Yeah, it felt excellent.

~ Well, thank you.

~ Give me the way you said it, so.

~ So yeah, so thanks for doing– – That’s how I saw it.

~ That’s right, and I appreciate the reminder for the wrap up, and I think that was a, I do think that was a good– – Yeah, intentional.

~ Yeah.

~ Unintentional, but– – It was a good reminder that we don’t have to necessarily walk in excellence on a daily basis.

I mean– And also a good reminder that sometimes the creek rises.

Yes, it does.

The recording stops.

Yes, that’s right.

As we think about, we might have a storm here the next couple of days.

That’s right.

We’re going to probably experience some creek rising.

Yeah, that’s right.


That’s right.

But either way, Justin, thank you for your time.

Thank you for all you do on to make this podcast possible.

So– Thank you as well.

Yeah, if it’d been up to me, I probably would have just released it as it was.

And it’s like people would have been saying, hey, what the, whoa, what was Mark trying to say there?

We lost it.

The sage wisdom and we didn’t get it.

~ Right, we didn’t get the sage.

~ You’re not gonna get it from me.

I’ll be honest with you.

But those people who have lived before us.

~ That’s right.

~ Yeah.


So that’s how we see it.