8|30 George Fucking Washington.

“If you’re not trying to George Fucking Washington this thing called life, then what’s the point.”

A friend made this comment to me recently. The point I think he was trying to make is too many of us, well, all of us at some point in time at the very least, just do enough to get by. Either going through the motions at the gym, at work, or in our relationships.

Stewing on his comment for a few days, I couldn’t come up with an answer to: why do so few seem to have this “George Fucking Washington” mentality to life or anything for that matter?

Many of us feel, in my opinion, we do intact attempt to bring this ‘thing’ to life. However, very few of us ever do; very few ever see it through and give it the full length and seriousness that it requires.

This thing is “greatness.” Not fame, not money, but… a form of excellence. The type of excellence that, by merely pursuing it, we gain clarity in vision, purity in intent, and a sickening work ethic resulting in world-class execution. Although this may seem like a bunch of motivational words strung together, we all know this to be true. We just say it in different ways—from businesses where the phrase “the best marketing is a great product” is said to teachers around the world who preach “do great work, and you will be found.”

Greatness, or let’s call it excellence, is both universally definable and individually subjective. It is something that we all come together, with almost unanimous agreement on. In those moments few words are ever spoken, but we know when something is truly great, it is undeniable. Whether it is a book, a product, a movie, a YouTube video or an essay for your final exam—great work speaks for itself.

No doubt you’re saying, “No shit, what’s your point?” My point is…why aren’t more of us pursuing excellence, over results? Pursuing that nod from someone that says you are undeniable, instead of fame?

This means not pursuing fame or fortune. It means pursuing excellence in something, even if only once. In parenting, cooking, driving, your work, your business, your book, your passion, your hobby. Just once.

We want to be good, sure. But, being good at something has become the equivalent to being average. We expect this average execution to earn us the right to have an audience or a paycheck.

It is almost as if we do not allow ourselves to pursue excellence as if we are saving it for those few—the untouchables, the talented, the stars, the people that aren’t us. Instead, we pursue short-term results and claim it to our fictional excellence, allowing it to give us a false sense of confidence.

Maybe it is fear because deep down we know what it takes to be excellent at something…and it isn’t fucking easy or quick. It is a hard thing to remind ourselves of, that the time will pass anyway and that Netflix doesn’t care for you as much as you care for it.

It also needs to be said…fuck the talented, be great. Become world-class in your thing. It is possible; it can be enticed, excited, and cajoled out of yourself. Put another way, if you aren’t genuinely trying to push the limits, go somewhere no one has been and improves the perfect, then why begin in the first place?

Accepting an okay product, the just “good enough,” saying “it will be alright” is the worse and most unique human trait. We are the only species on the planet that does less than all we can in any given situation. #JimRohn

For those in their 20’s – 50’s, we owe it to ourselves to find out what would happen if we gave 200% of our everything to something?

To go the full length, not stopping when it is done, and only stopping when it will never be forgotten—just once and attempting to see what you are capable of. After all, I believe we owe it to ourselves. Go big, take a risk…what is the worst thing that could happen? Truly, in this day and age, there is nothing, nada, not even the slightest downside… apart from your ego getting bruised.

Going big, attempting to “George Fucking Washington” something just once, is worth every ounce of the risk that will come with the endeavor. The craziest part about this, this pursuing excellence, really pursuing it… It’s almost a fucking guarantee for success. Because no one else does it, or to be accurate, very very few. We aren’t willing to waste our time, just in case, it doesn’t come off. Hot tip, the time will pass anyway.

I leave you with the words of Charles Bukowski, in an attempt to intrigue you into what seeking excellence could look like and what it can take to achieve, even just once.

“If you’re going to try, go all the way. Otherwise, don’t even start. This could mean losing girlfriends, wives, relatives and maybe even your mind. It could mean not eating for three or four days.

It could mean freezing on a park bench. It could mean jail. It could mean derision. It could mean mockery — isolation. Isolation is a gift.

All the others are a test of your endurance, of how much you really want to do it. And, you’ll do it, despite rejection and the worst odds. And it will be better than anything else you can imagine. If you’re going to try, go all the way.

There is no other feeling like that. You will be alone with the gods, and the nights will flame with fire. You will ride life straight to perfect laughter.

It’s the only good fight there is.” – Charles Bukowski

Doesn’t excellence sound horrendous? In the words of Freddy Mercury, yes:

“I’ve taken my bows and my curtain calls. You brought me fame and fortune and everything that goes with it, I thank you all. But it’s been no bed of roses, no pleasure cruise. I consider it a challenge before the whole human race, And I ain’t gonna lose…”

But what else is there, to say no to this is to say no to adventure. To say a swift fuck you to whatever bought you into this world. It is to exist and not live and that is the true crime, that is the most selfish and ungrateful choice to make.

So, claim your stake against humanity… for I wager, you won’t lose and if you do, the adventure will be worth the loss.