Around 11 on Sunday night, I went to go see The Bourne Ultimatum. It was excellent: The acting, direction, writing, action sequences, music, timing– everything. Since then I’ve read a few articles about how well Matt Damon, the lead actor playing Bourne, and Paul Greengrass, the director of the film, worked together and generally hailing the job the entire team did in putting together the movie.

I’m a huge fan of excellence. Be it the Bourne trilogy, or the few tv shows I’ve watched: The Wire, LOST, The West Wing (seasons 1-4)– I become obsessed when I find something that is just amazing. When I go to a restaurant and the food and service is great: Everyone went the extra mile, and all the little things have been looked after. When I visit a website that does all of the simple things– you know those things that make it clear that they’ve already thought about it so that you wouldn’t have to– those websites make me happy. Most excellent things not only make me happy, they inspire me.

Do we really appreciate the excellence possible in the things that you do? And more importantly, do we appreciate the things that others excellently that just blow us away because it basically seems like magic? Example:

A close friend was a professional musician. Now that he’s all grown-up, has a wife and a small litter of kids, he gave up the dream of making it big and got a corporate gig (rhyme completely coincidental). I work with him in the corporate gig. Over the past few years I’ve gone to see him play at different bars. At some point it hit me how amazing his music skills are to me. It’s something I can’t even fathom since I’m totally tone deaf. That makes me wonder at the skill in others.

I’ve played basketball practically for as long as I can remember. When I was younger, while it was clear to me that others (read: everyone) were better than me, I never appreciated it. I still get out and play ball about once a week, and now I truly appreciate the different things the people I ball with do really, really well. I can go on and on, but it’s everything from great swimmers, runners, public speakers, programmers, singers (not Sanjaya), that totally fascinates me.

Pay attention to your world. Notice what others do really really well. Think about how/if you could do the same thing. Maybe you’ll try it. Maybe you’ll just appreciate it. But definitely notice it. Excellence is all around us. And I’ve found that as I notice excellence and pay more attention to it, I appreciate it more and hopefully generate a little more excellence in the small areas that I’m capable.

Excellence is the ultimate meme.

5/13/13 – It’s too easy to neglect noticing the things around us. Actually a good reminder for me to continue to look for the beauty and excellence in the world around me.

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