If you want fabulous desserts in Japan, look no further than the food floor at the Takashimaya department store. It is paradise for foodies. Anything you could imagine – tempura, sushi, chocolates, pastries, ice cream, salads, and amazing desserts of all kinds. The Japanese shop there for dinner, special events, daily meals, and everything in between. Everytime we go there is something we have never seen before, something wonderful to try, and the delicious favorites we have imagined when we are back in the states. This is one of my favorite treats, strawberry shortcake. It’s not too sweeet, fresh, light, and the minute you put it in your mouth you know what excellence means. We bought this piece at the Takashimaya in Kyoto. No matter which store you visit, be sure to amaze and astound yourself by visiting the food floor.
How nice it is when you dream about something and it turns out to be everything you hoped for and more. When the things you love provide consistency and fulfill your imagination. When you taste a food you crave and it brings all your tastebuds to life. When you visit a place again and again and are continually amazed. Excellence has a way of doing that, a way of proving itself over and over and over again. It does that by never giving in, never lower it’s standards, never deciding that today it is enough to just get by. Consistent excellence means to never give into the desire to just get it done. It means making the effort, that extra effort to do it right everytime.
We all have days when it seems like getting through until dusk is all we can handle. Days when we want to do it right, just not sure we have enough strength to do it with excellence. Then there are those days when we know without a shadow of a doubt that what we produce will be beyond what we imagined, beyond our hopes, it will be excellent. That whoever has the blessing of being the recipient of our work will be astonished and amazed by what we have created. Those are the days we live for.
So why does it seem so hard to be excellent with consistency? Why are there times we get it and times we don’t? I realize no one is perfect, so there will always be flaws in our work. So why do some people produce at high standards while others struggle to just get it done? Maybe it has more to do with attitude than ability. Maybe the ability to produce consistently with excellence takes a mindest not just a skill set. Doing something over and over and over again until you can do it without thinking takes practice, attitude, and a willingness to get better each any every time you do it. It means taking the time and effort to pursue excellence when good enough might leave more time for something else. Excellence takes focus and passion, a willingness to bring your best to what you do each and every time.
What you really have to decide is does what I’m doing need to be excellent or can I live with good enough? Having traveled halfway across the world and found my favorite strawberry shortcake in Kyoto, I’m glad the baker of this delight chose excellence. It was worth every bite and then some.