Terry Orlick’s book In Pursuit of Excellence is primarily intended for professional athletes who strive to attain the best results. However, it can also be of great interest to people who want to achieve success in a certain professional area that may not be related to sports. Furthermore, this book can benefit to people who support the idea of life-long learning.
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This paper is aimed at examining the main lessons that can be derived from this text. One can say that some of the suggestions offered by Terry Orlick may appear to be self-evident, but they are often overlooked even by experienced professionals. Additionally, they can be useful for avoiding various pitfalls, such as the loss of motivation or inability to cope with stress. This is the main argument that can be put forward.
One of the most important points is that the pursuit of excellence should be based on the rational choice taken by an individual and his/her positive outlook. First of all, people should clearly identify meaningful reasons that prompt them to display their best qualities and reach the highest performance standards (Orlick, 2008, p. 5).
In turn, the inability to identify these motives is the main reason why some athletes become less competitive in the long term. This is one of the main points that can be made. So, one should clearly understand why he/she intends to gain leading positions in a certain field. This principle can be applied to people who work in other areas.
Moreover, many individuals can lose motivation provided that they pay attention only to hardships or challenges that they have to struggle with. Instead, they should focus on the positive aspects of their improved performance or the results that they can obtain (Orlick, 2008, p. 5). This is why it is critical to remember about the rewards of becoming the leader.
This issue should be considered by people who intend to display excellent results for a long time. In my opinion, this lesson is important because it helps an individual to retain the motivation for pursuing professional growth. In the future, I will rely on this recommendation provided by Terry Orlick.
In particular, it will be of great use to me when I may struggle with some professional difficulties or challenges. This is why this point should not be disregarded.
Apart from that, in his book, Terry Orlick emphasizes the importance of distraction control which is critical for people who want to be top-performers. The author provides several examples to illustrate this point. For instance, he speaks about the changes in the schedule, conflicts with teammates, financial difficulties, educational concerns, and so forth (Orlick, 2008, p. 89).
However, his recommendations can be of great value to other professionals. The problem is that in many cases, people’s performance declines, and this decline can be attributed to the changes in external environment or sudden stressors.
For instance, it is possible to mention that people can become less attentive to his/her work due to some emotional problems or interpersonal conflicts which have an adverse effect on a person’s professional results (Orlick, 2008, p. 89).
In turn, Terry Orlick argues that a person should reflect on the cases, when he/she lost the motive to improve the performance, Moreover, one should think about different ways of responding to difficulties (Orlick, 2008, p. 89). I think that this point is important because many people cannot concentrate on their work because of some minor problems or distractions such as disagreements with colleagues or business partners.
Therefore, one should know how to cope with these distractions. I will use this principle in the future. I am a supporter of life-long learning, but it is possible only in those cases, when a person can cope with stress or pressure. I will regard my performance and professional growth as my topmost priorities.
Moreover, I will make sure that the changes in my personal life d not prevent me from reaching high performance standards. This is one of the main issues that can be distinguished.
Additionally, Terry Orlick lays stress on the importance of small steps that are critical for the excellent performance of an individual. The writer mentions that sometimes the actions of athletes do not lead to immediate improvements; nevertheless, they be viewed as the foundations for the future professional growth (Orlick, 2008, p. 211).
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This is one of the most important arguments that are made by the author. In many cases, people abandon their efforts to improve their skills because their activities do produce immediate results. As a result, they cannot find the incentive to work harder. This is one of the pitfalls that should be avoided by athletes and people who represent other professions.
They forget that in most cases, the pursuit of excellence can be described as a series of small steps that eventually lead to a person’s professional excellence.
This is why this lesson should not be overlooked. I will certainly remember about the warning of Terry Orlick, especially at the moments when my efforts do not bring immediate rewards. In my opinion, this perception of one’s progress is important for a student and a professional. This is why this point should be overlooked.
Moreover, Terry Orlick believes that athlete should not regard failures as sings of their ineptitude since this view is not productive. More likely, obstacles should be regarded as challenges that should be overcome. I think that this point is also essential for individuals who intend to be top-performers because they should remember that failures are often inevitable, but one should learn how to respond to them.
In turn, a person, who strives for excellence, should not perceive these challenges as some insurmountable obstacles. I will take this lesson into account, but I understand that every individual can encounter difficulties, and a professional should be ready to accept them. These are the main elements that may be considered by the readers of this book.
Thus, Terry Orlick book can benefit a great number of potential readers. It contains a series of recommendations that should be taken into account by people who intend to achieve outstanding results. Some of the points made by the author can help the readers adopt a more productive attitude toward their work or professional development.
Furthermore, this source is useful for avoiding potential pitfalls such as the loss of motivation. Furthermore, the recommendations given by the writer can help people better encounter difficulties. This is why this source can be of great interest to many readers who may represent different fields. This is why it should not be disregarded.
Orlick, Terry. (2008). In Pursuit of Excellence. New York: Human Kinetics.