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Excellence has become our new ideal. I've been depressed ever since. I just can't seem to muster enough wonderfulness to measure up.

In Search of Excellence sits on a shelf by my bed for inspirational reading. A book that motivates millions, it was given to me by a friend who, I think, meant well. I bogged down in the third chapter.

The idea generally seems to be that we are to do the best, buy the best, have the best, be the best; that we work to deserve that superb rating; that we attain, excel, get to the top.

What red-blooded achiever could argue against such an exalted theme? Me. I've got to.

It just hasn't worked for me. I've tried, but I can't pull it off. I set out to be excellent and end up confused and frustrated.

One of my problems is, "Excellent compared to whom?" I can't think of anything I do but what somebody I know does it better. Joe is more disciplined to exercise. Bob plays better golf, Hymman is more organized, Powell sings better, G. L. tells funnier stories, and everyone ...

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