Can You Be One-Dimensionally Excellent?

My high school basketball coach was an excellent coach and I learned a lot from him.  He was always good at explaining how basketball skills translated into life skills and vice versa.  One of the things that he always stressed is that you can’t cut corners in the game of basketball and not cut corners in the rest of your life.  Conversely, you can’t be a person who cuts corners in school or everyday life and not cut corners in the gymnasium.

The short version of what he is saying is that if you’re the type of person who cheats, cuts corners, lies, and otherwise not an upright citizen, you will never be a great athlete.  Great athletes are those who are great, or at least strive for greatness, in all other aspects of their lives.

So the question here is, can a person be morally upright in one area of his life and less than virtuous in other aspects?  Can a dishonest family man be successful in business?  Can a cheating spouse be a good teammate?  Can a swindling businessman be a good church parishioner?

My answer is an emphatic NO.  A person who is excellent strives for excellence in all aspects of her life.  An excellent person is someone who does the right thing at the office even when no one is looking or no one will find out.  It’s this same person who runs the extra mile in the wee hours of the morning because he wants to improve his 5K time.  This same person will rearrange his work schedule to catch his son’s soccer game in the afternoon.  Get it?

When you apply this rationalization to the world of fitness, I don’t know how someone can be an excellent CEO or business owner if he or she doesn’t first take care of his or her body.  If you think about it, you don’t see too many ultra successful obese people in this world, do you?  It just doesn’t work that way.  You can’t be one-dimensionally excellent.

Do you disagree?



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4 responses to “Can You Be One-Dimensionally Excellent?

  1. ‘If you think about it, you don’t see too many ultra successful obese people in this world, do you?’

    Haha I’ve never actually thought about it that way, but you’re right..

    Today the way you present yourself is more important than ever before, you are your own business card.

    • thedynamiclife

      Yes presentation is important because in today’s world, whether you like it or not, appearance is reality. But what I really meant by that line is that if you can’t be successful in keeping yourself fit and healthy, how can you be successful in any other arena in life? To me, you can’t.

  2. Part of me wants to say that ‘successful people are successful, no matter the venue.’ Part of me remembers all of those football coaches (pro and college) whom are in effect CEOs of their organizations. Some of those guys are bigger than their offensive linemen and work out far, far less.

    There are also those people who just have phenomenal metabolisms or who use – shall we say – chemical aid to ‘speed’ up their situation. We can all come up with celebrities who died of OD while looking trim (but far from fit.)

    The question should be how long one can keep up that pace without a healthful lifestyle. In the immortal words of Dr Dre. “Life ain’t a trackmeet, it’s a marathon. !@#$ the cemetery a @#$ getting buried on.”

  3. thedynamiclife

    You’re right, Ted. A healthful lifestyle definitely goes hand in hand with success in many of life’s arenas.

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