Excellence is self-explanatory. Where there is excellence, explanations are not required. Where explanations are required, rarely do you find excellence.
What's okay is okay and what's not okay is not okay. However, we have a tendency to explain, justify, reason and rationalise what's not okay as okay. Hold it. Once you develop this tendency of using your mind to make what's not okay look okay, you press your own self-destruction button. The mind that gets trained into justifying lack of excellence learns to settle for compromises - it learns to live with compromises.
If you have scored 88 out of 100, the fact remains that you have fallen short by 12. How much ever you explain, you've still fallen short by 12. Communication cannot make up for the 12. You are attempting to explain as though 88 is actually 100, though you yourself know that 88 is only 88.
The saying goes - a lie told a thousand times becomes the truth. To others, it may appear to be the truth. You can do your best to make it look like the truth, but you will always know that it is a lie. Even when I am not comfortable with myself, I can tell the world - "I am on Top of the World." But I know the truth of the matter. For how long can you make a cat look like a lion? You can neither hide the fact from yourself, nor hide yourself from the fact. What is short is short. Explanations can never make up for the shortfall.
If your target was 40 lakhs and you did only 36 lakhs, then you've fallen short of your target. If the delivery was to be made by Monday but it happened only on Friday, then you have failed in your commitment. If your appointment was for 11.00 and you turned up only at 11.15, then you are late. Much after you have explained everything in every possible way, the fact remains that you didn't achieve your target, that you failed in your commitment and that you didn't respect punctuality.
Of course, it is soothing to justify non-performance. It acts as a psychological pain balm. It relieves you from the burden of hurt. However, self-consolation for lack of excellence will hurt you very badly in life. Time and again, it will make you fall short of the mark and you will eventually fall short of what you are capable of. Wake up. What's not okay is not okay. 6.01 is not 6.00; Monday alone is Monday.
'Zero defect' is possible. Precision is possible. Sustained excellence is possible. It all starts with the attitude of refusing to settle for anything but the best. It's a funny thing about life that if you refuse to settle for anything but the best, it often gives it to you. Lack of excellence should hurt. That which hurts, instructs. That which instructs, creates. Get created. Create excellence.