Have you ever spent time in another country? If so—whether you’ve been a Canadian in Japan or an American in Canada—you definitely experienced some cultural differences. But if you haven’t had the opportunity to travel, let me give you an illustration of what it means to live in Canada.
I’m sharing this because I think it’s funny. But I’m also using it to illustrate how each national culture has its own distinct quirks that dictate how people behave, affecting the way they’re viewed by others.
Each person lives by his or her own internal culture, just like every country has its own cultural identity. We choose the values and way of life that are most important to us and use them as a guiding force, driving our decisions and our actions. Based on my experience, there are generally two personal cultures that people choose from: a culture of convenience, and a culture of excellence. These cultures extend past national borders; just about every person in the world operates within one culture or the other.
But here’s the thing—when it comes to personal culture, there’s no riding the fence. You have to choose how you want to live your life and what you want to get out of it. You need to decide whether excellence or convenience is more important to you and, when you decide, that culture will ultimately pave your life’s path. Yes, you may veer off the path occasionally, but the personal culture you choose will ultimately keep you on track towards the destiny you’ve set in motion.
If your goal is to achieve your life’s purpose (and I hope it is), you have no choice but to choose a personal culture of excellence. Choosing convenience might help you get by, but you’ll never achieve as much as you will if you choose excellence. You have to work for excellence. You have to make tough decisions and overcome challenges. And you may even have to fight. But the pay-off is huge. Not only will you build character, you’ll also be more likely to become the person you were meant to be, doing the duty you were meant to do.
Which culture will you choose?