Excellence is a Habit: 40 Days x 40 Nights by G Diesel

As tends to happen to us all at important milestones, my fortieth birthday brought with it moments of introspection and reflection. No great existential crisis brought about by four decades of life. No ageism or any concerns of a fading prime. Quite the contrary. Instead, I worried, that even with all of my requisite ambition and often daunting schedule, that I would have to face one of my greatest fears—that maybe I was wasting my potential.

So after a lengthy self-analysis, I did what seemed to be the most effective method for formulating a plan, though admittedly old school. I put pen to paper and I made a list. And gave myself a timeline, one quite literally of biblical proportions—forty days and forty nights. Whether in work or at home, in business or with family, in the gym or at the dinner table, with intellectual pursuits or those of the spirit, there were a hundred ways I knew I could raise my game. Not that I necessarily needed to, but that I knew I had the capacity within me and was squandering it. That fact, as my fortieth birthday approached, was not a fate I could in good conscience abide.

Get in my best shape of my life, eat cleaner, do more cardio, read more, create more, grow the reach of our brand, and be a better father. Clearly there was no shortage of worthy goals. And obviously, I had much work to do. That new, refocused purpose, for me, was empowering.

In the years since, that impulse has become an impetus with impact, not just for myself, but for my brethren and our brand at large. It has evolved, and as #40Daysx40Nights expanded in its footprint, the mantra has been distilled down to the three most basic and most important, all-encompassing areas of personal development—mind, body and soul. To grow—better and stronger, every day. One day at a time. And that, at last, is the most critical component of these forty Earthly rotations.

Consistency. As we say, it isn’t sexy or flashy, and it wouldn’t look good on a billboard or a t-shirt (which is why we’ve put it boldly on a shirt for three consecutive years), but ultimately consistency will make or break you, it will be the difference in the end. The first step is to make a decision. Next, you must make a list. And finally, and most importantly, you must come back to these tasks, day after day after day, hungry to pay your dues, dedicated to making incremental progress. The kind that might not be obvious from day to day, but that adds up to something monumental over time, and builds the kind of momentum that can quite literally change your life.

In a mere 40 days and 40 nights, we provide a template, one for you to personalize and perfect, not with the illusion of perfection in mind, but instead the pursuit of a lifetime–of excellence, on your own terms. Because after all, as Aristotle once taught his scholastic disciples in Greece, “We are what we repeatedly do. Excellence, then, is a habit.”