No One Wants You To Excel

People expect you to be above average.

But very few people want you to excel.

Friends may cheer you on if you’re willing to carry an extra load. Your family may support you through a season of overtime at work. Your team may applaud your extra effort on a special project.

If you’re going to excel, to shine, to rise above, to stand out, to really be among the best in your field, don’t expect everyone to rally behind you.

Why? Because excellence costs.

Your pursuit of excellence will cost you time. It will cost you money. It will cost you the shame of many failures en route to success. Those close to you will share those costs. In today’s distracted culture, excellence requires a high level of focus and tough choices. These choices will naturally disappoint some of the people closest to you. Everyone who has pursued excellence – writers, musicians, pastors, artists, parents, plumbers, athletes, teachers – understands this. It seems counterintuitive, but your commitment to persevere in your calling over many years may actually be threatening to those who don’t share your level of zeal or discipline. They may ask you to dial it back or to be a little more balanced.

If you excel, people may think you are odd. That’s ok. You are.

God created each of us to be excellent at something. Don’t be afraid to discover what that is and go for it.

We need you to lead us to new frontiers. Go ahead. We want you to excel.

By Ken

Dr. Ken Cochrum (DMin, Bethel University) is Vice President of Global Digital Strategies at Cru (formerly Campus Crusade for Christ) in Orlando, Florida. An avid cyclist and aspiring guitarist, he also holds a degree in Mechanical Engineering from The University of Texas and a Masters of Arts in Biblical Studies from Dallas Theological Seminary. He recently co-founded, a movement passionate about connecting people to Jesus using digital strategies. He previously served as vice president of Cru’s student-led movements worldwide. He and his wife Ann spent 13 years in East Asia where they raised their two children. Ken blogs regularly at

3 replies on “No One Wants You To Excel”

Thank you Ken. I was thinking that I have wrong tought but, I discover that this can be. Really I want ton excel in my life. Pray for me

Good article Ken. Thanks! Sometimes we don’t want to excel either … it creates more work that mediocrity.

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