Go Beyond Excellence by Abel Laureano
Honored to host this article by Professor Abel Laureano, lawyer, educator, thought leader who has published over 20 books on European Union Law and International Law.
It may look a bit awkward to talk about going beyond excellence, since we are used to the idea that excelling is reaching a top. But the truth is that there is something higher: making a pattern.
When you excel, it means that you managed to reach one step further in a certain path, so you achieved the best in that path. But if you succeeded in making a pattern, it means that you were able to create a discernible regularity in the world.
Are people remembered for having excelled? Sure. But who is even more remembered? It’s those who generated new patterns.
Let’s think about means of transportation. For long, men used horse-pulled wagons. And these certainly went on being improved. But do we remember the inventors who contributed to such incessant evolution? Did they leave an outstanding remembrance?
Then someone came and shifted the paradigm. The new idea was to abandon reliance on animals for doing the transportation job. Out came the motor-car project, a self-moveable device. Out came the car industry. And who doesn’t remember Ford?
This new pattern was so strong, that it still stands. Today’s cars are quite different from the initial ones, but they are still industrially manufactured and in a similar way. So, we still live according to Ford’s pattern, be it immortal or not.
Want another impressive and older example? History tells us that, for centuries, it was believed that the Sun orbited around the Earth: this was the scientific pattern. But, when Copernicus said exactly the opposite, a different thinking pattern emerged. Before Copernicus, several men tried to contribute to a better astronomical knowledge, and some excelled in their endeavors. But Copernicus changed the path and shook the world: a new pattern, still remaining; and a place for Copernicus in Universal History. Of course, not all are roses… Copernicus’ end was a bad one.
But there’s more, as to nasty news: even if you manage to generate an idea worth to become a new pattern, you can’t take it for granted. There are, namely nowadays, various factors that can prevent such destiny: economic conditions, political conditions, social conditions, etc. And still something else: today’s life acceleration is bound to turn down patterns more quickly than in previous eras.
So it may require a somewhat tough approach. But don’t be too disappointed. If you really want to fully stand out of the crowd, don’t merely try to excel. By excelling, you may innovate, but your audience is limited. Change your scope and, if you have the guts to do it, try to establish a new pattern. Who knows, you may eventually earn your own place in Universal History books!
Author Bio: Abel Laureano is an Assistant Professor at the University of Porto in Portugal. He holds a Master’s Degree in Law, as well as a Diploma of Advanced Studies, European Studies, and a Postgraduate Certification in European Law. He has published over twenty books and academic publications focusing primarily on areas of European Union Law, European Law and Public International Law.
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