“One of the most powerful ways for you to change your way of thinking about yourself is for you to commit to excellence.  It is to make the decision, right now, to be the best, to join the top 10 percent in your field, no matter how long it takes.  The very act of thinking of yourself as potentially excellent at what you do, actually changes your mind-set and improves your personality.  It makes you happier and raises your self-esteem.  You like and respect yourself more, just by deciding to be the best.”

 “Change Your Thinking, Change Your Life” by Brian Tracy


I decided long ago to be the best…not just in my field, but at everything I went after.  I was the best public speaker in school (beginning in 6th grade), the best school announcer in junior high and the best public speaker from then on.  I was the best reader in class (I hated math and science, so I wasn’t the best there, but I didn’t try to be…LOL), I was the best student and I graduated in the top of my class.   It came as no surprise to anyone that I’d grow up and have a great desire to want to produce the best daughters (I have…and am extremely proud of that), but in everything that I have done in my career, I have striven to be the best at it and anything bearing my name, has reflected as such.  The name Nonnie Jules is synonymous with EXCELLENCE.


There is a common theme which flows throughout my life, and it is EXCELLENCE.  In my opinion, when you settle for anything less, it is a direct reflection on who you are.  I’ve heard it said that there is no such thing as “perfection,” and I will beg to differ.  I think that is a cop-out for those who want to “settle.”  Well, settling is not apart of my DNA; striving to be the best, striving for EXCELLENCE, is.  I remember a very wise woman often saying:  “Excuses are worn-out tools used to build monuments of nothing.”  She was right, and because I live those words, I don’t offer up excuses and I’m not very accepting of them, either, truth be told.


Some may think me arrogant (that is their opinion which they are entitled to).  I’m aware that many choose to see arrogance instead of high self-esteem.  In life, for the naysayers, it’s always better (in their minds) to attach a negative label, than an honest one, but I know that I’m a strong, independent lady with very high self-esteem.  I also know that there are many intimidated by those with high self-esteem, and the fact that I’m female, adds much more fuel to the fire.  Even so, I make no apologies for being me.  I don’t need anyone to toot my horn, because my hands work very well at tootin’.  I don’t need anyone to praise me to make me feel good about myself, because I already do.  And lastly, I don’t need anyone to tell me that I’m good at this, that, and the other (translation…I don’t need validating)…I’ve worked extremely hard to be good at what I know I’m good at.  Some of us downplay our greatest talents, to make others feel better about themselves.  Well, “not I” said the cat!


It’s no different with the RAVE REVIEWS BOOK CLUB.  There are policies and procedures in place there so that we retain our reputation as the best book club around.  I strive to make it the best, even down to the very last dotted “I” and crossed “T” in our written communication.  In paying such great attention to even the smallest of details, I hope that we will continue to be known for the EXCELLENT support we give to our members and to each other, and also the excellency we lend to every bit of organization which we display in the operation of this club.  We know that our members appreciate the caliber of excellence which we deliver, as opposed to the negativity and stagnant complacency found in other groups.  You don’t become the BEST by accident, it takes hard work, determination and drive, and with all of that, there is accountability.  I’m accountable for all that I do and say here…I expect to be held accountable for my actions,  and I also expect the same from each of my fellow members.  We are the face of RRBC, and we should always ensure that we are committing to EXCELLENCE in all that we do, especially in our written works and our behavior towards others.


The inspiration and motivation that I’d like to leave you with today is, you’re only a second-class citizen if you ALLOW yourself to be.  I am always in first class and always associated with EXCELLENCE (in my mind, in my  business, and in my personal life), because it is where, and how I choose to be.  No one can make you feel inferior without your permission.  Don’t let others’ opinions of you, keep you from being your best.  Today, and every day, let’s all choose EXCELLENCE, in our thinking, in our writing, in every area of our lives.  If we choose it, if we work at it, eventually, we will become it.


I’m sure I’m often called lots of things, but I hope somewhere in all those adjectives (good and bad) used to describe me, someone was able to see that I truly strove for excellence.


How about you? Are you striving for Excellence or mediocrity? And yes, before some say “Well, you don’t have to strive to be mediocre,” know that some do.  Some are so talented yet, they “dummy” themselves down to make others feel more superior…therefore, they are exceptional, but striving to be mediocre.  Do you believe that there is no such thing as “perfection?”  Are you striving for Excellence in all areas of your life, or are you satisfied with mediocrity?  We’d love to hear your thoughts below.


  1. ~Mar

    Reblogged this on Life As I Know It.


  2. An “excellent” pick me up & read for today as I make my way thru the RRBC weekly updates! A few simple words can be all that is needed to make a positive powerful difference to another. For me, today, those words were…
    “Don’t let others’ opinions of you, keep you from being your best”
    Thank you Nonnie, for reminding me the most important opinion of me is my own!
    And thx also to all the eloquently shared responses as well…such good food for thought & fuel for inspiration!


  3. Thanks Nonnie! In the short time that I have been a member of RRBC I know this to be true: you constantly strive to be the absolute best at what you do. I feel the support and aim to provide that support to our Club. I have re-blogged this as it is of course applicable to all types of life choices not only to our writing. Well said and well done!


  4. Shirley Harris-Slaughter

    My mother always told me that no matter what I do in life, strive to do it well. So I can relate to your belief in yourself. If you don’t believe it, nobody will. What you feel is not arrogance. Its who you believe yourself to be. How is that arrogance? Only those who would have you believe otherwise, would label it as such. Those are people who don’t have much confidence in themselves and so they are good at bringing someone with confidence down to their level. I like being around people who know who they are and where they are going. I even hung out with the prettiest girls because I felt confident in my looks and my abilities to attract the opposite sex. When my husband first met me, he took note of the attractive friends I had hanging around me and told his friends. It was amazing to him. I didn’t think much of who I hung out with so it was a surprise to me. Keep on being who you are Nonnie. You are a leader.


    • Awww, Shirley, how could I have low self-esteem with you around? Thank you so much, love! I always know for sure, where you’re planted!

      Liked by 1 person

  5. Many are afraid of a self assured, confident woman. I’ve known many people who delight in bringing others down in order to try to raise themselves up. HUGE respect for you, Nonnie. “No one can make you feel inferior without your permission.” I so want to print that on a t-shirt!


  6. I like the point about excellence having value in all spheres of life. Sometimes society tells us that the only measure of success is financial. But you can be excellent at something like volunteer work, and that still has value. My books may not be bestsellers, but I still strive for the highest quality, and that excellence still has value.


    • Anne Margaret, as long as you’re “striving” in the right direction…you’re looking up and not down; looking ahead and not behind…you got it!


  7. This is such an important message for everyone to hear – in every walk of life and at every age. I agree with John Howell – you are the best conduit for this life message. It really is a life issue and the quality of our lives depends upon how we view ourselves. Nonnie, You have been, and still are my inspiration and my mentor – for this I am grateful!


    • I am always humbled by your words, John F. You’re also an inspiration to me, as I share with you quite often. Thank you!


  8. Excellent Nonnie. More needs to be said about self worth and you are the best one to say it.


    • John H., you are a kind and gentle soul. I admire you for both.


      Liked by 1 person

      • Thank you, Nonnie. Such a nice thing to say.


  9. Living in a world where self-esteem is constantly abused by ‘reality’ TV shows and ‘celebrity culture’ bombards us daily, demanding that we applaud the stars without reserve, merely for daring to say, ‘I’m wonderful, so you just better like me, else that makes you stupid!’ WHEN THEY PATENTLY AREN’T wonderful or any other adjective that speaks of excellence. It’s no wonder that arrogance is confused with true, justified pride in ourselves.

    Words hold power, even when they’re misused. They beguile and attract, they bludgeon and persuade, they hold truth in full, or in part. The trick is to know when they’re being used properly. Self esteem has to have a basis in hard work and sustained effort, to always be the best you can, as a person. It should not be a cultivated ‘attitude’ of being, or chutzpah, or the kind of glaring, false confidence of individuals of the kind that appear on ‘car crash’ TV show such as Jerry Springer’s, for our outwardly shocked, but secretly delighted knowledge that such travesties exist and don’t know how really flawed they really are. That is arrogance, because it has no proper foundation in true esteem.

    Thank you Nonnie, for showing us daily what good self-esteem is and how to put it into practice. 😀


    • Jan, I often say to John F. “Jan is just the sweetest and the kindest…always willing to jump in and help wherever needed.” Words are powerful, in all the ways you mention, and because of that, we should be mindful of how we use them.

      Thanks for all you do and for just being you. 🙂


  10. No excuses Nonnie. I stand firmly with you here. People who strive for excellence are alone, all by themselves. No-one can make you, or help you become excellent. It is your own struggle, your own choice, and… your own satisfaction. How can anyone take that from you? Let them go get their own! :(.


    • No one can take anything away from you, Joy. You can only give (your power, your strength, your self-esteem) it away. I will never relinquish any of those to anyway.

      Thank you for your kind words!



  1. STRIVING FOR EXCELLENCE OR MEDIOCRITY? #RRBC #Inspiration  #RRBC Thanks @NonnieJules – Lynda Filler, Author, Poet

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