Each week, I have a quote of some kind (usually from a scientist, but not always) on my board. My first year students have to write a response to it. This week, it was "Excellence is not a skill. It is an attitude." Instead of a specific directive, I simply told them to respond to the quote. I thought some of their thoughts were interesting.
Excellence is something you have and are, not something you do.... it cannot be obtained magically in exchange for temporary achievement.
Excellence starts with your attitude. You must be in the right frame of mind.
If someone is only doing their best some of the time, then they don't have an attitude of excellence.
Excellence is something that means different things to different people. (really?! oh the relativism!)
I suppose it was inevitable that someone went Bill-and-Ted on me:
I think he means you should try to BE excellent, not achieve excellence.