What if you were thought of as average? You know – unmemorable and without distinction. Not so good, right? Regrettably, we are bordered on all sides by average, even “sub-par” services, products and people. It’s the norm, and so we may or may not even notice it.

But we do tend to notice the exceptional.

The challenge you and I face is finding the time and energy to create an exceptional life.

The challenge

Several years ago a statistical study of several hundred “truly exceptional” companies was conducted to get insights on how certain businesses can provide superior products and still remain cost competitive.

Now, before you tear off your reading glasses in dramatic fashion and scream, “I don’t care about business statistics!” let me explain how this impacts you and your ability to be truly exceptional in your own life and pursuits.

The ingredients: time, energy, vitality

The study came up with THREE simple rules. Whether you’re in business or not, these rules apply to manufacturing the ingredients that will lead to a better, more productive and exceptional life.

Clearly, most of us don’t have enough time to do the things we love. Our precious time is devoured daily by an overwhelming number of tasks, leaving little for anything else.

But here’s the thing — its not a really a time problem that we face. It’s an energy problem. Everything you and I do, from thinking about what’s on our agenda to doing it and crossing it off our list, consumes our energy…lot’s of it.

And because most of us DON’T think in terms of energy economics, we suffer from a serious energy deficit. Our daily output clearly exceeds our level of production.

This deficit chips away at our vitality — just like an organization with more demand than its labor force can handle. It hinders our ability to put production into overdrive when required the most.

The end result is a painful decline in our quality of life.

Adopting the rules of exceptional business (and life)

1. Better Before Cheaper

A business that puts out a product using cheap materials and shoddy workmanship might see higher short-term profits, but its long-term profitability will ultimately suffer. How does this apply to you?

Simple! Don’t compromise with cheap materials when it comes to fueling your body. Processed foods filled with preservatives might be convenient, but they’re a disastrous long-term investment.

Like purchasing new equipment for a manufacturing business, eating nutrient-rich foods will require more of a financial investment. But in the long run, it will bring a much better value to your life. Feed your body based on value — not price or convenience. You’ll be rewarded with an abundance of energy.

2. Revenue before cost

In business accounting, revenue is the income derived from normal business activities. How does this apply to you? Like a good business, you always want to avoid losses and drive revenue. From a personal perspective, this could be defined as the energy derived from personal activities.

You can rise as a top performer and bring time, energy, and vitality profitability through the roof by investing all three in quality activities. The time and energy you spend in the gym, meditating, and eating healthy will create a measurable R.O.V.I. (return on vitality investment).

Squandering energy with unnecessary worry, stress, and distraction is like being the absentee owner of a business that requires hands-on leadership. If you want more time, energy, and vitality you have to invest time, energy, and vitality in the business of you.

3. There are no other rules

This final rule, as the authors of the business study mentioned earlier suggest, “Underscores the uncomfortable (or liberating) truth that in the pursuit of exceptionalism, everything but the first two rules should be on the table.”

In other words, do whatever you have to do in order to get and remain aligned with the first two rules.

One final note: Before these three rules can have even the slightest impact on your life, you must first make the conscious decision to improve yourself and strive for exceptional living.

Tom Terwilliger is equal parts athlete, entrepreneur and motivator. Five years after pulling himself from the world of drug and alcohol abusing outlaw bikers Tom’s never give up attitude, determination and willingness to sweat earned him a national bodybuilding championship title (Mr. America), and a successful 16-year career as a Fox Sports Net TV show host. He has since written two #1 bestselling books: 7 Rules of Achievement, and Why S.M.A.R.T. Goals May Be Dumb. Tom has taught thousands of individuals and organizations the empowering Leadership, Body Rapport and other life success tools, rules and strategies needed to take massive leaps forward in their lives, businesses and careers. Learn more at http://www.MaxMindset.com. Connect with Tom on Facebook at tomterwilligernow