I’m on a jazz kick these days, and so when I saw an article in this morning’s New York Times about Hank Jones, (pesky free registration required, or BugMeNot) I jumped in with both feet. Toward the end of the article, there’s this exchange…

When a jazz musician reaches his 60’s, the race against time begins. In his mid-80’s, Mr. Jones is still racing. “I know I can do better than I’m doing now,” he commented, casually, toward the end of our talk.

You really mean that?

“Oh, yeah. There’s another level that’s reachable. I think it’s just a question of time, perhaps, or dedication. I know it’s there.”

Wow! Here’s a guy who’s 87 years old, who refuses to rest on his laurels. He wants to continually get better than he is right now.

The push for excellence must be ongoing. You can’t ever quit. Not to keep up with the neighbors or the new kids, but just for your own sense of doing the best you possibly can with the tools God gave you.