Here are some principles to live your life by.
Set high performance standards for yourself. Don't set your goals and standards according to what satisfies others. Set goals that seem a little out of reach. Persevere. When those goals are reached, set new ones at a higher level. Keep doing it.
Never be satisfied with what you've accomplished so far. Always demand more from yourself. When you fail to live up to your standards, don't make excuses for yourself. Accept that you failed and resolve to do better next time.
Second best is often what's demanded in business. People say: "Don't let perfection be the enemy of the good." But Steve Jobs did not accomplish what he did by accepting anything less. The result: Apple Computer is today the greatest wealth-making organization in the history of the world. It got that way because Jobs never accepted less than perfection. Another example: the Japanese car industry became a world-beater because its workers never stopped striving to make their products better.
Cultivate the enjoyment of having accomplished something more than what satisfies others.
Establish ways to measure your performance. Don't worry if it takes time to improve.
Human beings are capable of extraordinary performance when forced to. External discipline and circumstances can compel performance. But internal discipline beats external every time. External discipline is not under your control; internal discipline is. You should be your own sternest critic. There is no such thing as being too hard on yourself. Push yourself. Take pains. Knowledge can be acquired, but attitude comes from within.
Where to start? Life cannot be perfect in every aspect. But in any creative endeavor, the very highest standards rule. Pick some small aspect of your life and resolve to make it perfect. Practice the art of being better at it than anyone else. Once you have that under your belt, move on to other, more important things.