Pick the one that matters…

“Don’t sit down and wait for the opportunities to come, you have to get up and make them.”

Madame C.J. Walker

Read a book, or two, or scroll through social media? Binge watch a new (or old) show, or make a list of things that you’d like to do with all this time “created” by working from home and no longer commuting? Learn to play the guitar or spend time lamenting a loss of “freedom?”

Which one is going to have any meaning a year from now?

Do that one…

Would you do it for free?

“Far and away the best prize life has to offer is the chance to work hard at work worth doing.”

Theodore Roosevelt

I was having a conversation with someone last week and they asked what I thought was a very powerful and insightful question. That question was “What do you do in your job or profession that you love so much that you would do it for free?”

The reason that I love this question is that it helps you identify the tasks or things that you do that you truly love and enjoy. Hopefully this is a long list for you and your work is filled with activities that you enjoy pouring yourself into. I am blessed that my list is both long and meaningful. It might be hard work, but it is work I love to do.

Worthy work?

“Far and away the best prize that life offers is the chance to work hard at work worth doing.”

Theodore Roosevelt

When do you feel most alive at work? When does the work not feel like work at all but instead is energizing and motivating? I love it when the work is exceptionally hard but is so worth doing that it doesn’t feel like a sacrifice in any way. That is magical. Are you there today? What would it take to capture that feeling?

Do the good work today…

“The best preparation for good work tomorrow is to do good work today.”

Elbert Hubbard

“I don’t have time to do it right today, but I will tomorrow, I swear!” That certainly rings false doesn’t it? If we don’t have time to do the job right today, then when will we ever have time to do it right? Good work only has one definition. If we want to achieve our goals and do good work tomorrow, we have to focus on what we control today and deliver the goods.

‘Done’ vs. ‘Excellent’

“If you want to achieve excellence, you can get there today. As of this second, quit doing less-than-excellent work.”

Thomas J. Watson

This is convicting when you take the time to step back and really think about it. When you finish a project or a task what matters to you more; is it the fact that you ‘finished it’ or the fact that it was done with excellence?  Sometimes I’ll admit that simply being able to check something off my list and say “done” is more important to me than taking the time to think about how well it was done.  

If it is worth checking off your list, it is worth doing well.  Ask yourself these questions the next time you complete a project or task.  Was this my best work?  If I could have spent more time or energy on this would it have been better?  Should it have been better?  Was this unambiguously excellent?  

 

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