Your best

Sometimes — whether we do it intentionally or not — we offer a “good enough” version of our work.

We might even offer a version of our work that could be called “excellent”.

But it’s much less often that we do our very best work. Our “pull out all the stops, leave nothing in the tank” work.

That kind of work — the work that brings to bear all of our talents, skills, resources, and best judgement — that level of work requires such intellectual, emotional, and physical labor, that it can be intimidating to even consider.

But we owe it to ourselves to do it from time to time. To find a worthy cause, and to give it our all. To not just do excellent work, but to do our very best work.

The big field trip

If every student on a wintry school field trip brought two coats, and one student had none, surely someone would offer her extra coat to the student in need.

And if all the students brought two lunches, and one student brought nothing, surely that child would not go hungry. Someone would share.

And yet when we zoom out — when we consider our community, our region, and our world — we can forget that we’re all on one big field trip. We live in this world together. And (particularly when we’re not “seated together on the bus”) it’s easy to forget that we have two coats and two lunches, and that some of our classmates are cold and hungry.

Big mouths

Small minds are sometimes paired with big mouths.

So let’s do our part to spread the ideas that come from great minds. After all, those great minds can sometimes have quiet voices.

But we don’t need to amplify; louder is not always better.

No. We need to distribute. To spread the ideas.

Let’s populate our culture with the ideas and values that come from the best of ourselves.

Person to person. Small group to small group. Little by little.

Sighing

Do you sigh audibly?

Do you shut drawers loudly?

Are you seeking attention because you’re stressed?

We know. We know you have a lot to do. We know you’re under pressure. We know it’s not fair.

But that energy you’re using to express your frustration is not helping the tasks at hand.

That energy will be better spent tackling the workload that’s gotten you so upset.

And if you need help... just ask. But don’t ask for help by sighing. Ask using words.

Who answers the door?

Inside each of us, we have the entire spectrum of personality traits. They’re balanced in a particular way, of course, but they’re all in there.

So when trouble comes knocking... when we’re faced with a setback... when we’re challenged or threatened...

Who do we send to answer the door?

  • Anger?

  • Passivity?

  • Aggression?

  • Patience?

  • Empathy?

  • Creativity?

It might take practice, but if we want to, we can choose who answers the door...

...no matter who is doing the knocking.