“Whatever you are, be a good one.” ~ Abraham Lincoln
I firmly believe that the outcome of our life depends on the effort we put into every little thing we do.
I once knew someone who chose to do only the bare minimum to “get by”. For years, I watched him “cut corners” in every aspect of his life, never doing more than he had to. In my daily life, I witness this same philosophy in various people I meet, particularly in public service jobs. You know the ones I mean: those who convey, by their actions and/or body language, that they’re just there to do a job to get paid. These people exhibit no real joy in what they do. They’re counting the hours until their shift ends and act as though the customers “bother” them, without appreciation that, without customers, there would be no job. Or that a shift in attitude could make all the difference in the world.
This is true of everything we do. Everything. It’s all what we make of it. Our lives can be fantastically fulfilling or completely miserable, depending on our effort, outlook, attitude. If we spend a lot of time complaining about every little thing or fearful of what might happen, we will never experience things the way they could be. Every job, activity, relationship, has the potential to be better, if we would only put in all of our effort.
We don’t focus on the success that’s possible, but the failure that might happen. As a result, we are not being fair to ourselves for letting fear get in the way. Success isn’t an overnight thing. Not trying, not putting forth the effort deprives us of learning from mistakes and finding out what works. It’s up to us to take an inventory of our lives and focus on the areas that need improvement. In today’s world, people get burned out when they’re busy juggling everything. We suffer exhaustion, which means that we’re unable to give 100% of ourselves in every area of our lives. Something has to give.
It’s far better to decide what’s really important to us and give those things all of our attention and focus. The less we have the juggle, the more of an effort we can give to each aspect of our lives. It’s all about defining what success means to each of us. No two people have the same definition of success and/or happiness. Whatever makes us feel fulfilled deserves everything we have to give. Every effort. Every bit of energy. Intent focus. No fear of failure, only lessons and the opportunity to grow.
What would change in our lives, if we gave a bit more than 100%? (We call [that little something extra] “Lagniappe” in New Orleans.)