"How you do anything is how you do everything" I heard this on a podcast this week and it made me think. Is this true? Is how I do any one thing the way I do everything? This can’t be true…right? Is the way I studied for a Math test in high school the same way I would have prepared for my driver’s license test? My motivation for passing my Math test was zero while being able to drive around in my mom’s Hyundai Sonata was high. Is the way I prepared a dinner for myself compared to in an imaginary world where I made meals for girls? I don’t think so Tim…
While these are extremes, I do think the heart of the saying is correct. How I clean my room, create my gym routine, write my blog posts, plan my meals, think about money and the clothes I’m going to wear are all very last minute. I can’t think of one area of my life that is well thought out or well executed. I taught my grade 5’s the word improvisation this week. I should have put my picture next to the word instead of the definition I created. Why do I do this? I could think of maybe twenty reasons but then that would cause some serious self-reflection that I’m not prepared to do as a last minute action kind of guy but the main reason is because I’ve gotten away with it for this long and life has gone to a level that I’m satisfied keeping it at. The way I prepare for dates doesn’t drastically change from girl to girl. The way I prepared for my first teaching job and my last teaching interview wasn’t noticeably different. The way I approach thinking about the future 1, 3, 5 years from now is not much different than the way I looked at in when I was 18. (that's got to be bad right?)
There are tons of articles and quotes (which I love) that tackle this topic head on but I refrained from reading them because I didn’t want it to cloud my judgement. To this point, I think it’s true for the most part and also that I have a low amount of discipline and I could develop better habits. Discipline is a potential blog post topic because apparently it is a muscle that can be exercised and developed. I’ve heard that we only have x amount of discipline to use each day and once we have used our amount for the day, it’s gone so we need to be careful what we are most disciplined about. Now for what I’ve learned:
You know when you have done something at 100% of your ability. You know when you have given 80%, 60% and even 20%. How does that make you feel? If you are okay with it then you should continue giving that amount of effort. However, giving 95% one day can turn in 85% the next then you could be in a tailspin of effort, confidence and general life satisfaction. I’m confident that at some point my dad tried to preach this lesson to me but I needed a podcast twenty years later for it to enter my consciousness.
From lifehacker.com “It may seem like you're just skimping on the unimportant stuff, or saving energy for your big tasks, but repetition makes a habit. Eventually, you get yourself used to the idea that doing most of something is okay, and one day that mentality can cross over into the things you do care about. You'll wonder why success eludes you, but the answer is in your process. If you do one thing lazily, you'll do everything lazily.”
Doing everything 100% seems exhausting and daunting but would most certainly make me a better human. Do you give a 100% at everything?
From pickthebrain.com “I had accepted mediocrity as an option in my life and that’s exactly what I ended up with. If you have accepted mediocre in one area of your life, you have accepted mediocre. Full stop. The cure for this is to not allow mediocre to be an option in your life. If you don’t accept it, it’s impossible to end up with it.”
This also has to be true and I have certainly been feeling mediocre as of late. So giving 100% would change this feeling I have?
One area of our lives affects the others. If our car is dirty and filled with garbage, we probably aren’t sitting at a desk that is completely organized or a closet that is being optimally used. Staying up late watching the OJ Simpson series will make you tired the next day which will make you crankier at work and with your friends. (may be a real life example) Understanding that all areas of our life directly influence each other and how forming positive habits that make us feel like we are giving are all are important elements in these other articles.
“Rarely have I seen a situation where doing less than the other guy is a good strategy.” Jimmy Spithill