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Some people think that they’ll just be able to turn it on when things matter. The issue with that approach is you never know when a small moment will matter more than you think. The greatest athletes realize the importance of practicing well so that they can be their best selves come game time. Taking pride in your job works much the same way.
There are two main benefits to this philosophy, both internal and external. Let’s say you are working a job you despise or, at the very least, doing something that doesn’t excite you. If you just go through the motions and don’t put in any effort, those feelings of dread will continue to grow. If you break the cycle and start to put your best foot forward, your entire demeanor will change. Your psychology reflects your posture and your effort; as soon as you begin to take things seriously, your thoughts and feelings will reflect this shift.
A potentially more important benefit is the external validation and opportunities that can come from doing your best at all times. In the modern world, you never know who’s watching. That person you’re serving at the restaurant may be in charge of sales at a big company and like your style. Going above and beyond to fix someone’s problem at another job may connect you with a life-changing opportunity. Simply put, effort does not go unnoticed.
Taking pride in what you do, aiming to be the best you can, and always putting your best foot forward will literally change your life. It will shift your mindset around your job and completely alter your psychology. It will be noticed by your peers, bosses, and the people you serve. Most importantly, you have to realize that how we do anything is how we do everything. If you can’t take pride in the little things, you don’t deserve the big opportunities.
The most interesting things I've encountered this week
What I'm reading: Tomorrow, and Tomorrow, and Tomorrow by Gabrielle Zevin
This book is being read by a book club I just joined and has been called the “best book I’ve read in a long time” by some in the group. I don’t want to say much about it other than it’s worth a read if you’re looking for a good piece of fiction.
What I'm listening to: Rethinking podcast with Adam Grant
I linked Adam’s recent book, Think Again, in last week’s newsletter and discussed the importance of being able to adjust our perspectives. This podcast attempts to do the same thing with some fantastic guests, like Mark Cuban in the episode linked above. (Note that this podcast is under the umbrella of the Work Life podcast.)
On life: “My Twelve Rules for Life” by Russ Roberts
This is a great list of life rules that all aim to add quality to your years. Worth a read and some deep thoughts on what you can implement in your own life.
Quote of the week:
With his “hardest worker in the room” philosophy, you won’t find people who take more pride in their work than The Rock. This is one of many reasons that he runs some of the most successful businesses on the planet and has been able to gracefully change careers pro wrestling to acting.