Why do I have someone washing dishes in this drawing? Because how clean your dishes are is a result of attitude, not skill.
Not to say you shouldn’t teach your children the proper way to wash dishes, but if you never taught them chances are they would figure it out on their own, right?
It is SO EASY to settle into a ‘good enough’ frame of mind. In many areas that is acceptable. Sweeping the garage can be done ‘good enough’. But in most cases ‘good enough’ is really another way of saying ‘I’m lazy’. I don’t want to work that hard to reach excellence. I want to just do the minimal and be done with it.
I have had that attitude before, and sometimes I still have it. It doesn’t go away.
So, how do you increase this attitude of excellence? It seems to me you have to think it makes a difference. It might make a difference to your pride at the Christmas dinner if your plates are caked with bits of food from Thanksgiving, right? In that case it is worth doing an excellent job cleaning your dishes.
What about at work? Does it really matter if you get the work in on time or a day late? What if the boss doesn’t seem to care, why should you? Does it really matter if you spell check and proof read or not? Who is going to notice anyway, right?
Here is the key. The truth is it matters because what you do, defines YOU. It doesn’t first define the company or the family or the holiday or the client, but you. It affects those people and institutions and that is important, but no family reputation, no company brand identity and no sales association is ever going to have a definition without its individual members having their identity first.
If you are a ‘good enough’ person, and your boss is, and your son and daughter are, and your sales associates are, then you find yourself living in a good enough world. So you ask, what’s wrong with that? What’s wrong with it is that you have 50 other companies being excellent that are kicking your ass in the business world. Your son or daughter have thousands of fellow students kicking their ass being excellent at school. You have rival sales people kicking your ass getting the sales you aren’t getting. That isn’t just the rear end they are kicking. They are kicking your wallet, your company, your chances for success, your opportunities for the future as well.
I have to recharge myself with this attitude frequently. I tend to slide into the ‘good enough’ world really easily. Truly it is the #1 reason I am the Napkin Dad, to inspire myself to be excellent as well as communicate it to others.
Drawing and commentary by Marty Coleman of The Napkin Dad Daily blog
Quote by Ralph Marston, still alive, author of The Daily Motivator