Today, I was reminded of a lesson that I was taught early in my life that at the time seemed like just a big pain in my neck…. but turned into one of the best things that ever happened to me.
Monday Gets a New Lesson
My parents, particularly my Dad, would NEVER let me get away with just doing a job with half effort. If I was going to do something, I had to do the best job I could. One time, I took on this project to refinish an old desk. I think I was 12 or so. I started my project and after about 5 minutes was really “over” completing this grand idea, so pretty much just slapped the rest of the paint on. My Dad was watching from a distance and if I recall correctly, even let me walk away from it while the paint was drying. A few hours later, on my return to retrieve my project, my Dad (in his very quiet manner, with one eyebrow raised) informed me that the job was not finished. He further proceeded to let me know that I needed to re-sand the whole desk and apply another layer of varnish. I huffed a bit, of course, but (that raised-eyebrow scowl always scared me a bit), again sanded the desk and “slapped” the second coat of varnish on. Again…he let me walk away for the desk to dry. And….AGAIN upon my return, he gave me the same directions!! More huffing and puffing on my part!
So….I am now a bit embarrassed to admit that this went on for the rest of the day and into the next. As the project progressed (or di-gressed—whichever way you want to look at it), I stopped even get any words out of him, he would simply look at me and nod his head in a negative manner and walk back to his own project with no further words.
Well…..Thankfully!!….I finally “GOT IT”. If I was ever going to be free to get on with my life (there’s so many important things happening in a 12 year old’s life, you know), I was going to have to resort to doing the job correctly…..and so I did.
FINALLY, I knew I was finished…..With the last try, my Dad just looked at me……and smiled…..and said “Good Job”!!
Well, that desk is still going strong….now, almost 50 years later. Through the years NOTHING could permeate its surface with all the multiple layers of varnish….and I always felt a sense of pride when I looked at it.
So…..when I’m somewhere working whether it might be sitting at a desk job typing or washing my car or helping out someone else. I think of this wonderful lesson I was taught early in life….If you’re going to do something, do it right and do the best job you can! Not just because you might have to “do it again”, but rather because, in the end, you can feel a great sense of pride about yourself and about the mission you have accomplished.
I wish everyone felt the same way about tackling projects. It seems there are so many who just do a “slapped on” job. Unfortunately, they will never feel that sense of accomplishment or pride about what they do. Maybe that’s what is so wrong in this world. Many people just don’t want to make that effort. Very sad!
So everyone reading today….here’s your challenge.
No matter what you do…whether it is cleaning your house, washing
your car, wrapping presents, cooking dinner, digging a ditch or any
other kind of task you take on…..do the very best job you can
possibly do. Then….Stand back and admire your work
and feel the sense of pride that spreads through
your whole body!!
And know that….You’ve just made a difference and the world is
a better place because of your efforts!
My Dad will be so proud of you.
He’s an Angel in Heaven now, so I’m sure he will be watching.