How to become more effective at anything

Sometimes I’m doing work and I find myself putting in the least amount of effort to produce what others would consider a sufficient amount of outcome. I usually live by the mantra that if you are going to spend time doing something, then do it to the best of your efforts; but I can honestly say that every so often, I slip off the wagon.

Yesterday i was hanging out with my friend and he had gone through some life changes. The biggest one was moving out on his own and out of his mom’s house. They loved each other but there was constant squabble and lack of communication. He said something to me that stuck with me, “You know, since I’ve moved out, I actually miss my mom. I take the time to check in on her and look forward to seeing her.” It had only been a brief moment since he had moved, but his attitude had completely shifted. It was touching.

This made me think about how I handle my own obstacles. Being conscious what what I’m thinking about during my time of low efforts made me realize. When my efforts are low in anything, I am usually focused on approaching the task as an obligation and not as an opportunity. I am doing something that someone wishes they could be doing and I am living a lifestyle someone out there is hoping to someday achieve. Just like my friend, he now looks at time with his mom has an opportunity as opposed to an obligation and it has created a newfound rapport.

One story that always sticks with me is the story of two masons who are building a wall. One mason is working very diligently and excited, the other is down in the dumps, doing work that is barely acceptable. A passerby approached the unenthusiastic worker and asked him what he was doing. The worker responded that he is building a wall, and this wall is never ending, there’s just more and more wall. Everyday i go home knowing that I have to put up more bricks and all I will have done with my life is build a wall. Then the passerby goes to the assiduous worker and asks him the same question. “What are you doing?” The worker responds, I’m building the Sistine chapel! I get the opportunity to be a part of building something amazing that one day people from around the world will come to admire. Both workers are doing the same thing, they are building a wall. One has found purpose and this purpose is what helps get us through life. Look at everything as an opportunity. To be alive is an opportunity.

calvin-hobbes-snowman-meaning-in-existence

 

 

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