What defines you?

Do the best that you can at whatever job you are given.

Simple advice of a father and the most meaningful sentence I have kept in my head all these years. I wrote a few weeks ago about being focused IN what you are doing (as opposed to upon it) for every moment. It is not an easy task or ask.

It is one thing to perform when you know your expectations, the goal in mind, the audience, and you like the thought of what you are about to do; play a game of basketball, have a weekend with the family, work your dream job or project with a great team, easy money, and sure successes. The adolescent mind loves the easy win.

The Grass is Always GreenerOne of the toughest things in the world for a competitive person is sitting on the sideline; playing what some might call “Left-Out.” Riding the bench in the game, a month with the in-laws, getting assigned to work with Frank, working at the sewage plant for a week. The thought that can eat us alive is the comparative, “Why do I have to do this? Why is he in the game? I am so much better than this. When will it be my turn?” This thought is as unhealthy as trying to keep up with the Jones; the grass is always greener…

Kyle Lacy (a social media guru) asked an important question on Twitter this last week:

“The things you do when no one is looking defines you – agree or disagree?”

My Answer: Unequivocally, Yes

Knowing what you are about and being what you are about can be two very different things. When you are focused IN what you are doing, your concentration is upon where you are, sensing all that you are and all that is around you. You are comfortable in the essence of you. You are not worried about messing up, concerning yourself with the judgement of others, nor wishing that you were someone, somewhere else. This is not saying that you are content with latency, but that you understand that all things good and bad change with or without you.

No Exit No Turns Sign on Baldwin Street in NZSo what really defines you? What do you do when no one is looking? I’m not talking about how you slouch, the way you bite your lip, or how well you sing in the shower; but when given the choice do you do the right thing for the sake of doing it? Do you help the person in need or figure someone else will take care of it? Do you return that twenty dollar bill that you found laying by the driver’s license? Do you act the same regardless of who might be watching?

One thing I am always firm about is that you have a role and regardless of what the role is, I challenge you to do that job to the best of your abilities. The things you will learn, the experiences you will have to call upon may prove more than valuable down the line; but if your head is always wishing for somewhere else, those valuable memories won’t be anywhere.

Thank you for reading my blog – Daniel S. Herr.
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Daniel Herr Profile Picture (@DanHerr)P.S. – If you’re curious about some of my past valuable experiences:

  • Maze Master – Direct thousands of people as quickly as possible through the lift-lines where no-one is happy about the wait & you are the one person standing in their way when they have already waited 25 minutes pushing and shoving through the line
  • Building & Ground Crew – Cleaning ballpark & beach bathrooms including women’s bathroom on 4th of July weekend.
  • Sewage Treatment Plant Maintenance – Scraping clean & power-washing aeration basins followed by applications of bitchathane.
  • To hear about my more glamerous experiences see linkedin.com/in/danielherr