I have always believed that if something is worth doing, it is worth doing well. That if something is worth any effort, it is worth our best effort. That we honor our interests by going all in, and getting the most out.
As a student, I wanted to excel. Then, too, as an employee and boss. As a mother, I wanted to create memories and moments, to contribute substantially to the formation of especially wonderful young men.
At every turn I have believed in the importance of demonstrating my devotion to the cause by delivering not just quality effort but a quality product as well.
And – yet –
I’ve also come to believe that if something is worth doing, it is worth doing not well. That if something is worth any effort, it is worth whatever effort we can offer. That we honor our interests by going in at all.
That it doesn’t matter if our watercolors are great or our prose deathless. Doesn’t matter if we can’t play the piano at the levels to which we aspire, or even the levels at which we once performed. What matters is that we paint and write and play, for the sake of painting and writing and playing. For our own sakes.
And – yet –
Can both be true? This I believe: that going all in on something that matters to us is important. And affirming. And probably the only way things ever really get done. And, this I believe: we owe it to ourselves to think more carefully about the outcomes we think we are after — to be willing, even eager, to seek joy and diversion and developing skill at least as much as we chase excellence.
Which brings me to a tautology that strikes me as both elegant and dissatisfying: if something is worth doing, it is simply worth doing. Period.
And – so – on the occasion of my 99th blog, on a journey marked by as much by “all in” as “in at all”, when sometimes the focus has been on finesse and sometimes just on finishing, I offer this:
Life Lesson #32: If something is worth doing, it is worth doing well.
Life Lesson #33: If something is worth doing, it is worth doing not well.
Life Lesson #34: If something is worth doing, it is worth doing.