“The highest compliment that you can pay me is to say that I work hard every day.” – Wayne Gretzky
It sounds easy to say when you’re the Great One, winning Stanley Cups and listening to the cheers of thousands. But when it comes right down to it, every job, whether big or small, paid or unpaid, has value. In 2020, let’s make a point of taking pride in what we do.
Often I look around and see all the jobs that make our civilization run. Honestly, it’s astonishing to see how many parts there are to our ecosystem. From the neuroscientist to the mortician to the server at your local watering hole, all of our jobs are essential. I’m grateful that as a people, our talents are so diverse so that we can function as a society.
Part of what makes that diversity work is when people take pride in their work, no matter how small the task. I need to give any job 100%. Of course, you want your doctor to be wholly focused on his duties, whether that’s a routine check-up or intricate surgery. But I would say that the janitor that keeps that operating room clean has just as important of a job. Their dedication to their jobs is essential to making that surgeon successful and his or her patient well. We are all connected, and our investment in our work is vital.
We should all strive to give our all in everything that we do—not just paid work. Think of those that don’t get paid for their work—parents, students, coaches, volunteers. There may not be a dollar amount attached to their efforts, but think of the importance! The labor of a mother that raises her children or a volunteer on the other end of a mental health hotline is priceless. In both of those roles, a dedication to excellence is vital and valued.
I’ve volunteered quite a bit, and I believe that the work that you do off the clock is just as important as that which buys the groceries. I’ve often heard, “Well, it’s just a volunteer position, what difference does it make if I’m late?” In everything you do, do your best. This is a sign of integrity, and giving your all in these situations is a testament to your character.
I’d like to encourage you to put forth your best effort in all that you do, whether that’s a hobby, your home life, your fitness routine, your relationships, or your job. It may sound exhausting, but in reality, it’s quite the opposite. Fully investing in your life means that you reap the fullest rewards. You’ll feel better and make a difference in all you do.