Good morning to you my good friend :)
When I was a little kid my Dad would make plastic models of airplanes and hang them up in our rooms. It was really cool with them all hanging up. As we boys got older we ended up taking after the same interest.
I remember vividly my youngest brother giving me shit.. "you work too fast and your model looks like crap"... something to that extent... regardless, that really bothered me and I've never forgotten about it. Looking back, I was one to just hammer it out and move on to the next, so it probably did look like crap.
As the years would continue every so often that same shit giving comment would jump in my head reminding me to stop and slow down cause it'll probably look like crap. I am not sure if it was my years of mechanical and graphic design or all the quiet hours in the shop building water features... but where I'm at today, I have become good at doing things.. well... better. :) Yes, there's some craftsmanship and experience that's brought me to being "better" but I think it was a small change in my self talk that's pushed me over to working on my best.
Next time you throw a q-tip in the garbage and miss the can.. instead of thinking "eh, Chas'll get it" hahahah! I joke.. I joke...!! no, instead of acknowledging you missed the can, think to yourself "did I do my best throwing it away"
Next time you're walking through the parking lot and pass a piece of trash and think, "trash", "litter" "that belongs in the trash" and keep walking by (cause we all do it) stop, think, "did I do my best" and go pick it up.
Or, maybe you're wiping the counters down to be neat, but as you place the dishrag on the sink, you know you could have done better... not scrubbed polished like you're going to have surgery clean... but you "know" you could have done better... so... "did I do my best".. .then clean it.
By now you probably think I'm a total slob and poor Chas to be with such a messy person.. hahah! no, that's not the case. I know we all have our moments of knowing we could have done better at "X".. something. Especially the small, mundane things.. we all do it.
So... next time, after a half-ass effort.. think.. "did I do my best" then make that change and make it right.
This may sound silly.. however, it will condition you to expect more of yourself, as we all should.. but if you can do the smaller things, the things that won't make or break something, it will prepare you to do your best and do it unconsciously for the things that really matter.
Today Chas will swear up and down that I'm a perfectionist.. to her credit though, I've become more better at the things that matter. (that was a Tristan'ism right there) ;)
I believe tackling the smaller things and becoming good at them last a life time. A rock thrown into the lake causes a ripple... that ripple of effort and intent turns into a current of movement, then into waves that move things... if done consistently, those waves could sink a ship.. I believe that's how life works :)
For me at least, "did I do my best" has made a lasting impact on me. I hope that this playful perspective on expecting more of yourself is as helpful to you as it was to me :)
I can tell you this much!!.... the person (or aliens) that made people move these big ass rocks expected nothing less than their best to move these into place! >D
If you know someone who is looking to buy or sell a home and they could appreciate a person who can't clean the counters or expects his wife to pick up q-tips from the bathroom floor... hahah! you know someone. :)
In all seriousness, thank you for reading this and I hope you laughed more than once.
Have a grateful weekend :)