REFLECTION: My three year old grandson has learned to count. Everything around him is fodder for practice: fingers, books, days on the calendar. As he gets more proficient at counting, concepts like yours/mine and more/less are also popping to the fore. Who has more smarties? Who scored more points? The comparisons fuel both victory dances and mini meltdowns.
As we mature, we continue to count. Only the objects of our affection or attention change. How many widgets sold? Clients served? Dollars banked? Gadgets owned? Miles traveled? This raises the question of what REALLY counts in life.
My niece waxed eloquent on this very concept in a recent blog posting. Jillian is a young entrepreneurial craftswoman currently living in Pocatello, Idaho. As a one woman shop, she’s making a name for herself in the world of web community and online commerce through her unique jewelry designs, novel photography and engaging writing. She notes the pressure to ‘make the numbers’. With Jill’s permission, I’m sharing her recent commentary on success.
“Which of these do you value more – quantity or quality? Success, for me, in this crafty world of mine, is when I enter into my creative space and perfectly translate a vision into metal and stone. Success for many others is in the numbers. Numbers of Twitter followers. Numbers of Facebook friends. Numbers of sales. Numbers! Numbers! Numbers!
Does any of that matter if you feel unfulfilled in your work? Does any of that matter if you aren’t true to who you are?
Today I experienced a glorious nibble of success. I finished three pieces of jewelry. I scraped one piece-of-crap-ruined-jewelry into my metal recycling bin on my workbench. I went for a walk in the weather. I loved my husband. I connected with a few wonderful folks out there in the interwebs. I gave my cat a belly rub. I made a delicious pizza for supper and now I’m going to go eat it, with a glass of Malbec. I’m all about the quality in this life – to hell with the numbers.
This kind of day to day success is so delightful. It really is. What else could matter? Just live each day well, I say. Just do your best. The rest is not your business.”
ACTION: There is a time, a place and a purpose for measuring, counting, monitoring. We just need to be clear that we are scoring and tracking the things that truly matter – in our work and our lives at large.
What will you choose to keep an eye on today? Manage your attention with intention.
QUOTE OF THE WEEK: “Be selective about your external influences.” – Brian Tracy
RESOURCE OF THE WEEK: If Jillian’s voice caught your attention, you might enjoy more of her take on life and work at The Noisy Plume.
READERS WRITE: Two Pause readers comment on last week’s message on TAT (Turn Around Time).
EF writes: Thanks for sharing ideas to help folks stop, look and listen to what is going on in the fast track of life when we forget to build in turn around time.
KL writes: We just returned from a trip to Ontario which included a little work, visits with relatives, a wedding and a visit with friends. It was great, but as we were coming home my husband commented that we should have built in some down time. It wasn’t rushed or even too packed – just too many.