“Whatever you are, be a good one.” – Abraham Lincoln
These days, everyone is busy. Almost any time you ask someone how they’re doing, they’ll answer with some form of “busy”. Work, family, social, whatever – most people are always doing something. But is it the right thing?
Simple as it is, I really like today’s quote (maybe partly because it’s simple). Before you can be “a good one”, there’s a very important step that too many people overlook – what are you? No one can tell you what the answer is for you, but I can tell you what the answer isn’t – everything to everybody. Yet too often that’s what we’re all trying to be.
Think about your business. What is the core thing you do? The most fundamental thing? And why do you do that? Too many businesses focus on the thousands of tasks or activities that take up each day. But is those things really what you do? Take a step back from the details. What is the thing that really identifies you? If you keep that in mind, would that change what you spend your time on? If you keep that in mind, would that impact what you think you need to excel at?
Think about your personal life and ask yourself the same questions. What is the core thing I do? The most fundamental thing? And why? Some people are doing so many thing every day it’s a wonder they have time to eat or sleep. Are all of those things really adding to the core thing you do? No chance. In fact, I bet some of them are actually detracting from it. Identify the core of what you are and think about what that means for how you spend your time.
We’ve been conditioned by our societies to feel that busyness leads to success. The reality is that busyness only leads to success if you’re busy doing the right things. Otherwise it just leads to stress & disappointment. Unfortunately, most people who go down that path never really understand why things haven’t turned out the way they’d hoped.
Be good at whatever you are. Just don’t forget the first step – make sure you know what you are.