A man is relieved and happy when he has put his heart into his work and done his best; but what he has said and done otherwise, shall give him no peace. It is a deliverance which does not deliver. In the attempt his genius deserts him; no muse must be friends; no invention; no hope.
– Ralph Waldo Emerson
What does it mean to do and being the best in all that we do? We live in a society today that is much different than the fifty years ago, thirty years ago, or even twenty years ago. I grew up in a large extended family in Germany, where it was not just taught, but expected to do ones best. My grandparents held minor league middle working class jobs. My grandmother worked at the military base launderette and my grandfather was lovinging called “the candy man”, as he filled candy and various snack vending machines around the base. I highly doubt that either of these jobs were their ideal dream jobs that they daydreamed about as children, but it was a job and they were proud of the jobs they both did.
Those were the days that people were loyal to their company and stuck around for the long haul, regardless of the position. They were the days that people took pride in what they did, whether it was being a laundry attendant, vending machine filler or flipping burgers at the local snack bar. People took pride in what they did, and did their jobs to the best of their abilities. It was a matter of personal pride.
How often do we go through the drive thru at a fast food restaurant to find the food service worker is less than pleasant, giving the distinct air of how miserable they are to be there? Why should we have to suffer their life choices and their inability to cope with them in a healthy manner? The bottom line is, we shouldn’t. Nor should people take on that attitude. It makes everyone involved miserable. Most of us have to work because it provides us with income that we need to make our living. We have to be at work on average about forty hours a week, more or less. You are there anyway- so why not choose to take pride in what you do and try your best to enjoy it. Whether you are an executive, flipping burgers or anything in between, you have a choice to make the best of any situation. If you work at KFC, be the best at frying chicken so at the end of the day you can have pride knowing that you have done your best. The key is to do your best at whatever you do and wherever you go.
Attitude can take you far- straight to the bottom or straight to the top. They choice is always up to you. People notice your attitude and how they felt being around you. It is ones imperative duty as a member of society to make the right choices and lead by example. Let your life be a message to others and your actions a legacy that others will be inspired to carry on. It does not have to be a grand thing you do, often rest in the simplest of statements of taking pride in the self, doing a good job and being kind. You are responsible for the energy you bring into a room. It is up to you whether you leave the energy better or worse than before you entered it. The good examples of humanity are fading all around us and it is up to us to take on the cause, before everyone forgets what it was like and we live in a world of mediocrity and unhappiness. As Ralph Waldo Emerson said, “we must accept in the highest mind the same transcendent destiny; and not minors and invalids in a protected corner, not cowards fleeing before a revolution, but guides, redeemers and benefactors, obeying the almighty effort, and advancing on chaos and the Dark.”