Monday I wrote about one of my Mother’s favorite colloquialisms when I hadn’t lived up to her standards – “a lick and a promise“. She had a number of such expressions to let me know I wasn’t attending to the task at hand in ways she thought appropriate.
“Linda, your work is simply slip-shod!” In others words, not only had I just given the tasks at hand a lick and a promise, but I had been incorrect in even that aspect. When she used the expressions together – I had really messed up!
Obviously what I had been asked to do didn’t hold a great deal of interest or enthusiasm or I would have gotten “down and dirty” when tackling her “Linda’s to-do list”. I wanted to read the classics and write the next chapter in my great American novel!
As a mature adult woman with lengthy Linda to-do lists, I find myself still wanting to get everything done in rapid-fire order so I can turn my attention elsewhere. Truth be told – I can still give important tasks a lick and a promise with the result being slip-shod indeed.
Colloquialisms tell the tale. They spell out our weaknesses in ways that simple words can’t do. Had my Mother said “that’s a poor job”, I wouldn’t have felt the weight of her words as heavily as I did when those silly expressions filled the air. To just gloss over important tasks without doing the best I have to offer not only dismisses the one laying out the tasks – but myself as well.
For what reasons do we fail to live up to our own standards for a “job well done”? Why take on a task and then do it poorly – or not at all? Monday’s post laid out some reasons:
1. Procrastination; 2. Multi-tasking; 3. Spread ourselves too thin; 4. Lack of deep commitment; 5. Distractions
All the above are great examples of falling short of the mark. But there’s more to it. More that lies beneath the surface and hides from our awareness.
1. Confidence – a lack thereof! I knew I couldn’t clean my room to please my Mom. I didn’t have the same commitment to “clean room” she had. What I considered clean; she considered ‘slip-shod’. But more than that, I wasn’t confident in my abilities – thus I didn’t even try. Frankly it was easier to disappoint than to rise to the occasion from a reservoir of skill and ability I failed to recognize as “mine”.
Here’s the kicker – if we don’t develop a sense of confidence in our knowledge, skill, talent and abilities; we’ll continue to handle life and business in a ‘slip-shod‘ manner. And the success we long for will continue to elude us!
2. Willingness to Learn – I didn’t take her teaching seriously. After all, why the fuss over freshly polished wood when a swipe of the dust cloth would do? Yet there was a method in her desire to teach me how to clean like the pros. If I wanted to succeed in life; learning from the ‘pros’ was essential. Whether it was how to properly clean a room – or plan and execute a well-done major capital fund drive!
Without an openness to taking direction from those who do it best; we’re likely to fumble through life and business with a ‘lick and promise’ and slip-shod results!
3. Commitment – I didn’t have a strong commitment to a clean room. At least “clean” as my Mother defined it. My commitment was elsewhere and being required to do the weekly clean room routine was last on my list of important accomplishments. But Mother knew that without a sense of commitment which led me beyond the swipe of a dust cloth, I would never accomplish much of import in life. She saw something in me that I failed to see in myself – talent, skill, youthful enthusiasm (even if it wasn’t for a clean room) and an insatiable desire for knowledge. The “clean room routine” was more than a weekly task – it was a lesson to be learned for the future as a mature adult woman!
Without commitment – even to that which is less than pleasant for a season, we’ll not put our talent, skill, enthusiasm and desire to learn, to work in order to achieve the success we say we want!
4. Importance – Yep, a clean room wasn’t uppermost on my important list. I loved the smell of clean – I just didn’t like what it took to get there. I wanted the outcome without the necessary unpleasantness that lay in between. If I could, I would have snapped my fingers and wha-la – clean! But life and business doesn’t work that way. Success demands we clean the latrines as well as bask in the glory of a job well done.
The essential lesson to learn is that the important thing is not the outcome. The important is the things we must do to create the outcome. The cleaned latrine’s along the way. The unpleasant and disagreeable items we must accomplish in order to arrive at our chosen destination. The things that don’t enthuse us. The items we’d rather give a ‘lick and a promise’ than do with diligence and dedication until they are done in anything but slip-shod manner.
So as a woman in life and business (and all that jazz); take stock of where you are. Are you giving only a ‘lick and a promise’ to those messy chores that don’t delight you in order to get the glory that comes with success?
Well let me share another of my Mother’s favorite expressions – “Linda, you want glory and a pat on the back – clean your room with the same enthusiasm you’d put into writing the great American novel!“
I suggest we all do the same, for we all want to arrive in the shining spotlight of success with pats on the back for a job well done!
Linda S. Fitzgerald, Visionary Partner
Champion of Ordinarily Extraordinary Women of the World
A Women’s Place Network, Inc. dba
Affiliated Women International
Empowering Women to Thrive
You’ll find us at the following locations – Come Join Us!
Neighborhood Boutiques – OPEN NOW
COFFEE in the NEIGHBORHOOD
The Neighborhood at Facebook
Neighborhood Boutiques at Facebook
Neighborhood Boutiques at LinkedIn
Neighborhood Boutiques at Google+
[author] [author_image timthumb=’on’]https://pbs.twimg.com/profile_images/2382941337/pjm5n494765lxfks49h7_400x400.jpeg[/author_image] [author_info]My passion is to see women become all they are designed to be – personally and professionally. I write, teach, mentor and coach with that passion in mind. As an author and prolific blogger, I reach out to women in all walks of life, especially women of faith to empower and equip them for greatness. [/author_info] [/author]