“Don’t do it because it’s the right thing. Do it because it’s the right thing to do.”
– Dov Seidman
Do this or do that, because. How many times I just did something because I was told or believed it’s just the right thing. Not realizing that the more powerful approach in my work or life was not in doing things right, but doing things because at my core I believed it was the right thing to do. It had meaning instead of a check mark box.
There’s no collaboration or humanity in just doing things right. It’s the deeper reason of how we should do them. With the thought that there’s a deeper reason we need to find for doing them. “Them” being just about everything we do when we interact with other people.
We’ve moved through this work called life leading ourselves with calculation, conformity, direct lines, and compliance. With today’s speed of technology and getting the answer by just “googling” it, we’re quick to lock step into that information not realizing along the way we could be following a false lead. I find so much more value in work/life when I pursue meaning and seek to live my values to their fullest in my choices. I’ve got a track record of almost being 100% right in my choices whenever I’ve invoked that kind of filter: meaning + values = the best work of my life.
My decisions have impact on others. That’s awareness and self-regulation. That’s also not just doing the right thing, but doing things that are right to do. It’s less about being right and more about advocating in my behaviors for what is right. Sometimes I have to be okay facing a hard truth or two. My currency in those times with others when I do face those hard truths has been trust from those around me. I can cash that trust in when I am the one that needs the help. It also allows others to understand their capacity in advocating for what is right. This trust inspires us to take risks together we would not have done otherwise. And, that’s very infectious.
I’ve learned no to just follow the check mark box behavior by pausing.
“To pause doesn’t mean we stop. We pause to start.”
– Dov Siedman
Again, something with today’s easy answers machines we can get by just doing a search and going with the first thing that pops up. Is that how I want to live? I honestly don’t remember the last time I did math long hand versus just using my calculator app. Is that right? There’s a cognitive opportunity to push my thinking by doing it long hand and creating more brain power. Mindlessly using the app only creates a laziness and dependence. It’s also not sustainable. What happens when I lose that technology and have to use my brain or fingers? It will be much, much harder. Try it.
I’ve also found that my work is worth the dedication I put into it when I choose to do it because it’s the right thing to do versus just the right thing. Simply, my work has more meaning. I can’t stand doing work that doesn’t align with my values, it’s boring and a slog. I fully embrace ALL of the work and the journey of that work when it’s a match in what my values are. So many are unhappy because they’ve chosen a path that is just work, not meaningful work. Find it in your current organization. It exists somewhere, you don’t have to leave the company you choose necessarily. But, you might have to.
Find your right thing and find yourself in the best work of your life.