One of the questions that makes me cringe when I get interviewed, is the inevitable “So, what’s your favorite quote?”
I usually hate that pretentious shitty question.
Part of me wants to plug into my ego and come up with a random quote by Ernest Hemingway that’s as impressive as it is obnoxious, whereas the other part wants to say something rude and provocative, just to get a response.
In recent years, I’ve noticed that there has been a quote that I’ve started to live by, both in a bid to simplify my life and because my quest for integrity is starting to move into all areas of my life.
How you do one thing, is how you’ll do most things.
For me, it’s a phenomenal reminder about integrity because a lot of the time I can slip into unhelpful habits by justifying that my actions were only done based on certain circumstances.
You know the kind of stuff I mean right?
Things like “oh I don’t usually do this, but..” or “I’m only doing this today because..”
My personal life sometimes has crossovers with my professional life, and on one particular occasion about a year ago, I had to have a difficult conversation with a family member who has mental health issues.
The scenario catapulted with him abusing and threatening some of my immediate family and ended up with me having to inform his family about the incidents.
While collating all evidence of our combined correspondence in case it escalated further, my siblings saw screenshots of the exchanges I’d had with him and remarked at how poised and graceful I’d been in light of the abuse I’d received.
At the time, I shrugged it off and mumbled something about wanting to be professional. After all, in my less conscious past, my flippant way of expressing myself had inadvertently hurt some people who had taken offence to my inconsiderate words.
Since then, there have been more times than I’ve cared to admit where I’ve had to step in to a conversation that has been either confronting, difficult and or antagonistic.
I’ve realised that no matter how calm and simple I try to keep my own personal life, there will always be situations where I have to either advocate for one of my clients, or even one of my loved ones.
I’ve also come to see that this is simply part of life, and we all have the option of letting it stress us, or holding a gracious space for transformation to take place.
- Ask any parent that’s breaking up a fight between their children
- Ask any child who is trying to reason with an aging parent
- Ask any friend who has stood up for their loved one when they were too weary to stand up for themselves.
- Ask any person who is in a committed relationship at the point where the honeymoon period is officially over.
It reminds me of when I first started learning about yoga many years ago, and while attending a workshop, the teacher had noticed that we were starting to tire, and she would encourage us to keep showing up with our best efforts.
“Just imagine that you’re being photographed by the person you love most in the world, so even if you can’t come into the full variation of the pose, make sure that you’re fully present in the alternative posture that you’re comfortable in.”
Ask any serious yoga practitioner. How you do one thing, is how you’ll do most things. Wanna be lazy with your chaturunga? You’re not fooling anyone. The struggle to then hold yourself up in any arm balances will reflect the fact that you didn’t take the time to build the quality in your upper body strength.
It may seem like we’re just skimping on the unimportant stuff, or saving energy for our big tasks, but repetition makes a habit.
If we get used to the idea that doing most of something is okay, and one day that mentality will cross over into the things we *do* care about. Suddenly, we’ll wonder why success eludes us, but the answer, is in our process.
If you do one thing lazily, you’ll do most things lazily. I’ve discovered that how you do one thing, is how you’ll do most things.