Excellence. It’s in scores of books. It’s preached in the blogosphere. You can even find seminars to teach you how to become more valuable.
All these things are great. Education certainly will give you marketable skills. But it won’t guarantee you a job. It won’t earn you the praise of your superiors for more than a day or two. Eventually what you’ve learned will get out of date and you’ll have to invest in more schooling.
So what can you do to ensure your position in a shaky economy? How can you be in the running for a raise year after year? What magic ingredient will put you in demand and make your workplace prosper?
It can be summed up in three words.
Do your best.
There will be tests, though.
The first test involves choosing your attitude.
You set the tone for your own behavior by how you choose to feel in the morning. If you get up early, find a way to spring to life that works for you. If it means calisthenics, do it with all the vigor you can muster. Maybe making silly faces in the mirror will light your fire. If you like to read, find something inspirational like the pep talk your coach would give before the championship.
When your attitude is set, you can handle the second test.
There’s a chance you might fail. So why not give yourself permission? Now before you use this as license to be careless, read on. Since you’re human, you will mess things up from time to time. Don’t waste time worrying about it. Life isn’t perfect. Focus on pouring your best effort into the work at hand and most of the time things will work fine.
Isn’t that a better use of your precious energy?
There’s one more test.
We all have a tendency when things are rolling along to ease off the gas. This can show up when you take a minute here and a second there to check your e-mail, Facebook status, or slack off when you could move faster.
Doing your best is a conscious choice. Others can encourage, cajole, or threaten you to make that choice. But ultimately, since you are the only one who knows how much you can do, the choice is yours.
So if you want to have a better tomorrow, resolve to do your best today.