We’ve all heard the saying. “talk the talk and walk the walk.” Most of the time that saying is referring to a challenge of some sort. But in this instance I’m not talking about throwing our ego on the line for some menial bet. I’m talking about the challenge of life. Do you walk a walk that you would be proud of when it’s all said and done? Are you a good example to those around you? Your kids? Your spouse? Your friends and even strangers?
When you start looking at giving your best at all times, that’s not easy. But when you commit yourself to do something, those are the standards that you set for yourself because that is who you are.
Let’s say you’re working at a job where you are miserable and you’re not being paid what you’re worth, you don’t like the people and you’re dissatisfied. If you decide to continue to take a paycheck from that job, then you owe it to yourself to give it your best effort or move on. Don’t waste your time or anyone else’s because you’re lazy and just don’t want to look for another job.
If you get in the habit of being mediocre or doing just enough to get by, you re not hurting anyone but yourself and frankly you’re cheating yourself. This lesson is best personified in the story of, “The Builder.”
There was a man who was an efficient and well-respected builder, he had worked for years in a large company and had finally reached the age of retirement. His employer asked him to build one more house. It was to be his last commission.
The builder reluctantly took the job and his heart was not in it. He used inferior materials; the wood was poor quality and he failed to see the many things that should have been clear to him had he shown even the slightest bit of interest he had shown to other building projects throughout his career.
When the house was eventually finished, his employer came to him and said, “The house is yours, and here’s the key. It’s a present from me to you for all your years of service with my company.”
The builder immediately regretted that he had not used the best materials and employed the best contractors. If only he had known that the house was for him!
The sad moral of this story is that if the builder had stood for excellence in all he did and gave his best at all times, he would have worked much harder on that house and been much more appreciative of the gift given to him by his employer.
Are there areas in your life today where you are being mediocre? Are you spending as much time with your family as you should? Are you working as hard as you can to be successful? Are you honest in all your dealings and practice integrity or do you cut corners and tell little white lies that you think no one will ever know about.
The bibles says it best in Luke 16:10 – “If you are faithful in little things, you will be faithful in large ones. But if you are dishonest in little things, you won’t be honest with greater responsibilities.”
May a commitment to yourself today to practice excellence in all you do. Try it or a week and see how it changes your life. You will be amazed at the difference you experience.