Last fall I was at an event of T. Harv Eker, where he said: ‘How you do anything, is how you do everything.’
I thought about it long and hard, but I definitely agree.
I LOVE this quote and I would like to talk about how you can apply the principles to your life.
At work, there are often things you might not want to do. Maybe you don’t like being in a meeting, or you’d prefer not to do tasks that someone else could easily take care of.
Even if you’re working from home or working for yourself, there will be moments of resistance. Moments where you don’t want to do things and you’re starting to procrastinate. You don’t want to have that difficult conversation with your loved one, you don’t want to call back that client, or you don’t want to fill out that application.
It’s very easy to blow off these things, to put them on the to-do list of tomorrow. You can’t do that!
How you do anything, is how you do everything.
We all start somewhere
It’s good to strive for that management job, that executive position, or that ideal company you want to build. It’s good, but it will still take time. You still have to start from the bottom – ahh why is that Drake song popping into my head?
So yeah, started from the bottom now we’re here.
When I was doing my internship at a Big Four company, I hated it. I hated the simple tasks they gave me, I hated that they didn’t see me as a part of their team, and I hated that they let me do the same things over and over. I told myself that I didn’t matter, that I didn’t add anything.
You see, I love to do all different kinds of tasks. When I think I know how to do something, I’m wanting to learn more and I don’t want to do that task anymore.
In my current job, I learned that repetition will always be part of a job. What if I put the effort in doing the little things correctly, they don’t come to bite me in the butt. I still was convinced that didn’t matter, the things I did were so small.
BUT because of this tiny mindset shift that repetition was part of the job, I tried to make the best of it. I still didn’t put my effort into the details but tried to do the things that I found interesting as good as possible. It worked. I noticed that my work level elevated, people were more satisfied and I got more and more important work to do.
It’s Like a Disney Movie
Many things in my life go like Disney movies: everything is rainbows and butterflies, something goes terribly wrong, but it all works out in the end.
So did this.
I was very happy that I was getting better things to do and I was trying to really give my all. Until one dark day, well actually a few weeks. When I did some pretty significant bookings, I rushed through it because there was too much work to do. I didn’t pay much attention. I would say in total the transaction was about $700K, not too small.
Soooo I forgot a minus sign. I work in accounting, where minuses are kind of a big deal.
Normally I always pay attention to this, so why not this time? What happened? Did my brain abandon me? Should I go back to working in the supermarket and never look back?
Many questions, only one answer.
How you do anything, is how you do everything.
I didn’t care about the details when I was doing the basic bookings, so why would my brain pay attention to the details of the significant bookings?
In Disney movies, there is always a lesson, so here it is:
On the way to becoming who or what you want to be, there will be things that you would rather not do. When you are just starting out in your career, you get basic jobs. It’s something to be grateful for, as it’s just another opportunity to show what you’ve got.
Do your job with gratefulness and see it as an opportunity to learn. You will always come where you want to be.
For me, if I’m completely honest, I think my pride got in the way. I didn’t take pride in doing the basic tasks correctly, while these are the most important of all!
It’s not about focusing on the future, always chasing the next thing. It’s about taking pride in the things you currently do and doing them well.
Everything you do matter! Each thing you do matter, one thing is not more important than the other things. A job/client/hustle that pays the most is not the one that should have priority. What matters is that you treat each one as a priority, pay is irrelevant. Every client matters, every job matters, every project matters.
Whatever challenge or hurdle you currently face, always find the answer in:
- Offering a helping hand
- Good work
Where to Start?
If you want to act in certain situations in certain ways, you should always act like this.
In my example, if you want to do your job right, you should always focus on the details no matter how small or insignificant they seem at times.
If you want to be a more calm person, you should now only be calm when you’re driving behind someone who drives like a turtle.
Let’s say you want to be healthier, you should not only eat healthy when it comes to weekdays but also during weekends and holidays.
If you want to save a lot of your income when you’re rich, you should start saving your income when you’re poor.
If you want to be nice to others, you need to be that person all the time. Not only when others are looking, but always. That’s also why managers tend to ask the receptionist how they perceived you, as a mirror of how you are as a person.
Do you see where I’m going with this?
If you want to be better at things that matter to you, it’s important to see that everything matters.
How You Do Anything Is How You Do Everything!
It’s hard to see the entire picture at times, but you are definitely part of it. One snapshot at a time. Try your best, make it matter!
How you do anything is how you do everything, your actions now are determining your actions in the future.
What is your take on this? I would love to hear it!
Founder of Spark Nomad, Radical FIRE, Journalist
Expertise: Personal finance and travel content
Education: Bachelor of Economics at Radboud University, Master in Finance at Radboud University, Minor in Economics at Chapman University.
Over 200 articles, essays, and short stories published across the web.
Experience: Marjolein Dilven is a journalist and founder of Spark Nomad, a travel platform, and Radical FIRE, a personal finance platform. Marjolein has a finance and economics background with a master’s in Finance. She has quit her job to travel the world, documenting her travels on Spark Nomad to help people plan their travels. Marjolein Dilven has written for publications like MSN, Associated Press, CNBC, Town News syndicate, and more.