Daily Dose of Coach #195: Giving Your Best

"Excellence is not a skill, it's an attitude." Ralph Marston

My mother is famous for talking me out of doing a bad job. In college, I came home for the summers and mowed lawns. I’d wake up at 6 o’clock in the morning and work in the hot, dry, Colorado sun for 8 hours. There were many days I wanted to quit. I’d convince myself I should be doing something better with my time, like practicing my jump shot or hanging out with my friends. With this, my mother found an opportunity to teach me a valuable lesson.

I would be complaining about my job when she told me that if I change my attitude, my effort would change. She constantly beat into my head, “ Whatever you do, work at it with all your heart for God, not for YOU!”

I started implementing this new attitude. Stop thinking about yourself and how miserable you are, and start making these lawns you're cutting look like masterpieces. Make whatever you do bigger than yourself.

I started taking these lawns personal. I became obsessed with the details. Every edge had to be perpendicular, every blade of grass had to be even, and not one scrap was left on the sidewalk. I started changing the directions I mowed, attempting to make every lawn look like a freshly manicured field of dreams.

Amazingly, I started having fun and my value was being noted. Other people in the neighborhoods noticed, and the man I worked for started getting more and more business. I didn’t make much more money, but I learned a lesson that money can’t buy. It was an education about taking pride; that changing your attitude can change everything.