“The biggest cause of excellence is the story we tell ourselves about our work.”
–Seth Godin, June 19, 2015 blog post
“Do small things with great love.” –Mother Theresa
What story do you tell yourself about your work? About yourself?
We all have thoughts running through our heads all the time. Which thoughts do you pay attention to? The ones that say, “This doesn’t really matter; nobody cares anyway.” Or do you listen to the thoughts that say, “Even when it seems like no one notices, I’m going to give it my best. It matters to me.”
God put each of us on this planet for a reason. Several reasons, actually, and all of those reasons are good ones.
Reason #1: God put us here to love us. It’s that simple. The Bible refers to God as our Father. Like any good parent, God enjoys you just because you are His child. There is a beautiful scripture in the Old Testament that speaks of God singing over us as our protective, loving Father. “The LORD your God is with you, the Mighty Warrior who saves. He will take great delight in you; in his love he will no longer rebuke you, but will rejoice over you with singing.” (Zephaniah 3:17 NIV)
Reason #2: God put us here to do good. Before the foundation of the world, He created good works for each of us to do. “For we are God’s handiwork, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do.” (Ephesians 2:10 NIV) So, yes, He has tasks for us to accomplish. But get this: He created those tasks for us, not us for those tasks. I am convinced that God cares far more about watching me grow and become all that I can be than about whether or not I get something done. He could get it done with one word. He has me participate because it benefits me.
Reason #3: God put us here to serve others with love. Serving others benefits everyone involved. When I serve others, it helps them. When I go beyond just serving and serve with the “great love” that Mother Theresa mentioned above, it benefits them far more. It also pleases God, and grows me. “For you have been called to live in freedom, my brothers and sisters. But don’t use your freedom to satisfy your sinful nature. Instead, use your freedom to serve one another in love.” (Galatians 5:13 NLT)
Here’s a secret: Service with love, service with joy is energizing for the server. It makes service fun, rewarding, worthwhile, and purposeful. That’s how God designed our brains! Want to know more? Check out this series of articles on Neurotheology and the science of joy.
So, for these reasons and more, the story I tell myself about my work is that what I do matters, and how I do it matters even more.
What story do you tell yourself?
About the Author
Dawn Whitestone is the Founding Partner for WhiteStone Professionals, LLC and the author of Strategic Business Prayer and the Strategic Business Prayer Workbook. Her passion is growing people into their full potential. Ms. Whitestone has developed a targeted approach to organizational growth and professional development utilizing the Four P’s: Purpose, Plans, People and Productivity. She is sought after as a speaker, Executive Coach, Business Consultant and Program Development Specialist in the areas of Leadership, Professional and Personal Development and Coaching.