By Callie Oettinger | Published: July 3, 2015
I’ve spent the past week thinking about a comment Steve made in an interview and a comment my son’s baseball coach made during a practice.
At the 20 minute mark in the interview, August Cole asked Steve what happens when he doesn’t do the work. Steve replied:
“I get symptoms . . . I’ll start to get in trouble . . . When you don’t do your work, vices start to creep into your life—and they get worse and worse and worse. They start out with potato chips and wind up with crack smoking or something like that.”
During the baseball practice, Coach asked my son if he knew why so many errors occurred after a pitcher threw consecutive balls. The answer? The players in the field are left “flat-footed”—so used to the slow pace of having the opposing players at bat walk to first base because the pitcher threw them four balls, rather than the faster pace of the opposing players hitting the balls into the infield or outfield because the pitcher was throwing strikes, which the other team either 1) missed or 2) hit. The slow pace causes the players in the field to relax, to lose their form, their awareness, so they aren’t ready when an opposing player at bat fires a ball in their direction.
The baseball example followed the interview example, and got me thinking about quality of work, rather than degrees of work—it sent me into the place between no and yes, black and white, dark and light.
We spend a lot of time on this site talking about doing the work. You’re either doing the work or you’re not doing the work, right?
If doing the work is defined as doing the things that will help you reach your goals, how is not doing the work defined? What is the opposite of doing the work? Is it so black and white, dark and light? Is the animated version of not doing the work an image of a sloth eating potato chips, on his way to smoking crack, or is it the woman toiling over her work, but not at the level needed to break out, never supercharging her engine.
In baseball, the pitcher throwing balls vs strikes is doing his work, right? His job is to pitch—and whether he’s throwing balls or strikes, he’s pitching, which means he’s doing his work. But, does that mean he’s doing his job? His job is to pitch, but his job also is to pitch strikes, to be the best pitcher so the other team doesn’t advance.
How do you do that? (more…)