It ain't what you do, it's the way that you do it, that's what gets results
Posted on 17th March 2021 at 07:11
If these words sound familiar, they are. Well, if you were a teenager – or around them (!) – in the early 1980’s. 1982 to be precise. They come from a song by “Fun Boy Three with Bananarama” which, apparently, took its inspiration – and quite a few of the lines (!) – from an Ella Fitzgerald song of 1939. If you’d like a trip down memory lane here’s the link. And, that’s probably more than enough pop trivia for one blog post. Let alone slightly scary reminders of “Top of the Pops” and 1980’s fashions…
So, before we get completely side tracked, what were we going to talk about this week?
Well, really, the song says it all. It’s not WHAT we do, but HOW we do it, that’s the most important thing. In other words, it’s all about the energy and intention behind whatever we’re doing.
It doesn’t matter whether the WHAT is large or small. Routine or unusual. Trivial or critically important. Something we do with scarcely a second thought or have invested a lot of thought and time in.
The HOW is. In other words, HOW we’re doing it.
Are we doing it in a positive frame of mind, to the best of our ability and with good grace? Or, even, joyfully?
Or, is it more grudging and, possibly slapdash? Perhaps with a flavouring of “going through the motions” because we really don’t want to be doing whatever it is or for whoever it is?
And, as we all know, the difference between these two approaches is very obvious; whether we’re on the “doing” or “receiving” end of things…
There may be many different reasons why we feel we HAVE to do something we’d rather not – often involving a hint of emotional blackmail or peer pressure – but it’s NEVER going to achieve a good result. For anyone involved. And we all know how that feels, on both sides…
Instead, a gentle “no” or “I’d like to but, unfortunately, can’t at the moment” might seem a little unkind but, in the long run, is much kinder all round. Or, perhaps, a suggestion of another way in which whatever it is could be done. Or, even, another person who would be better able or placed to help. And we mean this in a genuinely helpful way rather than desperately trying to pass the buck (!).
Mixed in with all this potentially negative energy is something else that often gets in the way and, once again, the Little Monster in our heads is the culprit. It’s his insistence that, if we can’t do whatever it is perfectly, then we shouldn’t do it at all. With the end result that we just try to get whatever it is over and done as quickly as possible, rather than giving it our best – but less than perfect – shot.
But again, just stop and think how different these two intentions and energies are. Doing something less than perfectly, but in a positive frame of mind is one thing; doing it in exactly the same way with all that negative energy behind it is quite another. On both sides, it’s very obvious which one is preferable. And this is leaving aside the simple truth that none of us can do everything perfectly, let alone every time…
So, next time, you’re asked to do something – or are doing the asking – just remember this song. It’s HOW you do things, not WHAT you do that’s important. You could even hum it under your breath…
As always, the choice is yours.
Picture by unknown author
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