The Secret to Keep Your Work Working

This week I read a story of a boy who showed some qualities I want to have in my life. The story goes like this: 

A boy was leaning against the wall outside a barber shop. He dialled his phone and began speaking to a lady on the other end. The barber was listening in.


Boy: Ma’am, I’m wondering if you would hire me to cut your lawn? (Pause)
But I’ll cut it for half the price of the person who cuts it now. (Pause)
But Ma’am, I’ll even sweep your sidewalk, so on Sunday you will have the prettiest lawn in all of Palm Beach! (A moment later he hung up)
Barber: I couldn’t help but overhear…did you get the job?
Boy: No.
Barber: Well I like your attitude, and I’d like to offer you a job. 
Boy: No thanks.
Barber: But you were begging for a job on the phone just now, weren’t you?
Boy: No Sir, I was just checking my performance at the job I already have. I am the one who currently cuts that lady’s lawn.

So what does this boy model that’s worth emulating?

  • He has a desire to do his work to the best of his ability
  • He has the courage to find out how he’s really doing
  • He loves going the second mile when helping others
  • He is creative and resourceful
  • He appreciates feedback and finds a way to get it
  • He is not afraid to hear the truth so he can keep improving

What is the definition of work being used here?  

Work [wurk]
Activity involving mental or physical
effort done in order to achieve a purpose or result.

The work I’m doing during this season of repair and recovery fits this definition perfectly. I’m engaged in various activities involving mental and physical effort that achieve a purpose or result. Like the boy outside the barber shop, I want how I do what I do to make a difference.

Whether I’m exercising my leg back into usability at the physiotherapy clinic, staying out of the way of the house cleaner, volunteering at church, visiting health care professionals, connecting with neighbors, or helping a friend on his journey – I want to do those activities in a way that matters, has a positive impact and fits in to a higher purpose.   

Do I give my best to what I’m doing?
Do I welcome feedback so I can keep improving?
Do I go the second mile in the activities I do?
Do I keep looking for ways to keep growing?

One example of how I’m trying to keep my work working is to keep improving in my exercising, stretching and attempt to get my leg back into useful condition. I regularly ask my physiotherapist, “Is there anything else I should be doing to keep improving?” The answer is often “No, just keep doing what you’re doing” but sometimes I’ll gain an insight, perspective or idea necessary to keep my work working.

So as you work, may you engage in the activities of your life with purpose and in a way that makes a difference in the lives of people and keeps your work working.

What activities are you involved with requiring mental or physical effort?
What would getting feedback look like for you?

Image source: Free image courtesy of
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About Cam Taylor

I'm help people live inspired, focused and tenacious lives. I work as a coach, facilitator, author, and speaker.
This entry was posted in Abundance, Attitude, Character, Endurance, Growth, Heart, Hope, learning, motivation, Opportunity, Perspective, Preparation, purpose, self-awareness and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

2 Responses to The Secret to Keep Your Work Working

  1. hinks58 says:

    Great advise Cam

  2. Bob Koenig says:

    Very good Cam!

    Bob Koenig

    Andrew Coaching L.L.C. 337.344.1245 Cell 337.896.0948 Office

    Sent from my iPad

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