Wednesday, May 26, 2010

One Extra

I got some great feedback on the thrive post from last week.  One that stuck out was something my dad said in response.  

Now, if you know Tom, you will know that he is kind of a nerd (sorry Dad, but it’s true – and apparently it’s hereditary, because I got it too).  He is also a pretty big optimist (Mom! Stop rolling your eyes!)

I might have mentioned this on here before, but my favorite anecdote to tell of my dad is how when we were kids, he would stoop down to our level - on days when we were undoubtedly being little monsters - and tell us “Good attitude – good day.  Bad attitude – bad day.”  

To me, that sums up my dad’s attitude on life – and I truly know he believes in this kind of self-made success.

So after my thrive post, he wrote this to me -  
 When you are done for the day and work is over (work is not necessarily the office work), do one more thing that moves you towards your goal if you can.  It may only take a minute; it may take an hour, but do one more thing every day if you can.  The cumulative effect of this is huge.  Most people are content to accomplish an average day’s work, or tasks.  If you do one more thing each day, at the end of the year you will have accomplished 365 or so more tasks than everyone else.  That will move you ahead quickly towards your goal - it will help you thrive!

[The couch potato in me whines – “um, I would rather sit on the couch and then be disappointed in myself that nothing got done”…]

And I don’t think my dad is saying never sit down or rest or take time to relax.  Instead, he was focusing on doing something that makes you happy – big or small; working towards a goal - big or small.

Some days, doing chores I have put off is something that makes me happy.  Sounds strange, I know, but since I only usually have three hours from the time I get home and the time I go to bed – sometimes my home-work goes undone and I feel guilty about it – not to mention I can’t stand the mountains of laundry that build up and threaten to collapse on and suffocate
Curious George Roxy. 

And if you are Tony, you know I have a tendency to let little things build up into an insurmountable to-do-list in my head…making me feel overwhelmed and unsatisfied.  

On the other hand, it's easy to get bogged down in the monotony of doing tasks - and lose sight of doing things you truly enjoy or love or make you laugh or make you happy... 


So back to my dad’s advice.  Monday I changed the lightbulb in the office that has been out for a month.  It took 30 seconds.  Tuesday, I read a magazine I wanted to read.  You get the idea. 

Whether it’s for fun or for necessity – crossing one little thing off your list every day can be rewarding.  And like he said, at the end of the year, you will have done 365 more things than you otherwise would have done.  

If you are a worrier or a little high strung like … me … then this daily adjustment can go a long way towards having the time, energy, and mental clarity to thrive!

[my dad and I are now available for motivational speeches – we can be contacted at the van down by the river]


  1. That is such great advice from the Tom/Claire team! I'm going to try it.

  2. Claire, I actually started doing that about a month ago, just one or two extra things per day. That 5-10 minute investment of time really ends up making a difference, and yes, it is usually the stuff I don't really want to do :)


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