Are You Just “Going Through the Motions”?



It wasn’t a very big bush yet – only about a foot or so tall.  It did have the promise of developing into something quite a bit larger.  Now, I’m not too sure.  We’ll just have to see.  With a stubby two inch high, frayed trunk sticking up rather forlornly from a small bare patch of lawn, I’d say the chances for survival are about fifty-fifty.


I’m fairly sure it wasn’t my neighbor’s objective to intentionally commit bush murder.  He seems like a pretty nice guy and not the type to purposefully do anything mean.  Even to a little bush.  The best I can tell from the mowing pattern, he just used a bit more of my lawn to turn his riding lawnmower than he originally intended.  Or maybe he meant to use this part of my lawn as turning space and for some reason didn’t see the little bush.  I don’t really know – and it’s not particularly important because after all, it was just a little bush.  Poor little bush…


It does happen to the best of us though, doesn’t it?  Sometimes we get distracted by life stuff and we mess something up or we just don’t do quite as good a job at whatever we were working on as we could have.  Or – we find ourselves performing a task (maybe even our real job) that we don’t particularly enjoy or maybe didn’t want to do in the first place and we just sort of go through the motions to get it done.  Fill the squares, write the memos, hammer the nails, wipe the counter, label the gadget, whomp the whanger, doink the frammitz, and put one more coat of paint on the damn porch railing.   Just gettin’ by.  Just goin’ through the motions.


With the little stuff of life – painting a porch railing, dusting the knick-knacks, mowing the yard – “gettin’ by” is generally OK.  I need to toss in that “generally” because we all know that occasionally a significant other may have an entirely different perspective on the situation and feel compelled to make his or her feelings known.  Sometimes even to everyone within a four block radius.  “HAROLD!  YOU GET THAT PAINT CAN AND GET YOUR BUTT BACK UP ON THAT PORCH AND DO THE JOB RIGHT THIS TIME!!!”  Poor Harold…


It works the other way too sometimes, doesn’t it?  Once in a while you’ll run onto a person who is absolutely, nit-picky particular about everything.  The bushes have to be trimmed just so.  The mirrors must be cleaned so there isn’t even a teeny-tiny hint of a streak or spot.  A speck of dirt on the SUV is totally unacceptable.  Every hair must be in place – and this is on the dog!  Geesh folks…  Loosen up.  Get distracted once in a while.  Get a life…


Ahem.  Sorry about that.  Where were we?  OK, back to just gettin’ by.  Ya know, if we find ourselves gettin’ by or just going through the motions doing the more important things in life, it would probably benefit us to consider making a few changes.  Yes, I know.  There are a lot of folks who seem to survive and hang onto their jobs even though we all know they are just cruising through the day.  The customers are waited on, phone calls are made, forms are filled out, whangers are whomped and another 347 doogles are inserted into their appropriate place in the mimmers.  Another day done.  Another day closer to retirement.


People – is that all we want out of life?  To just survive?  Yeah, survival’s important but wouldn’t it be better to take it a step or two higher?  To raise the bar another notch or two?  Why be satisfied with “survival” when so much more is available with just a little more effort?  Including the knowledge that we have done the very best job we could do – and the distinct possibility that we will be compensated in some way – sometime - for our additional efforts and our focus on the task at hand.


Life is too short – and too precious – to waste it just “going through the motions”.  I suggest that it would be really, really beneficial if we all take a few minutes to consider making those changes we need to make – either in our jobs or within ourselves – so that we can feel motivated to do the very best job we can do – no matter what it is.  I believe that every single one of us has the potential to perform at a much higher level.  That we all have the potential to contribute in a very significant way to society, to those close to us and to our own well being.  I wonder what we each can do if we really put our mind to it?  I think it’s worth finding out.  I think we owe it to ourselves to find out - don’t you?



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