Mailing It In

A Twitter listener asks Dave how he continues to bring excellence to his work day after day. Dave thinks you have to get to the why of doing something in order to maintain excellence.

QUESTION: A Twitter listener asks Dave how he continues to bring excellence to his work day after day. Dave thinks you have to get to the why of doing something in order to maintain excellence.

ANSWER: You need to work into the why you do your work. Why are you doing your work? People who do work just for money eventually mail it in even if they are the best in the world, for instance, an NFL player. To get to actually be on the green surface—the grass—and actually come near to a football in the NFL makes you one of the elite athletes in the world. They’re paid a minimum of $400,000 up to millions of dollars, of course, in a given year. When the game ceases to become a game and ceases to become the love of football, there’s no joy in the process anymore and they’re just there for the money—as soon as that happens, those players start mailing it in and all of us watching can tell who that is.

How do you not mail it in? You’ve got to have love of the game. That involves a higher calling. Why do you do what you do? If you’re just doing it for money, eventually you’re going to mail it in. If you’re just doing it to grind through your life and you’re like Eeyore, you’re going to eventually mail it in. Money is not enough to keep you going, and necessity or need or duty is not enough to keep you going.

When you’re doing what you do for a higher calling of some kind ... As a Christian, the Bible tells me to do my work as unto the Lord—do it as if I’m doing it for Jesus. If I can keep that in the back of my head, that puts me in a different place. That’s a higher calling. When you view what you’re doing as a ministry—as a crusade—when you see the benefit to the people you help ... and you don’t have to be in my business to view it that way. You can repair cars and do that with a higher calling because you see yourself as serving your fellow man—not just turning a wrench. It changes your perception.

The way to keep from mailing it in is to have a higher calling. Businesses, businesspeople, employees, team members who don’t buy into or have a higher calling eventually will mail it in. Some of them can hold it together for a while, but eventually they mail it in.