“Are you proud of your work this week?”

This is a useful litmus test. It shows me 3 things:

1) Am I settling for slightly-above-average or true excellence?

I’m increasingly convinced that, as humans, our tendency is to lower our bar of excellence over time. We subtly drift and rob ourselves of the opportunity to grow and stretch and develop. I’m not promoting unhealthy workaholism, but rather simple excellence in our crafts. Am I raising my bar or settling for slightly-above-average?

2) Am I doing too much?

We all know that busyness and doing too much negatively effects our leadership and effectiveness. But, its hard to detect. This question gives clarity. If I’m not proud of many contributions this week, then I’m spreading myself too thin. I don’t expect everything in my week to be world-class , but I’d like there to be a handful of meaningful contributions that were truly excellent.

3) It promotes a healthier mindset

Most people are far more aware of their failures, their todos, and their unmet aspirations than what’s currently going well. This question shows me the aspects of my work and leadership that are truly good. Yes, I still leave my weeks aware of what I still want to accomplish or level-up, but I’m at least aware of the things that are going well.

If this resonates…

  1. Take 5 minutes to reflect on your week. Where are you proud of your work this week?
  2. Then take another 5 minutes to think about next week. How can you design your schedule and priorities to ensure you can make meaningful contributions you’re proud of?

Photo by Jason Rosewell on Unsplash