I have a pretty high work ethic. I like to give it my all period. If I don’t give 100%, then I’m unsatisfied. Needless to say, I shared this with some coworkers. We had a staff meeting-little staff meeting-and I said that I have 10 things that I like to do every day and if I’ve only done 9, it’s not enough.
“But Tracy, you should be happy that you did NINE things.” A coworker said.
“It’s the TENTH thing that needed to be done. That completes my day.”
I don’t think they got it.
See, I’m a hard worker. I know, I said it before, but I work hard. I had to get blurbs for my book. I sent out twenty blurb requests and got about eight. That’s pretty good, but imagine if I got ten! Twenty, even! I set the bar pretty high and my returns were great. I’m thankful and happy because I really did all the research and got it done. Now, I wait for the blurbs to come in.
It’s like this. A while ago, I wrote a blog about accountability. I knew that when I spoke to my grandmother and she told me a story about her living in a parish in Louisiana, I needed to tell that story. She gave me all the elements of it and I just needed to fit it all together.
I did the research. I reached out to friends and they came through. I exchanged favors and everything and now, I have a book coming out. Even while the editor edited my book, I learned even more. Like how slaves invented denim before Levi Strauss because they knew how to harvest the indigo plant and make it into fabric. (Black Excellence people!) I listened to dialogue and read books about dialogue and life back then. I even got my mom to tell me some things that she knew. My research pays off because my book is going to do great. It’s going to do great because I did ALL THE RESEARCH. I did the whole TEN OUT OF TEN research. I didn’t stop at “not quite” or “it’s sufficient”. I went all the way and did it.
Now, the book took me a few years to write, but it’s done. And in the interim, I’ve written several short stories and sold them as well. I’ve become more reliable as a writer and that makes me happy and proud. Why? Because I did all the work.
So, the next time someone tells you that 9 out of 10 is enough, I want you to ask yourself-If my doctor said I had ten broken bones and he fixed nine because I didn’t really need the tenth, is it sufficient? If I had ten teeth that needed to be pulled and they only pulled nine because they couldn’t reach the tenth, would that be okay?
Then, why are we so fast to accept what’s sufficient instead of giving it our all?
Think about it.