How You Do Anything Is How You Do Everything

“How you do anything is how you do everything”

I came across this quote the other day and paused to read it over and think about it deeply. It was a very simple, yet straightforward and thought-provoking quote to me. “How you do anything is how you do everything.” What does that mean? To me, I took it to mean that your character can be seen in all of the tasks/actions you do, from the most menial to the most important of them. I remember reading about a case study where they hired a bunch of intelligent college graduates to work for a respected blue-chip corporation, but they had all of them starting out in the mailroom. I’m paraphrasing, but over the next few weeks, half of them quit because they felt entitled to be doing greater work and thought working in the mailroom was below them. Of those that remained, only the ones that truly believed that starting in the mailroom would still be a valuable learning opportunity and serve as a stepping stone to greater achievements were promoted and rose the ranks of the company.

That study was really ingrained in my mind ever since I first read it, and it can teach us a valuable lesson on your mindset, character, and discipline. One of my coworkers once shared with me some powerful words:

Everything you do has your name on it. 

I believe that it’s extremely important to keep your word and follow on your promises. If someone asks you for a tiny favor and you accept it, you must ALWAYS follow through and deliver on that promise even if it was the most menial task in the world. Following through on promises and obligations goes a long way. It all comes down to character and knowing who you are. If an athlete claims that they’re the hardest worker and trains hard in front of the cameras but slacks off when they’re training alone, they’re not a hard worker. Similarly, if a CEO claims to cherish his/her employees but never visits the factories where they work, it’s all bullshit. There’s no congruence. The small tasks are the most important victories, and Mike Tyson is a prime example of this:

No one wants to get up at 4 and run when it’s pitch-dark, but it has to be done. The only reason i do it so early is because i believe the other guy isn’t doing it and that gives me a little edge

-Mike Tyson

Private victories precede public victories. How you act in the small things in life is generally a good indication of how you’ll act during the pivotal moments. Everything we do has our name on it, so let’s make those that encounter us be nothing short of impressed by anything we do.