Do It Again, Do It Often, Do It With Pride

Ink on Pastel Paper – Words: Ralph Waldo Emerson

We all admire and appreciate people who have solid, reliable and important skills. They are people we know will get the job done no matter what. They obtained those skills by doing them over, and over, and over again. My example here is the man who worked the back hoe grading an area of our property. He moved that heavy equipment as if it was a paintbrush, nimble, confident and determined. We spent time just standing there watching him with our jaws open astounded at what he could do. It reminded us that the right person with the right tools and the right skills can do anything.

He said he started doing this “when I was a kid” and he has done it ever since. He said he started it as a part time thing, and now this is what he does. I can only imagine the thousands of projects he has completed over those years. There is no doubt he learned his skills by doing…and doing, and doing, and doing.

Let us never underestimate the power of experience and learning through skills. Be it a back hoe or a corporate budget, the more you do the more you know. Our skills become refined, broadened and enriched by doing. I am always leary of the person who is “well read” on a topic yet has never ever really done the thing they read about. It’s like saying you can perform an appendectomy because you saw a video on UTube. Reading, seeing and DOING are very different indeed.

By doing we have the chance to take our skills to the next level. We better understand what we like or don’t like. What may feel like a temporary thing has the power to define who we become simply by doing it over and over. We build muscle memory, brain power, we cement instincts and hunches into powerful reflexes and experiences. Before we know it we can pick up our tool and get things done without ever having to shift into overdrive. What was once awkward and stressful has become innate and second nature.

Maybe today is the day you use your skills without even remembering how long it took you to learn them. You get the job done without a thought. Let me encourage you to pause and think back to the days when you were doing, doing, doing and building those skills. It may have been recently, it may have been long ago. Either way, your skill grew by doing. So give thanks and be sure to encourage someone following in your foot steps to do it again, do it often, and do it with pride.

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