Thank You for Being Great at What You Do


Some folks, consider their job to be just a job. They muddle through every day and go back home to their life and dream of another one.

Our economic system does not always afford everyone the ability to do what they dream of doing. The consequence of that is people accepting survival jobs at barely survivable wages, spending the majority of every week of their lives resenting the thievery of their precious time in exchange for rent money and a six pack of beer.

There are folks who refuse to muddle through a mundane job no matter what it costs them. They will sacrifice the six pack of beer or even the rent money to focus on their dreams or spend their time doing what they love. That time is probably short lived since they must live in a car, a subway station, or on the couches of their friends for a finite period. 

Fortunately some of them turn what they love into financial stability but others just get kicked off their friends’ couches and reenforce the fears of those who choose to muddle through.

I have had many jobs on my way to becoming an artist and doing what I love. I have worked in factories, cleaned other people’s houses, delivered mail, poured cocktails, served seafood (which I am allergic to), taught art to emotionally disturbed children, worked in Social Services, cleaned parts at a junk yard, worked the graveyard shift, swing shifts, and generally shifted my life around to accommodate survival. 

Sometimes that survival was slim. But most often I tried to be as good as I could at what ever I was doing. Maybe I knew these were temporary jobs and that made it easier for me to do my best, knowing I had a bigger plan—to eventually make a living as an artist.

Some folks don’t need a bigger plan. 

They are those folks who have a magical ability to transform even the most mundane job into their dream job. They become great at it and somehow they transcend the limits of the economic system and ride their mundane job into a great life.

I think the magic of that transcendence is in the perception of self and one’s place in society.

If we honored every job equally, understood that each person was essential to the smooth flow of our own lives, and gave as much respect to a grocery clerk as we give to a professional football player, we might all be able to transcend the mundane and watch as millions became great at what they do.

Let’s start treating our plumber like he was a talk show host.

Let’s ask our secretary if she can do lunch and make the reservation our self.

Let’s ask for the autograph of the guy at the hardware store or the waitress at the diner.

Let’s get our picture taken with our child’s teacher.

Let’s tip a CEO a buck for parking our car.

Let’s go to the sweatshop that makes our tennis shoes and give them all a standing ovation.

Let’s listen to a poem written by our mail carrier.

Let’s hang a portrait of a local fireman over our fireplace.

Let’s go to an office building and leave flowers in every cubicle with a note that says: 

“Thanks for being great at what you do!”

~ by leakelley on November 19, 2008.

3 Responses to “Thank You for Being Great at What You Do”

  1. Wonderful post Lea! Each one of us plays an important role in this life. When we cherish each other and give thanks we are opening our hearts and opening ourselves up to great blessings from the universe.

    Let’s not forget to thank the people that make toilet paper, post-it notes and tissues. *hachoo*

    On a serious note: Every life has meaning. Every life is important. Every life is a blessing.

    Cheers to you Lea for following your dream and for creating a fulfilling life as an artist. I enourage those who are unfullied in their daily lives to dream big and know you can create the life you want, just like Lea has done.

  2. I absolutely love your post. I believe with all my heart that people feel as special as how they are treated…someone’s rudeness, negativity, or even dismissal of us is the stone thrown into the pool of humanity…its ripples widen and affect others. Imagine if everyone felt as good as the way you feel when you create your art, or how I feel when I’ve found a job for someone…even just, as you said so beautifully, thanking someone for being great at what they do. What a difference that would make! Thank you for sharing!

  3. There is such heart in your writing, your art, and I’m sure, you life. You will make a living from that astounding art one day. I don’t know when I’ve seen abstrats with such feeling. Many are described that way, but yours don’t need the hype. You have a special talent.

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