Everything we do as human beings is precious. If we are to find meaning in what we do, we must first become our own protagonist in the work. You have the leading role in your work. If you approach work with this attitude, all work becomes meaningful and invaluable. Shunmyo Masuno- The Art of Simple Living

Do you consider everything you do to be meaningful and valuable?

Are you the protagonist in your life?

I would like to think that I give my all no matter what I am doing, but I freely admit that I only give about 50% when it comes to cleaning my bathroom. I know that my bathroom needs to be clean, but I figure that “clean enough” is good enough for me- But for the most part, I do think that giving 100% on each task I perform, no matter how small, really does add to my overall enjoyment of life.

Effort matters.

If you go into something, I think you should give it your all. When my daughter was growing up, I would let her try out anything that appealed to her. The caveat was, once she signed up for something, she had to treat that activity as it were precious. She wanted to play T-ball: that meant she went to every game and every practice. No excuses. I told her that she was part of a team, and that members of a team rely on one another- that by signing up for t-ball she made a commitment to 14 other kids and 3 coaches that she would be physically and mentally present. She needed to listen to coaches and give her 100% every time she engaged in T-ball. She needed to make sure her uniform was ready, and she had to bring all the appropriate gear- she was responsible from the age of four for getting herself prepared. Her learning how important it was to take responsibility and give her all has served her well in life.

How you handle the big and small of you life matters.

Your mental attitude matters.

There is meaning in even the most trivial matters if we allow our minds to think that way.

For today:

Are you the protagonist in your own life?

Do you find the value in the things that you do?

Are there things that you think don’t matter?

Discuss:

48 thoughts on “Simple and Meaningful

  1. good to remember, I believe that I am a protagonist in my own life and I find great value in the way I spend most days, whether it’s working with young children, or walking and planting my garden.

    Liked by 4 people

  2. Of course each of us is the star; how else would people function? We enjoy the constant POV and narration of ourselves.

    Everything I do is boring and pointless. I’m to find meaning and purpose in it, I’m sure, but it’s a decades-long search without a treasure waiting at the end of a rainbow.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. You find the value in your day. Some people don’t…I spent a lot of time with my in-laws over the weekend…they certainly don’t see the value

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  3. Nice post, LA. Yes, I am the protagonist in my own life. Let’s stop and think how difficult life is for people who can’t say that. I am also among the fortunate who find value in what I do, both on my own and with others. Your final question is the hardest. There are certainly things that I don’t give high priority to, but I could find their value if forced to!

    Liked by 3 people

    1. It does make me think about those who can’t find value in their lives, can’t find their purpose…There can be purpose attached to anything if we frame it right

      Liked by 1 person

      1. For most people, yes. Frankl espoused that principle even when interred in a Nazi concentration camp. But if I were living in a refugee camp in an area of famine, unable to feed or save my kids, that would be easier said than done. I know, I’m going dark here! But that’s what I was thinking about.

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      2. Totally admit I wonder how those people get through it. I’m reading the Delia Ephron memoir and I have wondered about a billion times how people push through

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      3. One of my favorite quotes is Frankl’s “Everything can be taken from a man but one thing: the last of the human freedoms—to choose one’s attitude in any given set of circumstances, to choose one’s own way.” It’s hard to tell how we’d react, especially in extreme circumstances such as that. Rather than dark, I think it’s honest.

        I also like how your post differentiated between tasks. Yes, the bathroom needs to be clean enough and that’s good enough. Steve Jobs famously wore a similar outfit almost all the time (remember the black mock turtleneck?), and that was “good enough”, so he didn’t have to expand more energy than what was necessary on that, and he’d have more to give to The Next Big Thing. 50% for bathroom is more than good enough imo 🙂 (I glare at mine when I clean it 🤪

        Liked by 5 people

      4. It’s funny about the wardrobe…I have a “uniform” black dress or slacks and tee, and then I accessorize it with something that goes with my mood or occasion. It makes getting dressed effortless

        Liked by 1 person

  4. Leading is situational. If I didn’t get up every day and carry on with life I have no one to push me. I had no choice but to lead at work- no other coworkers and an unskilled boss… Yet sometimes I will gladly take on the supporting role and it makes my self-worth as well as my attitude no less meaningful or valuable. There’s wisdom found in the effort to know both sides, and also when it’s better to do one over the other.

    Liked by 4 people

  5. Years ago didn’t really care about my life. But it was only after I lost my two-year-old nephew and my older sister 17 days apart. My nephew died in a house fire and my sister passed away in Vanderbilt Hospital from the injuries she sustained trying to save him. I was pregnant so I couldn’t really do what I wanted to do, which was drugs to be honest. However, after my daughter was born I went on a binge for years. I probably slept more than participated in my own life and in my children’s lives with him growing up. And I missed out on so much. Towards the end of my addiction I caught two felonies, one while I was out on bond for the 1st. That sent me to prison for four and a half years. And I made a pact with God that I would do my absolute best and put my all into not going backwards, but to move forward and be a part of my children’s lives and a productive member of society. I have been employed since my release from prison in 2018 and have only relapsed once and I almost lost my job. But the day that I almost got fired, not only was I given a second chance and hired into the company, but I also received a raise. And then our company started doing an employee of the month thing, so that became my goal to achieve. I’ve never worked somewhere that has had that. And as of the 2nd of this month I was awarded a certificate and acknowledged as employee of the month. I got misty eyed. I’m the biggest crybaby you’ll ever meet, or talk to rather. But only because I set a goal and I made it. I agree with you that we are the protagonist in our life and it is up to us what we choose to decide to do or not to do, doing it our best. That was a great topic you wrote about LA, I love it.

    Liked by 4 people

  6. There are many references on this topic in the Bible. Here’s an example: “Whatever you do, work heartily, as for the Lord and not for men.” It goes right along with what you are saying about doing your best. It does become a little harder with cleaning the bathroom, but I just try to focus on the fact that I have a bathroom and indoor plumbing and be grateful.

    Liked by 3 people

  7. I’m with you on the cleaning. Good enough is enough if no one else is coming inside the house.
    I lost my purpose and sense of value in my life toward the end of my library life, but have found it again with the horses and goats

    Liked by 4 people

  8. Well yeah. I’m the only person I know exists, so I have no choice, I’m the lead actor. On the other hand, I don’t take things too seriously. I’d rather play around at something and enjoy it than put my all into it even after I’m already bored. Value… there is none, on the cosmic scale, so we have to invent it for ourselves. Mine comes from writing and from occasional acts of kindness.

    Liked by 3 people

  9. Instead of seeking out value in all the things I do, I try instead to give priority to doing the things I value. That means when I have to do the things I know are necessary but unvalued by me, I don’t mind doing them because my value tank has been topped up.

    Liked by 3 people

  10. The older I get, the more I find value in what I do. I try not to waste life and make the most of it. For me that means being available to my children and grandchildren, spending time on my hobbies, and creating meaningful memories. I tend to think we are more zoned in on this as we age.

    Liked by 3 people

  11. Are you the protagonist in your own life? Yes

    Do you find the value in the things that you do? Yes

    Are there things that you think don’t matter? Yes

    I agree with some comments made here, even by you if I remember correctly, to the effect that the answers to these questions often come with age and the wisdom gained through experience. And when it comes to bathrooms, or really just cleaning in general, and even baking and cooking and other mundane (to me) pursuits, remember my mantra. Sometimes OK is good enough and conversely, sometimes good enough is OK.

    Liked by 1 person

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