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Is This The Message You Meant To Send?

Is This The Message You Meant To Send?

It’s funny. Not funny like “haha” funny, but funny like “yeah, no shit” funny.

Every Monday night is a BIG night in the Lehr house.

After reminding my four-year-old to “take another bite” 47 times, the girls put on their leotards so we can rush to gymnastics.

When we get home, it’s everyone’s favorite evening of the week: trash night!

The kids are responsible for emptying the trash cans and putting in new, cheap plastic liners. I know what you’re thinking - The excitement never ends!

But this week something different happened.

After the kids were in bed, I went into the bathroom and looked over at the waste bin. It was the worst attempt at replacing a trash liner that any human has ever completed.  

It was skillfully bad. Aligned at the only possible angle to simultaneously be in the can, yet also block anything else from entering the cylinder entirely.

An artfully shitty job. The type of accomplishment that seems to require more effort than doing it correctly.

After deciding it was not impressive, but actually irritating, I began mashing through the house to wake up the offender and give a masterclass on proper trash can liner replacement etiquette and techniques.  

Turning down the hallway, I realized the lesson should wait until morning when she’ll be more susceptible to instruction. Instead, I go to the kitchen to finish washing the dishes.

And that’s when it happens.

After cleaning a plate and loading it on a drying rack, I notice a little speck of ketchup on the BACK of the plate. Shit, I must’ve missed that spot.

As I load the next plate I realize that I didn’t even wipe down the back.

Turns out - I’m just as guilty as the kids!

I need a lesson in doing things the right way. I re-focus, and make sure that every dish gets washed on front AND back.  

You know why?

Because it matters.

The fact that people don’t eat off the back of the plates? No - that does not matter.

Doing a good job matters.

Everytime you cut corners, you’re internalizing a message. Everytime you see a piece of trash on the ground and walk past it for someone else to pick up, you’re internalizing a message.

If you keep telling your subconscious that details and effort don’t matter, you will continue to struggle at the things you want to accomplish.

Do things the best you can and your life will be easier.  

Your homework this week: Where are you cutting corners? Find one area of your life where you do the minimum and justify it to yourself.

Remember, life is hard when you do it the easy way, and easy when you do it the hard right way.  

But then again, maybe you don’t care. After all, fuck it. it’s just a trash liner.


Be great,

Danny Lehr

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