Jay Shirley

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The Daily Practice

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Presentation matters.

Published: 12 Aug 2012

I’m not good at matching colors. I can’t distinguish certain colors and I know some I just don’t see correctly. In fact, my eyes themselves don’t agree on what colors I see. My left eye tells me something is blue and my right says it is green.

The result of this is that I just didn’t try. I delegated and attempted to coerce people (now my wife, who fortunately enjoys it) to pick out clothes that match for me. Now I’m presentable!

Through all those years of not trying I’ve been cheating myself. The more honest statement is I’ve been cheating everyone. It’s my presentation and I should put the best foot forward. Always.

There is no excuse to not devote ample attention to any task that must be done.

I’ve been guilty my whole life. Not just in picking out clothes, but any time presentation matters. I tell myself that I can’t present myself well so I shouldn’t do it. I try to delegate and find someone to help. The reality is that these matters you cannot delegate until after you don’t need the help.

Friends in high places?

The people who can be of the most assistance will only be available after they are the most needed. It makes sense. These people are in demand; time and resources are scarce and must be protected.

We must make do with what we have. We must do good enough and learn and improve. So much of our days are spent idling by and five minutes a day can yield huge rewards in the future. That is our strength.

Weaknesses can be irrelevant, eventually.

Anybody shooting for the stars will agree that good enough isn’t good enough; good enough is a weakness. A couple of years back I heard a quote that has, and will, stuck with me.

Don’t use your strengths to fix your weaknesses. Use your strengths to make your weaknesses irrelevant.

I thought I understood it back then, and at some depth I was right. Now I understand it differently.

If I can demonstrate my strengths I can attract talented partners. This ability makes my weaknesses irrelevant. I must demonstrate my capabilities in a quality fashion. I can’t allow a gentle dislike to stop me. While it’s true we shouldn’t judge a book by its cover, nobody with talent wants to work with someone who visibly doesn’t care. We all need covers that show we at least put thought and care into them.

Do what you love as best as you can. Do what you must even better.