How You Do One Thing Is How You Do Everything

Meditations in Motion

I did my favorite run from the rec center near my house last week. It’s a 10k loop that winds through Lancaster County farmlands and the small town I live in. I have done this run so many times, I could probably do it in my sleep.

Because the run is so familiar, and I know it so well, I have plenty of opportunities to get lost in my thoughts when I do it. As I was running, I was thinking of the word “intentional“.

I was inspired by some people I visited recently who really do live intentional lives. The experience made me look at my own life to consider ways that I could be more intentional.

Meditations in Motion

I usually have a hundred things going on at all times. I am the ultimate multi-tasker. Even when I run, I am not always concentrating on the run – I am examining all the thoughts that roll through my brain, looking for interesting signs to ponder (you can read about my proclivity for signs here), sometimes even singing (yes, out loud!) to keep myself amused. I once wrote a post where I confessed to scrolling through my newsfeed while doing yoga.

The result of all this multi-tasking is that each “task” gets accomplished in a perfunctory sort of way. I am not really giving my undivided attention to anything, because I am trying to do everything.

Then I came across this quote:

“How you do one thing, is how you do everything. Be aware.”

Meditations in Motion

And it stopped me in my tracks.

It made me ask the question “How many times have I taken shortcuts because I am so busy?” How often have I performed tasks in a slap-dash way? How many times have I not vacuumed under the bed, because no one sees under there anyway? How many times have I just thrown a salad together rather than arranged it beautifully, because I hate to make salads?

Meditations in Motion

Here is the thing – I love to eat beautiful fresh salads. I appreciate a gorgeous colorful salad. My hubby and I recently visited two of our sons and their families. My daughters-in-law each made perfectly constructed, fresh, delicious salads. They used inventive ingredients. They were carefully and thoughtfully arranged. The salads were a joy to eat. They looked and tasted much better than my haphazard affairs. What if I were to concentrate on really making wonderful salads?

And what if I carried my new salad-making philosophy into other, more important areas of my life? What else could be improved if I would just concentrate on one thing at a time and doing it well, rather than doing many things in an indiscriminate way?

Relationships are important to me. I know that I sometimes neglect relationships or take them for granted. What if I would focus on each relationship that I hold dear and spend some quality time with friends and family uninterrupted by electronic media or other distractions?

Meditations in Motion

Writing is important to me. I feel very good about some of the posts I write. I feel as though I have put a lot of thought into the piece, reread and polished it, and hit the publish button only when it is saying exactly what I want it to say. Sometimes I feel as though I rush through the process in order to meet an imaginary deadline that I have arbitrarily set. What if I would carefully and thoughtfully examine each article, and publish only the ones that convey a positive message of joy, hope, and encouragement?

Meditations in Motion

Running is important to me. It is a big part of my life. I sometimes feel as though I try to do every race that comes across my radar – trail races, 5ks, marathons, half marathons. It’s impossible to do all of them well, all of the time. It is tough to run a fast 5k when I need to do long runs each week for marathon training. I just don’t recover as fast as I used to. What if I paused before signing up for a race until I have time to consider how it fits into my schedule? What if I signed up only for races that really excite me, and focus on quality, rather than quantity?

Meditations in Motion

Finally, love is very important to me. There is no one I love more than my hubby. I know that sometimes when he is talking to me, I am not focusing on his words because I am doing something else. This is an instance when multi-tasking is definitely inappropriate. What if I concentrate on giving the man I love more of my awareness? What If I stopped typing, looking at my phone, chopping onions or whatever other less important undertaking I am doing and gave him my undivided attention when he is trying to tell me something?

If I start doing the small things in life – like salads – better by slowing down and paying more attention, maybe that will help me do big things – like relationships – better also. Intentional is an adjective I want to apply to my life. I don’t want to settle for mediocre. I want spectacular. “How you do one thing, is how you do everything. Be aware.

 

I am linking up with Clean East Fast Feets for her Week in Review, Shank You Very Much for Global Blogging, Random-osity for The Good, The Random, The Fun, blovedboston for Weekending, Char at Trekking Thru, Abounding Grace for Gracefull Tuesday, Patty, Erika and Marcia for Tuesdays on the Run, Shelbee on the Edge for Spread the Kindness, Holley Gerth for Coffee for Your Heart, Eclectic Evelyn for her Words on Wednesday, Debbie at Dare 2 Hear, Sharing a Journey for Wellness Wednesday, and Shank You Very Much for Dream Team.

 

 

 

 

 

 

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45 comments

  1. The title of your post really caught my eye: there is a phrase, or rather a revelation that popped into my own head some time ago, which is pretty similar, “You do everything the way you do everything else” Pretty much the same message eh? And quite the warning to give each task you are engaged in proper attention. Great post!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Laurie, this is so great and so true! Our culture has become so addicted to multi-tasking that honestly, I think most of us actually feel a twinge of guilt if we are “only’ doing one thing–and that’s crazy!

    I’m with you–let’s do one thing well (at a time), and enjoy it, or the person we are with. Otherwise, why be there? We will miss the wonder of this gift called life…

    Liked by 1 person

  3. I love that salad-making philosophy, haha. 🙂 I couldn’t help but think of the well-known phrase as I was reading this: if you are faithful in the little things, you will be faithful in the big things. It takes for us to be intentional in the smaller things for us to be intentional in the bigger things. Thank you for linking up over at GraceFull Tuesday!

    Liked by 1 person

  4. I am really not much of a multi tasker, and yet I certainly do some of the same things. I think we are all guilty of rushing through our lives, sometimes. Of course when we do, that is exactly when we feel as though life is rushing past us! And that is exactly where mindfulness comes in.

    But life is also about learning and growing, our entire lives. Thanks for a thought provoking post!

    Liked by 1 person

  5. I have that nasty (impulsive?) habit of registering for almost every race that pops onto my radar. I have been riding this plateau (in recent years) with good finish times (but nothing stellar)…probably due to the fact that I’m doing the quantity thing instead of the quality. It’s a tough balance!

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Salads, listening, vacuuming under the bed — sigh. Me, too.
    In Walking Through Twilight, Douglas Groothuis talked at length about the skill of Uni-Tasking that he learned when his wife began her decline, and the idea keeps nudging me.

    Liked by 1 person

  7. Thank you for this post. We tend to think that multi-tasking is an accomplishment when in reality it robs us of the joy of individual experiences like those you mention and beyond.

    Liked by 1 person

  8. I LOVE this quote. I have never really considered how I do “one thing”, but what a powerful statement. I will be sharing this with my faculty this week. THANK YOU for sharing this and linking up today. I appreciate your wisdom!

    Liked by 1 person

  9. […]  (Synchronistically, while writing this article, we received notification of a post called “How You Do One Thing is How You Do Everything”. The blogger talks about intentionality and mindful interaction with daily experience.  If you […]

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