About a year ago, my grandparents came to my house to visit. They were staying with us only for a few days to spend some time with my family. One day while they were here, my dad told me to shovel all the snow off of the deck. I kept procrastinating until finally my grandpa decided that it needed to be done. He got all his warm gear on and began to shovel.
I was upstairs when my mom called my name. I came to the railing and my mom said, “Grandpa is outside doing your job.” After hearing this, I knew this couldn’t happen. I sped downstairs and threw my hat and gloves on. I walked onto the deck and said, “I can do this on my own.” He insisted on helping and that there was no way that I could change his mind. So I grabbed our other shovel and started working.
When we were about half way done with the job, he stepped inside. I didn’t know if he was finished or if he just warming up, but I ignored it and kept on working. A couple minutes later he came back out with a broom. He started to sweep the deck on top of what we had already shoveled. He was making the deck spotless. All the powder that the shovel couldn’t get was being swept away by the broom.
For a moment I stopped shoveling and told him, “You don’t have to do that.” It was then that he told me something I will never forget. He said, “When I was a kid my dad told me something. ‘If a job is worth doing, it is worth doing right’.”
What he said made me stop and think of how I have worked in the past when asked to do a chore. As I began to shovel some more, my grandpa’s words kept coming to my mind. I thought back to jobs I had done in the past that I could have done so much better. I either got in trouble for these instances, or my parents would finish the job. After thinking back at what I had done, I wasn’t happy with how I completed chores that were asked of me. If I had applied what my grandpa had said in each instance, my parents would have been much happier, and I would have been satisfied with myself.
Ever since that day on our deck with my grandpa, I have thought about the advice he gave me. Since then I have tried to apply it into my life. His words have made me want to go the extra mile in my work. When I apply this, my parents are happier, a job has been done well, and I am happy with myself. This I believe.
If you enjoyed this essay, please consider making a tax-deductible contribution to This I Believe, Inc.