In a world that rewards people for bragging the most, I think it’s important to talk about doing the thankless work.
The thankless work is the work done behind the scenes. The good things not caught on social media. The things that keep our society functioning and holds all our relationships together.
Every good deed seems to be captured on social media these days.
What happened to doing good things when no one was watching?
More importantly: Would they continue to do the good things if they couldn’t post it?
The thankless work is where a real legacy is found. Where a strenuous life is built. Where you live a life you’re proud of living.
All the work that doesn’t get fame or recognition matters the most:
- Parents attending their children’s sports games
- People who clean up the town you live in
- Park rangers who protect our parks and wildlife
- Going to vote (Never ever let your voice be silent)
- Doing your job to the best of your ability
- Going out of your way to not litter
- Taking your grandparents out to lunch
- Anything that helps your career, community, or the world
- Millions and millions of other examples…
A quality life is full of countless tasks that no one thanks you for. As a society, we must collectively be okay with doing these tasks, or we will come crumbling down.
Doing the work that needs to be done doesn’t always get a pat on the back. Sometimes you have to pat your own back and keep pressing on.
There were many times Theodore Roosevelt (the inspiration behind this blog) was pressured into thinking about the next ranking job after the one he was in. He would always get upset and mention that such a distraction would prevent him from doing the job already in front of him. If he focused on becoming the president (a job he eventually did have), it would interfere with his job as the governor of New York. He knew if that was his goal, he would have to play politics and wouldn’t be able to focus on the people of New York and what was best for them.
He was so focused on doing the job in front of him, he had no time to entertain the next step.
Think about most people today: They’re so busy bragging about the “hustle” and the “grind” and being rich and famous, that they only half-ass do the job in front of them.
Yes, there is something to be said for having high goals, but that must not come at the expense of doing your current job to the best of your ability.
My own personal resolve this year is to focus on the thankless work. To brag less and to work more. To not spend any time making things look “perfect” on social media and instead focus on the things that need to be done.
Do the hard work. Don’t brag about it on social media. Pat yourself on the back. Get back to work.
Share this post with someone who needs this reminder today.