In today’s episode I want to share with you what I discovered under a commercial dish-washing machine and how it changed my life. This an episode about a simple idea where I discuss how to bring your best in life regardless of the circumstance. It’s deeply linked to a greater sense of gratitude and accountability for the amazing gift of life we have been given.
Using Gratitude To Maximize Performace
Well, hey everybody, Jonathan Doyle with you once again for The Daily Podcast. Hello, welcome new listeners, regular listeners. Welcome back. I want to thank everybody for the awesome support I’ve been receiving. Of course, as most of you know, recently had a really bad accident and what a journey but thanks for the incredible support of so many people, and, my gosh, I caught up with a friend yesterday for lunch. He came to my place because I’m not getting out too much, but just the incredible support as so many good people. And I said to this guy yesterday, I said, a lot of goods come from it because one of the things is just the connection with friends and just the blessing that’s come from so many good people helping me out and just really value it.
Latest update, little bit of challenging news. I still don’t have use of my right index finger, which is presenting a lot of problems because I’ve always been a huge journal. I love writing and at the moment I just cannot do that. So we may be looking at more surgery. So that’s another challenge. And as I said yesterday, it’s really about the decision to be mentally strong and please don’t assume I’m an expert on learning this as I go. That it’s a constant mental battle to choose to think in ways that are helpful and creative.
And I think one of the other things I’ve learned that you can apply to your life is when you’re going through a difficult time, I’m really convinced one of the smartest things you can do is keep busy. The critique of that is that it can lead to drivenness, but I just think often just action and having a full calendar. I’ve got interviews coming up and all sorts of stuff that just… I’m working on a book project. Yes, with one finger typing. Yes. But that’s been really helpful. So I just want to offer you that too as well. Like if you ever stuck in life and things aren’t going well for you right now, sometimes you just got to get busy. Just keep yourself busy. So it’s not drivenness, it’s just the decision to… Like for example, yesterday I had a huge amount of pain in the right hand, but I have been helping out coaching my daughter’s soccer team. And I found that once I got out there and was running these drills… Well, not really running, walking these drills that you don’t notice the pain. Maybe that’s a good metaphor for life, that if you just get out there and serve people and stay in the zone of contribution, then some of the pain, whether it’s physical or metaphorical, gets dialed down. So let’s just stay active in life. Let’s just stay committed to what’s happening when we’ve got challenging seasons.
Listen, really quickly, I want to share with you a cool quote. I like this. This is from Theodore Roosevelt, who famous US president. If you don’t know his background, he was also famous as a kind of incredible outdoors man. He led a pretty sheltered childhood, but then he decided to go and just learn about life. So he lived in the rugged Western United States and had these amazing adventures which he chose to do. Like he really deliberately decided to engage with life. But listen what he said, “Nothing in the world is worth having or worth doing unless it means effort, pain, difficulty. I have never met in my life or I’ve never in my life envied a human being who led an easy life. I have envied a great many people who led difficult lives and led them well.” That’s powerful. And this is somebody that really lived a big life and he’s making this reminding us that anything worth having comes from effort and from pain and from struggle. Okay, so that’s just worth remembering.
Now what I want to talk to you about today is on my heart is I just want to share this with you. As I’ve gone through this journey, as I said, I’ve learned so much but honestly I sort of wake up and the pain is pretty solid and there’s obviously a desire to kind of ruminate, sulk, mope, tell myself that maybe today is just a day to take it easy and you need to just rest. And friends, I do. I do rest. I really am actually looking after myself with Karen’s help really well.
But what I want to talk to you about is the decision to keep bringing your best. Now whether you’re going through a difficult time or not, I just want to talk to all of us about making a firm decision in life that we are going to constantly and consistently bring our best to what we’re doing. Now we’re not going to do it a 100% fall asleep perfectly all the time, but I want to plant this in your mind and want to start raising some questions for you today. Is this your default setting? I mean, so many people at work.. The stats are amazing on the amount of procrastination and goofing off and time-wasting that happens when people with work, especially with the internet. I mean, are you the kind of person right now that comes to your work, to your relationships, to your health and fitness saying to yourself, “I’m going to bring my best or the best that I can reasonably bring today.”
I’ll tell you great story about what this looks like in practice. Years ago when I decided that I wanted to marry Karen, it was back in the day, it was hard to get a job as a student. There was not a work around, but I wanted to buy her a really beautiful engagement ring. So I was working a lot and I got this job where I was a dish hand, which I don’t know where you live in the world, but basically you just scrub dishes in a commercial kitchen. So here I was studying like philosophy and a high end stuff at university during the day. But at night I was referred to as dish boy. That’s what the waitresses used to call me. “Hey, dish boy.” I was way down on the hierarchy at the bottom of the pile. And my job was just to scrape these dishes and just deal with trash and rubbish and dirt and filth and scrubbing. And I do that every single night.
And I want to tell you a cool story. One night the restaurant would close. And I was usually the last person there. It was me and security guard because I would clean the whole kitchen and then I’d mop all the floors. They had to be mopped properly. So I remember so clearly one time, it was just before midnight and I was mopping the floor, and we had this big commercial dishwasher. And I looked down under this dishwasher and right at the very back, way down underneath this dishwasher on the floor was a spoon that I missed. And you are listening going, “Really? You’re telling us a story about a spoon?” Yes, stay with me. Concentrate.
So I crouched down and I see this spoon and a whole bunch of thoughts go through my head. It was like, “Well, it’s midnight and it’s filthy under there. No one’s got to the back of that area forever. And then who cares if it’s just one spoon.” And as clear as day, there was this inner sense, this kind of internal voice that just said, “If you don’t pick this up, you’ll know. You will know.” You will know that you slacked off and didn’t do something well. You’re being paid to do it. And you’ll know. So I got down on my hands and knees. I crawled on my stomach, on this wet floor and scraped this spoon out. And it was filthy. It had been there since forever, and I dropped it in the dishwasher. And all these years later, I still remember that story and I’ve shared it with thousands of people on stage because it’s a metaphor for, I’m going to bring the best regardless of whether the environment rewards it. I’m going to bring the best regardless of anybody sees it.
So this is kind of a character formation exercise. It’s about what I keep saying is a default setting. Do you as often as reasonably possible, seek to bring your best to whatever you’re doing? And the obvious question is, well, why bother, right? Like what if you don’t… Do you need to do this, Jonathan? Surely you could just do a reasonable job. And some people are like, “Well, I’ve never really been a motivated kind of person.”
Here’s why I think it matters. Gratitude. What do I mean? The more that I’ve gone through this injury, I’m like, you know what, gratitude. When I wake up each morning, honestly, when I wake up and we have a beautiful home. And I look out and I can see… Well it’s usually dark, but when I see the light, I just honestly, I’m like, I’m alive. I’m alive. Like given the accident, it was a very close thing. I could not be here, but I’m alive. So I have this gratitude, and as I was preparing this episode, I kept thinking the reason we should bring our best is because of gratitude to God, to whoever you frame that. I’m just like, we’ve been given something remarkable and we need to give something beautiful back. We need to give something extraordinary back. We need to bless people. We need to encourage people. We need to create beautiful things, movements, businesses, schools, hospitals, families, out of gratitude. If you’ve been given something as extraordinary as a human life, just look out your window. There’s rocks and trees and they’re wonderful, but they’re inanimate. You’ve been given the gift of life. And so I just feel this kind of strong sense as I live through this and as I get older to kind of give something back by the quality of my life and the quality of relationships and the quality of what I’m trying to bring into the world.
So friends, please, don’t settle. Look into your life right now as you listen to this. Are you giving 100% at work? If you’re not, here’s a tip. Get a different job. Seriously. I mean, do you want to keep turning up somewhere where you just mediocre and you don’t care? And it’s not, whatever. I mean, I try and create beautiful stuff here every day, and I try and put good content out because I don’t know how many tomorrows I get. And I want to be useful to people. If your relationships are just not great and they’re just mediocre, are you’re happy with that? Maybe you need to go for dinner with your spouse more often. Maybe you need to ring some old friends and say, “Hey, we haven’t caught up for ages. Let’s have some time together.” I’m getting ruthless on this, putting time into people and making friendship and connection an important part of life, bringing my best to these different spheres of life.
All right. I got to stop. You know what I’m like, I’ll just go forever and after about 15-20 minutes of being on, Jonathan, we got it. We got it at the seven minute mark, man. All right. So friends, do me a favor. If you’re not following me on Instagram, I know regular followers are tired of hearing this, but do this for me. Get out your phone and just do a search. jonathandoyle47. I publish about six times a day on Instagram if I can, and it’s just encouragement, encouragement, encouragement. It’s just there for if you’re going to use Instagram, then my job is to put great stuff on there and encourage you to grab your phone. jonathandoyle47. The Facebook group is The Daily Podcast with Jonathan Doyle. Just type in The Daily Podcast with Jonathan Doyle. You’ll find me on Facebook. The website, jonathandoyle.co. And yeah, look, reach out.
If you want me to do an episode on a particular topic, just email me, firstname.lastname@example.org. Do that, and as always, please subscribe. It makes a big difference. If you just grab your app, Spotify, Apple Podcast, Google, whatever, and just go subscribe. And then as always, just share this with some people. Just grab this today post it on your Facebook feed. Say, Hey, listen to this.
Oh, the other thing too is I’m on LinkedIn now. I had an account forever, which I closed. So I’ve reopened it. So if you’re on LinkedIn, just jump on Linkedin today and search for me, Jonathan Doyle. Maybe limit the search to Australia and you should find me. Come and say hi on LinkedIn. It’d be great to connect there too.
So hey, God bless you. The best is ahead, it’s not behind. Better days are coming. Better day are coming for me. Can’t get much worse right now. So I’m praying for you. I’m believing that your life is just going to keep growing and blessing of other people and good stuff’s coming. My name is Jonathan Doyle. This has been The Daily Podcast , and I’m going to have another message for you tomorrow.