(Distinctions are subtleties of language that, when gotten, cause a shift in a belief, behavior, value or attitude.)


Are there important things you need to do or have done? And do you ever take it personally? Most people answer “yes” to both questions because they’ve got them collapsed together. Pulling them apart will clarify things for you.

First, whatever you do, do it well. Treat it as if it’s important. Because it is. Doing things shoddily or in a half-hearted way is inviting unsatisfying results. To be aware, with focused attention, while doing complete work, is a recipe used by most highly successful people.

Taking things personally is another matter because you pay an emotional price, and that’s because, at some level, you are defining yourself by external markers. When those markers get met, you’re able to feel good for a bit. When not met, you feel bad. If you think you have to take something personally in order to be able to treat it as important, then something else is going on.

There is a wonderful freedom and strength that comes from the emotional detachment of being able to treat everything as important without having it “mean” anything about who you are.


Coaching Point: What is one thing which used to be personal but is now (merely!) important?


Copyright 2007 Steve Straus. All rights reserved.