What is Worth Doing?

Barbara Wolf Shousha, UNHS Director

“Anything worth doing is worth doing well.” While it is a well-intended thought meant to elevate our work towards quality and perfection, I do not like its overall meaning.

If you perceive something is worth doing, then do it. If it is worth doing, then do it badly! You will either find it so worthwhile that you will improve or you will enjoy the experience and then turn your attention to other things that you will do well. But there is NOTHING to be gained by sitting out some activity you want to engage in because you may be perceived as not doing it well.

  • H. Macy of Macy’s started seven failed businesses before finally hitting it big in New York City.
  • Walt Disney was fired by a newspaper editor because he “he lacked imagination and had no good ideas.”
  • Albert Einstein was refused admittance to the Zurich Polytechnic School.
  • Oprah Winfrey was fired from a position as a television reporter because she was “unfit for TV.”
  • Stephen King’s first book received 30 rejections.
  • Michael Jordan was cut from his high school basketball team.

These are some high performing people, but not because they were immediately and consistently good at their chosen activity. They were driven by a love of the activity or competition or performance. They would not have even understood the question, “Is it worth doing?”

The point is: YOU decide what is worth doing.

I love to sing. I do not sing particularly well, but it is worth doing because I enjoy it! I like the energy and well-being that comes from singing out loud. And the more I do it, the better I become. I am improving and making myself worthy of the activity I enjoy.

Maybe you like to write, or run, or cook, or ski…. Do it. I cannot tell you if it is worth it; but I can tell you that YOU ARE worth it! 

Source: 50 Famously Successful People Who Failed At First – OnlineCollege.org. (2010, February 16). Retrieved June 15, 2016, from http://www.onlinecollege.org/2010/02/16/50-famously-successful-people-who-failed-at-first/

Author: University of Nebraska High School

Accredited online high school program providing award-winning curriculum to students in all 50 states and more than 100 countries.

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