Thursday, July 7, 2011

ROL: It's Great to Have Excellent Relatives but Worthless to Have Relative Excellence.

ROL (Return On Life) is a soft measurement for lifestyle comparable to the hard marketing measurement, ROI (Return on Investment). ROL addresses small or simple life changes that can have greatly improve quality of life, in my opinion. Since it's my blog, my opinion matters a great deal.

"So, how did you do today?" "Relatively well."  
I give this answer way too often.  Relatively well means I didn't do well, but I'm not going to bore you with excuses. Genesis 6:9 states that Noah (boatbuilder, 1st mobile zookeeper) was righteous for his generations. In relative terms, Noah was a white collar crook during a time rampant with violence. Noah wasn't righteous; merely not as bad as everyone else. Consider these examples. When someone asks the obstetrician about the delivery, is "relatively well" a good answer? Did the doctor deliver 80% of the baby? What about the bombardier? "I did relatively well". Was the perimeter of the munitions dump destroyed with only half the neighboring population murdered? Relatively well is objectively poor.

It's time to come up with a different answer. "I did my best" is much better than doing "relatively well". "I gave my best effort" is not as good as "I did my best" but still so much better than "relatively well". How do these alternate responses differ from "relatively well"?

The results are in fact the same. The frame of reference is the polar opposite. "Relatively well" is I sucked less than others. "I did my best/gave my best effort" is I did the best I could. Perhaps the results are insufficient, but I will do better tomorrow.  "Relatively well" accepts and perhaps extols mediocrity.  "Best/best effort" indicates the pursuit of excellence.

When it's time for your review does your supervisor say "He's better than an empty chair" or "She never quits"? At contract time does your client say "I don't have the time or energy to find another company" or "They keep going until I get exactly what I need"? For your eulogy do your kids say "I was better off than an orphan" or "Mom and Dad always found a way to make time for me"?

Life is not graded on a curve. Stop comparing your results and efforts to the world of the mediocre.  Do your best, no excuses.

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