young man in blue plaid shirt and jeans leans against black wall

good reminder to stay humble

I live my life by two phrases. The first one is: “Excuses are stepping stones on the way to failure.” I was introduced to this expression 15 years ago by an elementary school teacher who had it on a banner across the top of the chalkboard. And it has stuck with me ever since.

I see people every day who try and make excuses and justifications for why things go awry. People are afraid to admit their mistakes, or they make excuses to try and deflect the attention. People will respect you a lot more if you are open to sharing your failures, and how you learned from them to grow into a stronger person.

My second philosophy is: “When you do things right, people won’t notice you’ve done anything at all.” I heard this in an episode of Futurama. Now, adult cartoons aren’t exactly where you should turn to for your core beliefs, but this sentiment really resonates with me because it is a good reminder to stay humble.

Recognition for a job well done is great, but people don’t always notice what you’re doing; because if everything is going along as it should, then there are no suspicions to be raised. When things go south and mistakes are made, then someone will more than likely notice so that the mistake can be rectified and a lesson can be learned. Now that being said, if you are never being recognized for your work, then chances are that you are either an unmotivated employee or you have an uncaring manager – in which case, one of those two will need to change.

– Jake, student, advocate, dog lover, leader, hilarious, amateur food connoisseur, 90s musical guru