There is a interesting story about how Pablo Picasso, the famous Spanish artist, developed the ability to produce remarkable work in just minutes. As the story goes, Picasso was walking though the market one day when a woman spotted him. She stopped the artist, pulled out a piece of paper and said,
“Mr. Picasso, I am a fan of your work. Please, could you do a little drawing for me?”
Picasso smiled and quickly drew a small, but beautiful piece of art on the paper. Then, he handed the paper back to her saying, “That will be one million dollars.” “But Mr. Picasso,” the woman said. “It only took you thirty seconds to draw this little masterpiece.” “My good woman,” Picasso said, “It took me thirty years to draw that masterpiece in thirty seconds..and sign my name on it”
Everyday, be it in school, or at work, we get work to do. Sometimes it’s a huge project, other times, a small one. But in my experience, I have seen many people do different work differently. Today, I want to introduce a concept that has changed the way I do things, be it at work or at school or at home..be it big, medium or small task.
While growing up, I have been told to do well in studies, be respectful to your elders and many other things like that. There have been many expectations of others, of how well I would do in different areas of my life. It pretty much revolved around their expectations for the first 20 years of my life. I used to get stressed over doing the simplest things perfectly because the expectations of me were high. I’ve also noticed other times when there wasn’t much expectations of me, I’d take the easy route and probably do a slipshod work that I can get away with.
Over time..however, I’ve come to realise that I needed to set some expectations of myself as the benchmark. But I didn’t know what was a fair benchmark, until I came upon the term: 100% Participation.
100% Participation pretty much means giving everything I have to the task at hand. What it entails is rich and steep learning curve – I guarantee! Whenever you pour your heart and soul, blood, sweat and tears into any project, you will come out of that process feeling more knowledgeable. The experiences you receive are set in stone..because of the 100% work you put in. The best part about 100% participation is that you may “fail” to achieve a certain result, but there will never be a single regret about it.
Moreover, there is magic in this philosophy. The more you put into it, the more you get out of it. It holds you accountable for the work you do. And that concept alone helps you achieve great heights because you hold yourself to this simple principle.
There have been countless times where I have failed in various instances..but because I have put in my 100% effort into it, I have no regrets. I come out feeling that I did my best, and whatever I lacked, has become a learning lesson for me. And I practice on that to become better.
So this philosophy of giving my best has helped me benchmark myself from my past results to the present. Am I a stronger person than yesterday? Am I a smarter person than yesterday? It has helped me grow IMMENSELY as a person. And I have used this philosophy over and over again to keep myself on track.
Every project I do, I give it my 100%, and I ask myself, ” Would you sign your name on it?”. Will I be proud of what I have done? Have I done the ultimate best and used all the resources I could to do this project? This philosophy helps to keep me on my toes, and it is a culture that I impart in my organisation as well. And I believe it has the strength to bring out the best in anyone, if they follow it passionately.
So for any work you do, ask yourself, ” Would you sign your name on it?” Source: Mastering Creativity by James Clear.  Picture by www.arstechnica.com