“Don’t Mistake Activity With Achievement” John Wooden; Vacuuming
Our “Comments” are usually mortgage-related but one of our favorite quotes surfaced this weekend in the Wall Street Journal: “Don’t mistake activity with achievement” (John Wooden, former UCLA basketball coach).
We love this quote b/c it is a mistake we all make far too often. At JVM/Opes, our primary goals should always be providing information for our Realtor-partners, educating borrowers, pre-approving borrowers, closing loans and, of course, getting more loans. Sometimes, however, we lose focus on these goals and spend too much time on systems, meetings, internal events, personnel matters, holiday cards, decorations, etc.
We get bogged down in non-essential tasks for several reasons that include: (1) a desire to procrastinate doing more difficult tasks; (2) an inability to identify the most important tasks (this is often a leadership problem); or (3) a need to be constantly working really hard simply to feel “worthy.”
My Midwestern grandmother believed she was not a worthy human being unless she worked herself to exhaustion every day (a common affliction in Minnesota where I grew up). Once her kids were grown, she did not have enough to do, so she simply cleaned excessively to make sure she was working hard enough to be worthy. She often cleaned whether her house needed or not, sometimes re-vacuuming untouched carpets.
I see many people, including myself, engage in such activities. If my Grandmother ever returns to earth, I suspect that one of the first things she would say would be: “Dude, don’t waste so much time vacuuming,” (or something to that effect).
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