If It's Worth Doing...

"If It's Worth Doing..." large text

One of my Dad’s favorite sayings was “If it’s worth doing, it’s worth doing well.”  

He would always say “You only get so much time here. This is your life; you might as well make the most of it and always do things in a way that makes you proud to claim your work!” He was very emphatic, and at the same time, gently encouraging.

If you are investing time and energy into a project, and your efforts are a reflection of your values and integrity, why not make it your best? But be your best self, every time? My younger self was pretty much in alignment with this whole theory, but there were times when I just wanted to “get it done” so I could go do something else that I was pretty sure would be more fun. I didn’t really see the harm in relaxing my standards once in a while. 

Dad assured me that what I was considering was a slippery slope. He proceeded to ask me questions like “How do you determine when it’s okay to do less than your best? What is the standard or qualification for that decision?” Ahhh, there’s the slippery slope. Was it okay when doing a favor for a friend that needed help?  On my homework? Or my music practice when rehearsing for a tri-state competition? Was it okay to short-change my beloved pets? To play less than my best in sports when teammates were counting on me?  Oh man, he was right; this was a slippery slope! 

So what’s a girl to do? I went back to him, and of course, his response was calming and encouraging. “No pressure, just do the best you know how to do right now. Choosing to do your best will automatically make you better at it. If you’re paying attention, you will learn as you go, and your skills will improve every single time. Don’t worry, it will work out!”  

So off I went, fully prepared to give my best effort every single time. Sometimes it worked out well; other times, not as much. I noticed that when it didn’t work out as well as I wanted, those were the times that I learned the most. He was right once again. These experiences helped me realize that this is one of the secrets of learning, growth and even mastery. I was beginning to get it.

Doing my best, such a simple phrase, turned out to be much more complex, both in the results of my efforts as well as the ramifications of who I was becoming in the process of living by this phrase.

Some people have asked why it took a year to build Planet Joy. It’s that “doing your best" thing. I absolutely love the feeling of reaching for what is possible, or even higher, and sometimes accomplishing it! It’s a great feeling, and I’ve noticed that it changes who I am, how I look at things, and certainly the decisions I make. It is a cumulative process. It builds skills, and better yet, curiosity about what I am capable of. It also builds confidence and trust in myself. It expands the possibilities of what I can accomplish and allows me to reach for more. Higher heights, new feats, better skills, and improved critical thinking. It expands my thinking, and raises my expectations of myself, which in turn, changes my beliefs.   

Planet Joy Heart

Seriously, what IS possible? The expansion is incredible when the mind lets go and I am free to explore fearlessly. Maybe this is why we are all on this planet, to find boundaries and ask “Is there more, what is possible, what am I capable of doing, creating, being?”

In my own experience, the bigger question ultimately arises, slowly but steadily. It is this, or some variation of this:

Who am I? and how can I keep expanding, creating, doing and being more?

Wow, what a great question! Let the exploration and the adventure begin! It is the journey of our lifetime, and a huge part of the reason we are here. To learn, to explore, to expand our boundaries, to discover more of who we are and what we are capable of.

To use Oprah’s phrase, “what I know for sure” is that the expansion stops only when we stop asking the questions, “Is there more, what is possible, can I possibly expand even more?”

Hmmm, if it’s worth doing, it’s worth doing well. We only get so much time here. This is our life, so we might as well make the most of it! 

It turns out these are not just words of wisdom, but words to live by.

I, for one, am all in.


  • what a beautiful, profoundly thoughtful and loving approach to being a fully human, joyous and conscious being!
    i loved the tone and absence of “shouldness!”
    thank you!

  • What an inspiring and practical approach to living one’s life! Clearly, your father was a wise man, and the wisdom he imparted has served you throughout your life. As a result, you have achieved much—in the arts and in business—and Planet Joy is a wonderful way to honor your father’s legacy. He would be so proud. . . . Thanks to you and your Dad for these pearls of wisdom!


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