Worth doing well

One of the last things I heard yesterday before going to bed was “Anything that's worth doing is worth doing well”. I didn't ask for it; the TV was on and it struck me at the right place and time, while I was negligently passing through. It's not that I hear this quote for the first time, yet I always seem to forget about it. Being ready to listen intently to the small situations in our life allows us to stay open to hidden messages, however unpleasant they might be. Such messages are all around us, every day, all day. They can come from people, objects or environments, so we need to train ourselves to distinguish their whisper.

This message has two parts for me: how important it is to find what's meaningful (worth doing) in our life (1) and how important it is that we seek high quality (doing well) in whatever we choose to pursue (2). These parts do not only integrate well together, but also determine to a large extent what we are and what we become. In a sense, we can find ourselves only in the context of our contribution to others—if you wish,—by critically evaluating our percentage of the whole. This can only show us how negligible our efforts are and how far we need to proportionally downscale our ego and wants just to be able to see clear again.

I find that this message is applicable to web designers as well. Meaning and quality are both much needed online. Without meaning, no quality level can be warranted; without quality, meaning hasn't fully revealed itself yet. Trying to balance them also doesn't help much—we don't want to be average in both. A compromise in any of these will always bite us back, even in invisible ways. If we could find the real value in what we do and ask ourselves constantly about it during the time it fluctuates—for instance, through forces outside our control,—can we find the willpower and passion to drive our project to a qualitatively distinctive finish.

bit.ly/ZdiZn7