I think we are far too concerned about things that don’t matter. Things like wondering if doing what you do will really make a difference in the world. Or sometimes, wondering if anyone will notice that you’ve done it. These kind of things are fairly well off-point for us. It really shouldn’t matter if what you do is world changing or life changing. It only matters that it’s what you do best.
Some days we just need to be thankful for doing something we’re good at doing. That should be good enough. Even for me. Even for you.
I’m pretty sure that Shakespeare had no idea the effect that his work would continue to have on the world centuries after his final breath. However, his art has continued to be the focus of countless hours of reading, study and conversation even into our generation.
He was like you. He had no idea.
I’m sure like all artists with egos, he wanted to change the world. He probably had days, if not years, of self doubt. Days he didn’t “feel” like writing. Days it would have been easier to go back to sleep. Days it seemed pointless to add any more words to the library. Days when the point of it was elusive.
The next time you have one of those bouts with trying to find the courage to look for the point of doing what you do, remember this: you and Shakespeare are two peas in a pod.
Shakespeare had no idea. Neither do you.
Have you ever wondered where some of our modern phrases originated? Below is a short list of phrases that are a part of our everyday conversations that all have something in common. Look them over carefully. Remember them.
The common thread?
Shakespeare gave them to us. I bet some of them even came out on days when he wondered if his work could ever make a difference.
- Knock knock! Who’s there?
- Heart of gold
- Bated breath
- In a pickle
- Seen better days
- Wear your heart on your sleeve
- Full circle
- Green eyed monster
- Dead as a doornail
- The world is your oyster
- Wild goose chase
- Too much of a good thing
- Be all/ end all
- Vanish into thin air
- Naked truth
- Break the ice
- Makes your hair stand on end
- Love is blind
- A piece of work
- Brave new world
- Come what may
- Laughing stock
- Fight fire with fire
All of these phrases, still in use today, from one man doing what he did best.
Thank you, Mr. Shakespeare. You had no idea what an impact you would have on our world almost 400 years after your death.
Now to the rest of you:
There’s something to be said about doing what you do best. You should do that… and let the work take on a life of its own.
That’s what it does best.