Okay, I admit it. My husband is a New England Patriot fan.
So, naturally I watch a lot of football. And I particularly enjoy spotting their coach, Bill Belichick in his frayed hoodie, staring at his players, showing no emotion, but always reminding them to “do their job.”
His signature phrase "do your job" has become ubiquitous in NFL circles. I frequently hear announcers and players of other teams using it. “He needs to do his job... I just have to do my job.”
It's even seeped into everyday chat. In fact, someone on a radio news show just said it!
And that got me wondering, what does it mean exactly?
For Bill Bellichik, it’s obvious. He wants his players to run their routes – consistently, timely, one could argue, perfectly.
But what does it mean as a human being, to do your job?
Here’s what I’ve come up with – The 4 Agreements.
I’m a big fan of Don Miguel Ruiz’s book of the same name. And when I think about doing my job as a person, this is my clear default.
As a refresher, here they are:
1. Be Impeccable With Your Word
In other words, speak mindfully. Be aware of everything you say as a reflection of who you are.
We’ve all had those moments when we’ve been out of integrity and got caught saying something cruel about another person. I remember the last time that happened to me, how horrible I felt for being a gossip and I decided then and there that I’d stop.
Your word is your honor. Being impeccable with your word reminds you to take responsibility for everything you say. It reminds you to respect yourself as well as everyone else.
I’m doing my job when I hold my tongue, when I speak with integrity and clarity. When I take responsibility for my words and deeds.
2. Don’t Take Anything Personally
We all are creating our own realities, in every moment of every day. And these realities bump into one another. Sometimes it’s a wonderful, harmonious experience and sometimes it’s horrific. My state of mind, mood and disposition fluctuate moment to moment, as does yours.
An easy way to imagine this is to think about a toddler. In the morning, she is loving and playful. The next hour, she’s irritable and grouchy. As her mother or caregiver, do I take on her moodiness personally and blame myself? No.
I recognize she’s a child and is experiencing life in her terms. Now we just have to extrapolate that to everyone else.
And doing this with each person and experience you have in life is a powerful practice.
It really helps to foster detachment and reduces daily drama. Plus, it will open you up to experience more clarity and drive.
3. Don’t Make Assumptions
What is an assumption? An assumption is when you think you know but you haven’t received confirmation.
- I thought our appointment was for today.
- Don’t you like sugar in your coffee?
- I was pretty sure you were paying that bill.
Assumptions invariably lead to whoops!
When I make assumptions it’s because I’m being lazy and not asking clarifying questions, not calling to confirm. That’s when errors, hurts or worse can happen.
I’m doing my job effectively when I’m sure.
4. Always Do Your Best
Here’s a way to think about this: Are you showing up and giving the best of your ability in this moment?
Bear in mind that the moment is constantly changing- day-to-day, year to year. So “best” is fluid and ever evolving.
Then in reflection, when you stand back and ask about a specific moment in time, “Did you do my best – in that meeting, confrontation, essay?”
If the answer is “yes”, move on. Don’t dwell on it, judge it or criticize. If, however, you feel like you could have done more, look at that and act accordingly.
I truly believe that if you’ve shown up and done you’re best, you’ve done your job.
I’ll never be a professional football player, that’s certain. But when I think about doing my job – as a human being- these 4 guidelines are what come to me again and again. They remind me to live my life- words and actions- with integrity, honor and dignity.
How about you? How can you live the 4 agreements in your life? Let me know by leaving me a note below.