How to Do Things

It matters how you do things.

Even in the most mundane routine, like your morning coffee, how you do things matters.

Do you approach life like a task to complete? We’re all tempted to seek efficiency first and intentionality second, to rush through life in the same way we plow through a to-do list. But that approach saps life of its vigor. In it, we seek not to do things well, but simply to be done. We’re exhausted with our hectic activities, by our busyness which is often a thin concealment for sloth and listlessness. Our life’s labor is not free, but forced—forced by our vice and lack of self-governance.

The alternative is to do things well, attentively, diligently. Not to guzzle coffee from a travel mug on the commute, but to consciously create a brief moment of rest and leisure in the morning. Slow down and sit down: it only takes a few minutes. Listen to Mr. Coffee steam, feel the heat of the cup, savor the smell of coffee, take the time to enjoy the taste. Free of noise and distraction, with the phone turned off and the laptop closed, something as mundane as morning coffee can become a moment of small ritual, full of purpose and direction.

A day full of these conscious moments can itself become a kind of ritual, full of purpose and direction. A life full of these days can become free, in which we govern our lives and our lives do not govern us. All of this, built on the simple foundation that it matters how we do things, and by making a firm choice to do things well.

The diligent hand will govern, but sloth makes for forced labor (Prov 12:24).

From Dominicana Journal