One of the guys I follow on Twitter is Andy Andrews, an author of inspirational books. He tweeted this:
“Quality Work, Healthy Relationships, Good Manners, Legacy. These virtues: NEVER accidents & ALWAYS the result of deliberate effort.”
Deliberate effort is the same as being “intentional.”
To do quality work means you are mindful about the product or service you are producing. You have your customer and her expectations at the forefront. You are focused on consistency. Your customers grow to rely on you.
To have healthy relationships, you begin with the other person in mind. You actively work to determine his likes and dislikes. You are patient. You are kind. Words of encouragement come frequently from you, but when honesty and candor are necessary, you tell it like it is. In healthy relationships, the participants continually demonstrate the regard they have for each other by helping each other, deferring to each other, sharing time with each other, and providing a listening ear.
Having good manners is courtesy. Those with good manners take care to express thanks and gratitude. Having good manners means you go through life with an awareness of others. Good manners are expressed in random acts of kindness in a world full of self-absorption.
Lasting legacies. As I reflect on it, the first three virtues go a long way toward helping one achieve the last. But here’s the thing I note. Quality work is about delighting customers. Building relationships is about making a difference with the people you encounter. Good manners are about creating an environment of respect and civility. If you are known for those things, life has meaning. You are making a difference. You will be remembered because of it.