I know you want to succeed. I know you want to be the best version of yourself.
Remember that you can always try hard and do your best—no matter the obstacle.
I value your effort, Anthony.
It may seem controversial to some, but your effort means more to me than your accomplishments. Effort is where we derive true fulfillment, and it is a better proponent of growth and consistent, repeatable success.
That performance you gave the other day? Maybe it was luck. Maybe the judge gave you that 10 out of 10 because they were in a good mood. It doesn’t mean you’ll succeed next time.
Unless it was because you did your best. Then yes, you’ll likely be successful again if you put in that same effort.
But if you don’t succeed—for whatever reason—I know you’ll learn from it, practice, improve, and prevail.
It makes me proud when you find ways to turn obstacles into your advantages. When you don’t dwell on your shortcomings. When you don’t blame your circumstance. When you’re resourceful and solve problems.
You are creative. So be creative.
Anthony, keep in mind the timeless Medieval Quarry Worker’s Creed:
We who cut mere stones must always be envisioning cathedrals.
Dream on, Anthony. Set goals and aim for your targets. Envision that big picture.
But also pay attention to the details, even when you don’t think others will notice, because you will notice. And because the small details are what make the big picture a reality.
Like a gardener delicately snipping leaves from a plant they’re nurturing… a master carpenter calculating right angles precisely (not once, but twice)… and a programmer writing concise lines of code to instruct the universe in the most poetic way…
Care for your work, because it is your craft—an expression of who you are. As the poet Rumi put it, “let the beauty of who you are be what you do.”
Doing your best is what I expect.
Your accomplishments? They are just the welcomed side effects of your effort.