Act well thy part

There used to be a building near Stirling Castle in Scotland, which had an inscription carved above the door “What-e’er thou art, act well thy part.” The building was eventually torn down, but the engraved stone was taken to Salt Lake City. I’ve seen it, and ever since have contemplated its meaning. The last couple of weeks I have especially been thinking about it.

As I think about it, another of my favorite philosophies comes to mind: “anything worth doing is worth doing incredibly well.”

I find it a healthy mental exercise on occasion (probably once per quarter or so) to divide my life into the “roles” that I fulfil. That is, to ask the question, “what am I?” Some of those might include being a husband, a businessman, a computer programmer, a musician, etc… When examining the individual roles, I can ask myself if I’m a “good one.” Am I a good husband? Am I a good businessman? Am I a good musician? Taking the time to figure out what it means to be “a good one,” and then planning how I can become better allows for great introspection, focus, and planning (and sometimes, I realize that I’ve taken on a role that I don’t really want or need, and having defined that, I can abandon the role).

So ask yourself, “What am I?” “Am I a good one?”

Are you a cyclist? Be a good one.

Are you a cook? Be a good one.

Are you a teacher? Be a good one.

Are you a mother or a father? Be a good one.

And so on….

Remember, anything worth doing is worth doing incredibly well. If it’s not worth doing well, than it may not be worth doing at all. We should never accept mediocrity from ourselves – we can be better.

“What-e’er thou art, act well thy part.”

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