How we do anything is how we do everything

Thursday, November 10, 2016 Permalink

The good – and bad – thing about some social media sites is that they’re constantly sharing old content. Although it can get a bit repetitive, it also allows us to discover stuff we may have missed first (second, third or sixteenth) time around.

I tend to be a sucker for a good quote or click-bait-like headline. And while I make fun of inspirational quotes and other similarly wanky fodder, I find myself clicking on links which promise to solve all of my problems and make me a better person. So this – via Huffington Post – caught my attention:.

how we do anything is how we do everything

The article, by Laura Campbell takes a bit of a negative spin on the topic as she considers some stuff she’s not handled well and wonders how that translates to EVERYTHING in her life.

I’ve read some similar pieces since (as the topic intrigued me and I did some research – aka: googling) and they took the reverse approach – assuming how they typically do / react to something, will be how they respond / react / do anything else.

But because I’m still playing Pollyanna’s glad game for these Thursday posts, my take on this quote and the original article, is actually quite different.

I tend to be hard on myself. One of my many shrinks (seen at various points in my life… not at the same time!) referenced my clinical perfectionism. Mostly I struggle to find the positives in my behaviour, feelings and achievements… more often than not, feeling like a big fat, single, childless, achieved-little-in-life failure.

However… I’ve been thinking about this (unsourced) quote and suggestion posed in the HuffPo piece:

How you handle and manage any situation, challenge or experience in your life is how you probably handle all of them.

And I realised… there are some things I actually handle well. And if not well… fine-ish.

I stick to my commitments, promises and deadlines. I’m a terrible procrastinator but, if I’ve said I’ll have something done by a certain time (like this post by 7.30am Thursday morning), I’ll bloody-well have it done. And… I’m the same with most stuff. If I tell someone I’ll do something (pick them up, babysit, or whatever), I’ll do it.

I worry about the feelings of others. Too much so sometimes. Like most people I don’t like to hurt anyone, but I feel compelled to often make up for the behaviour of others. Again, it’s something I do in my private life, but I do it professionally as well. I’ll over-explain for others, or re-word their rants. I’ll try to manage a situation to minimise conflict.

And considering the reverse…. knowing that we tend to approach (everything) in a certain way can help plan around these ummm…. foibles. I tend to get overwhelmed with my #ToDo lists pretty easily. Too many commitments see me bunkering down and doing sweet ‘eff’ all. However… if I break my list into manageable chunks or small steps, I feel quite comfortable with each tiny task – eventually ticking everything off.

The ‘how we do anything / something is how we do everything’ quote is also a reminder that it’s pretty hard for people to fake it all of the time. It’s almost impossible to avoid our true nature. Our bad… and our good characteristics come bounding through any facade we build. And knowing this can help us amplify the good and manage the bad.

Do you think the ‘how we do anything is how we do everything’ quote is true for you and those you know? Are there exceptions?

the-lovin-life-linkyI’ve joined Leanne from Deep Fried Fruit and some other bloggers to help promote “ageing positively” and the Lovin’ Life mindset across the interwebs. You can link up via any one of us!

The Lovin’ Life Team includes:
Kathy from 50 Shades of Age
Johanna from Lifestyle Fifty
Min from Write of the Middle.
and Leanne from Deep Fried Fruit.


21 Comments
  • Amy @ HandbagMafia
    November 10, 2016

    A friend of mine is a perfectionist to the point that starting things can induce terrible anxiety in case it doesn’t come out how she wants it to. It’s an aspect I hadn’t considered!

    • Debbish
      November 10, 2016

      Ah yes… I don’t try a lot of things for the same reason. 18mths ago I did a newspaper and magazine course and have been talking about pitching something to a website or magazine for all of that time and am yet to do it. I’ve no sane reason… just apathy, brought on by fear.

  • Lydia C. Lee
    November 10, 2016

    This is interesting. I agree to a point, but I also think you can change it and make a new norm….

    • Debbish
      November 10, 2016

      I’ve been pondering it a lot Lydia and contemplating how we can manage our behaviour around these natural tendencies (if we recognise them) and wondering if changing habits can change behaviour. And then there’s the question of being able to change the way we react to things. I’ve long considered my problem with negative self talk and though I recognise it I struggle to ‘stop’ it from happening.

  • Ingrid Ingrid
    November 10, 2016

    After reading this I think my personality is fairly similar to yours.

    Ingrid
    http://www.fabulousandfunlife.blogspot.com.au

  • kathymarris
    November 10, 2016

    We sound very similar Deborah, however I rather like silly quotes!

  • seizetheday20
    November 10, 2016

    I’m with you on the commitment side of things Deb. If I say I’ll have something ready to post at 7.30am every Thursday, I’ll bloody well do it. However, I need to let go of my expectation that everybody should be the same way because it often leads to disappointment. #TeamLovinLife

    • Debbish
      November 10, 2016

      Oh yes Lyndall, I can very much relate to that issue around our expectations of others. It’s even broader for me as I so often find myself disappointed with people, but need to remind myself I’ve been allocating my values to them… which is very often not the case.

  • writeofthemiddle
    November 10, 2016

    I’m a perfectionist and it can cripple me! For example, I could spend ludicrous amounts of time trying to perfect a blog post, never happy and always tweaking. I am trying to better my ways though and nowadays I ignore that side of me and once I’m sure there’s no typo’s and I’m reasonably happy with how it reads, then I schedule it and move on. I’m also like you with regards to my ‘to do’ lists. If I have A LOT on my plate to do – I can get so overwhelmed that I just flatline and do nothing. I need to bunch my jobs into manageable little groups to avoid this flatlining thing from happening!! #TeamLovinLife

    • Debbish
      November 10, 2016

      I had to do that very thing this week with my ‘to-do’ list Min. There’s a stack of things I need to have done around the place, but I broke them down into little bits and pieces and allocated a time to them – spreading it out so I wasn’t overwhelmed. I often find that once I start I find some surprising motivation and keep going and get stuff done early…. but it’s the thinking about it that I struggle with.

  • Jo
    November 10, 2016

    I tend to take flying leaps of faith- my mantra truly is ‘seriously, how hard can it be?’ It’s when I stop to think that the trouble (& the anxiety) starts! I’ll pop something up to link when I get home…

    • Debbish
      November 10, 2016

      Ah yes true I can relate to that Jo, but think I tend to overthink EVERYTHING!

  • Johanna
    November 10, 2016

    Sounds a bit like me too Deb! I do think there’s an underlying pattern for how we do things, and if we’re not vigilant we can get stuck in ruts – you know the saying about ‘if you want a different outcome, then you have to change what you do’. But deep down I think we’re pretty much programmed by our genes, so there’s only so much we can change, and maybe some of that is superficial. I definitely believe in looking for the good and trying to improve the bad, but not being too hard on ourselves. #teamlovinlife

    • Debbish
      November 10, 2016

      Yes… we often read about changing habits in 21 or 30 days. I’m not sure I’ve ever succeeded at it yet, but guess the worst thing would be if we didn’t try!

  • Sydney Shop Girl
    November 10, 2016

    Thought provoking post, Deb. You’ve made me think outside of the square with regard to how I live my life at the moment.

    SSG xxx

  • Janet Camilleri (@middleagedmama1)
    November 10, 2016

    Yep I agree, in fact there’s a verse in the Bible along those lines – s/he who can be trusted with the little things, can be trusted with a lot!

    • Debbish
      November 11, 2016

      Ah, I hadn’t realised that Janet!

  • Leanne @ Deep Fried Fruit
    November 11, 2016

    Oooh, I love this! I’m a sucker for that sort of fodder as you probably know. LOL. Love me a good quote. This one would have dragged me in for sure … (in fact it just did …)
    #TeamLovinLife

    • Debbish
      November 11, 2016

      I get sucked in more than I should as well!

I'd love to hear your thoughts