I use the Franklin Planner and each day there’s a quote at the top of the page. Thursday’s quote was from Harry S. Truman. Truman’s been my special inspiration since the afternoon I got to spend with him when I was a college senior – more than 50 years ago. This quote totally relaxed me. After I read his quote I found myself relaxed and working with energy and spirit.
He said, “It is amazing what you can accomplish if you do not care who gets the credit.” Wow! “I bet that if you do great stuff just because you enjoy doing it and you’re passionate about the effect the thing you’re creating will have on people or if your passionate about helping a cause, etc. etc., you will get great stuff done and I also bet you’ll get the credit for doing it – even if that wasn’t in the forefront of your mind.
I’ve caught myself thinking I’d be saying YES to myself if, for once, I really concentrated on getting press or mention for something I was doing. I’ve almost always found that this type of thinking got in my way of doing what I really wanted to do or took up so much time I began to lose the passion I originally had for doing it.
I think our society often puts an unduly high emphasis on getting credit for winning a competition. It starts in school and in camps and groups. There were many circumstances in which I was taught that the most important reason to study and do very well was to get my name on a plaque on the school’s honor roll wall. The fact that having the information I was learning could help me solve problems for people wasn’t ever even brought up! Could you imagine what our medical system would be like if most doctor’s were in medicine to become famous for finding cures, etc – rather than actually curing people’s illnesses? I’ve met passionate researchers who have helped thousands of people and have gotten the credit for doing that. However they got the credit because their passion carried them through when the going got rough and the going often got rough.
You can say YES to yourself by giving yourself the credit you deserve for following through and setting up whatever was needed to help you contribute to the world. Then if the world gives you credit fine – but you won’t need the accolades from outsiders. Your credit lies in your having done what you set out to do.
I’m not in any way trying to down the Academy Awards or Tony Awards or the Drama Desk Awards, which I was Executive Producer of for a few years. These awards shows are important, to me, more because they claim audience attention and sell tickets, than because they reward performers, designers, etc. Dressers aren’t usually up for theater awards. In certain plays a good “dresser” is a very valuable asset. A dresser is a person who, literally, helps the performer quickly change his/her costume. The dresser works backstage and may get their name mentioned in the program, but not in a way that would really draw your eye to it. Iooijii9pAll this said, a good dresser calms the performers and keep things moving onstage. I’ve spoken to dressers and they feel terrific when the actors they’re responsible for helping can easily get through the costume changes in the show.
Say YES to you and allow yourself to enjoy the journey. The credit will come either from the public – or, more importantly, from your employer, husband, wife, child, teacher, etc whose life you’re making easier by what you do.