By Joni Lindquist

While we celebrate the life of Martin Luther King, Jr., we tend to think about his most famous of words uttered during the march on Washington D.C., yet King had more wise words for us to consider today:

“If it falls your lot to be a street sweeper, sweep streets like Michelangelo painted pictures, like Shakespeare wrote poetry, like Beethoven composed music;  sweep street so well that all the host of Heaven and Earth will have to pause and say, ‘Here lived a great street sweeter who swept his job well.’”

For me, this quote means two things, 1) always do your best in your work, and 2) take pride in your work.  My parents instilled those same values in me, so that’s probably why these words are meaningful to me.  We can get wrapped up in what we do, and lose sight of how we do it.

Our standards shouldn’t be in competition with others, but rather in competition with ourselves.  Whatever I was involved in growing up, whether grades or music or sports, my mother would consistently ask: “Did you do your best?”  If you are honest with yourself, these can be powerful words.  There were clearly times I did not try or do my best, and learned I didn’t like that feeling.  It was far better to do the best I possibly could at that task, and if it still didn’t fall my way, I would have no regrets.

This holds true for one’s work and job.  How often do you “audit” yourself and ask if you are doing your best and taking pride in your work.  Don’t’ go through the motions.  If you are going to undertake a task, job, project, etc., do it to the best of your ability.  By doing so, there will be intrinsic rewards, and often times extrinsic awards that follow.

To build a career plan that is tailored to you, schedule a meeting by clicking below, contact Joni Lindquist –, or call (913) 345-1881.

Photo credit: Scott Ableman / / CC BY-NC-ND