How You Do Anything Is How You Do Everything

Josh L
3 min readMay 3, 2022


The most BS motivational saying ever

Photo by Johnson Wang on Unsplash

I first heard this saying when I was in grade school.

My teachers would often preach this to the class.

It usually came up when we failed to do something simple like put away our working materials or were impolite.

How you do anything is how you do everything — All my gradeschool teachers

At the time, I followed the crowd and agreed.

I know better now.

Why The Saying Sticks Around

It’s still popular today because the premise is easy enough to understand.

It praises consistently good work no matter what you do.

It encourages you to put 110% effort into every task that comes your way. It sounds good at the surface level.

I would say it’s good for young kids to believe this and try their best in everything. Learning the value of hard work at a young age can’t be negative.

However, once we get older, the saying matters less and less.

Here’s why.

Why It Doesn’t Make Sense

If you’re over the age of 18 or are supporting yourself financially, you can’t put 100% effort into everything you do.

It’s impossible. Even if we could do it, it wouldn’t be worth it.

If You Work Hard At Everything You Work Hard At Nothing

Human beings only have a certain amount of brainpower we are capable of using in a day.

This is why we need to sleep.

Do you know what happens when people go days without sleeping? It’s like you are stoned or drunk. You can’t focus.

Because of this human limitation, you need to prioritize your goals in life and work at those.

If you work a 9–5 and have a side hustle at the same time, you can’t focus on both. Now throw in having a wife and kids, family time, time with friends, and other commitments, you can’t focus on it all.

People can focus on one thing in their lives. Everything else comes second to that one thing.

People Focus On Their Interests

If you have no interest in something, you’re not going to give your all.

If you hate your job, you don’t try your best at it. You do the bare minimum to not get fired and receive a paycheck every other week.

No more and no less.

People focus on what they are good at or at least want to be good at.

For example, if you are a writer and have just published a book, you need to have a cover for your book.

You could try to do this yourself even though you may hate drawing and are terrible at it, or you can hire someone who already has the skill and enjoys doing it.

The choice is easy.

The fact we all have different skills and passions is what makes us unique.

This is a good thing.

If we all had the same interests and skills, humanity would have a problem.

You Won’t Get to The Level You Want To If You Work Hard At Everything

To get to an elite level at anything, you need to invest your time and energy.

This is why having only one focus is key to achieving the professional ranks in your chosen field.

It’s similar to the NBA players that try to rap on the side or vice-versa.

Damien Lillard, a prolific NBA player, has released an album or two during his basketball career.

None of them were successful.

This is because he places the majority of his focus on getting better at basketball.

If you play at the highest level of basketball, you need to be focused to stay there.

J. Cole is a well-known rapper who also plays basketball. He is not in the NBA and won’t make the NBA unless he changes focus dramatically.

Think of someone who has achieved the mastery level at something. They are known for that thing and that thing only. They can use that to get into other spaces when they are done.

This would be an athlete who has retired and then starts acting in movies or commercials.

Figure out what you want and hone your skills.

This can be life-changing if you do it for long enough.