“If you’re going to do something, make it matter.”

~HP Discover Conference 2012

The husb brought home this little nugget of wisdom from the HP conference he attended recently and WOW! It’s pinged around in my soul for the last week like a rubber ball on crack. I can almost hear the ching-cha-cha-ching-ching as the epiphanies light up my brain. I feel lighter. Happier. The joy of that first inhale as you break the water’s surface after being submerged for too long, your lungs burning and celebrating all at the same time.

Okay, I’m being a bit melodramatic, but–hey!–it’s me we’re talking about.

Why am I so excited over this little tiny sentence?

The Good News!

Growing up in my house the phrase was “If you’re going to do something, do it right the first time.” Which translated into overlapping vacuum lines, folding towels so all the trim went the same direction, and holding your breath as dad examined your efforts. Would it be good enough? Would it be right? Would it be… perfect?

Paralyzing, no?

But the HP theme changed everything. Notice the shift in focus between the two thoughts? In both I’m doing something. According to my father, my focus should be on the details, the what, on getting it RIGHT.

In the HP version the doing becomes all about the WHY, about making my actions serve a higher purpose or have a broader impact. About giving meaning to the process.

Making. It (the doing). Matter.

For me, getting it right is about marching to someone else’s beat and expectation. It’s lists and cookie-cutters. Making it matter is about learning, change and growth. It’s creativity and individuality. One paralyzes. One frees.

I think that’s why I love “make it matter” so much, because it isn’t asking for perfection, it’s asking for heart. Perfection I’ll never have. Heart, I believe, I have in abundance.

You can apply that however you want! It’s your life! But here are some thoughts on how this small shift will affect what I do and how I do it.

Make It Matter to Me

Whatever the “something” is that I choose to do, I need to make sure it resonates with me. Am I passionate about it? Whether a message or activity, am I creating something that I’d want if I were the receiver instead of the giver? If not, then why am I wasting my energy on it?

Make It Matter for Others

My passion may start with me, but it shouldn’t end with me. How can I step beyond myself to make it matter for those around me? How can what I share help or affect others? How can I make it about more than myself and getting it right?

Make It Matter in Action

Blogging. Whatever I post, I should be passionate about it. It should be meaningful.

Writing. What themes am I presenting in my writing? Am I sharing stories I love or stories that I think are popular?

Social Media. Are the interactions I seek online more than a checklist? If not, then I have to change because people matter. Interactions should be based on my genuine interest in what others are doing, saying or feeling, and not on who they are or who they might become.

Life. Do the choices I make have purpose? Can I pinpoint the why? Do I understand it? I want to give myself the opportunity to do things, not because someone else is telling me it’s right or what I’m supposed to do, but because it has meaning in my life and because I can share that meaning with those around me.

Anyway, long-long-long post! Oops!

I just had to share the GOOD NEWS! We don’t have to be perfect. We don’t have to make it right the first time or make it right at all. We just have to make it matter. It’s not about perfection, it’s about heart. And that’s what I want; I hope it’s what you want too.

Lead with your heart in everything that you do. I hope this week, this month, this year that you will be able to shift that paradigm a bit from making the process right to making the process matter.

What are you passionate about? What matters to you?