Do What You Do Do Well (aka: Grandad’s Philosophy)

My February started in a sad way with the passing of my grandfather. Throughout my life he has always been there not only as my grandfather but also acting as a father figure, a role model, and a great mate. I loved him dearly and I will miss him greatly but I am not one to dwell on negativity, even in times like these. Instead I like to focus on the positives, to laugh at the good times spent with granddad and to remember the lessons he taught me. And as I walked out of the funeral, carrying his casket, a beautiful song played that summed up grandad, the lessons he taught me, and his philosophy for life. The song was “Do what you do, do well” by Ned Miller from 1965 and the chorus goes:

Do what you do do well boy Do what you do do well Give your love and all of your heart And do what you do do well

Grandad’s Philosophy

Grandad was a kind, funny, and witty man. He loved a good joke and always had a few hundred up his sleeve to tell whenever the right moment presented. But he was not only a joker. He was also a leader and a teacher, showing his kids (and later on his grandkids) how to do many things from cards to problem solving to playing tennis. He was a “doer” and whatever he did he always did it to the best possible way that he could.

And he taught us to live with the same attitude. No matter what we were doing he always expected us to give 100%. He ensured that we took pride in our efforts, and not just in the results. He showed us the value in trying hard and focusing on our own development, and not to get caught up comparing ourselves to others. He instilled us with the attitude of doing everything as best as we could. Which is why the song, and particularly the chorus, was the perfect summation of my grandad’s philosophy which has now also become my own philosophy for life: Do what you do, do well.


This attitude applies to EVERYTHING in life. No matter what it is that you are doing you should be always striving to do it the absolute best of your ability. If you find yourself doing something in a less than fully dedicated manner then ask yourself why? Why are you holding back? Why are you not maximising your effort? Are you afraid? Or are you just not interested?

If you are afraid of committing 100% and pouring all your energy into something then maybe that something is not right for you. Or maybe you need to change your mindset and stop being afraid of failure and afraid to put yourself out there. If these don’t apply to you and you are just simply uninterested and unmotivated in the current moment then why are you even there in the first place? Why bother putting a half-arsed effort into something that you don’t even want to be doing?

No matter what it is that you are doing make sure you always do it to the best of your ability.

This is the principle to live by and it applies to all facets of life. If you are not fully dedicated to your partner or your relationship then there will always be a level of tension in your relationship, if you are unmotivated at work and keep turning in a half-baked deliverable then you will create a habit of poor performance and negativity that will permeate into other areas of your life, and if you keep finding excuses to avoid change then you will be stuck in your current life and will never achieve your dreams.

But if you turn your attitude into one of always putting in your best possible effort then some pretty amazing things will happen. You will pay more attention to every moment of your life because you won’t want to waste any opportunity, you will make conscious and empowering decisions to control your destiny, and you will have a lot more fun and laughter. That’s how my grandad lived and he was definitely onto something.

Helpful Tips

Here are some quick tips you can take away and start applying to all aspects of your life – relationships, work, friends, family, sports, and hobbies:

  1. Take notice of your effort level. When you are doing something just stop and take note of how much effort you are putting into the task and whether it has your full attention or if you are distracted or unmotivated. Are you really committed to it or just bumbling along?
  2. Make conscious decisions. If you realise you’re not fully dedicated to something then it is time for you to make a decision – you must either commit 100% or stop doing it. Don’t sit on the fence and don't string other people along.
  3. Don’t leave anything in the tank. Once you have decided to do something you need to throw every resource at it. Even if it is just having a laugh with friends you need to put everything into it - have the biggest possible laugh you can! Do not do anything half-arsed.
  4. The final result is not everything. Take enjoyment from using your skills to learn and develop, and remember that performing to the best that you could and making the most of every opportunity is what really matters. Remember that Paul H Dunn quote: “Happiness is a journey, not a destination”

No matter what it is that you are doing make sure you always do it to the best of your ability.

Over to you now. What things in your life are you not fully committed to? Where do you waste your energy by just “going through the motions”? Where could you benefit from being 100% dedicated and focused? How would your life change if you did everything at your maximum potential?