building self-esteem Good habits Teenagers

How You Do Anything is How You Do Everything

Me in my woodshop. Using hand tools helps you be more methodical and develops good habits.

I just heard this saying the other day for the first time and it made me think about my own habits. The saying suggests to me that we all have a level of conscientiousness about how we approach things, from our jobs to relationships to keeping up our homes to parenting our kids. If someone were to watch how we do one thing, it would give them a pretty good idea of how we do most things.

My two brothers tend to be slow and methodical about most things. They even walk slow compared to me. When I watch them do physical things such as maintenance on a car, they move slowly and methodically as if every movement is planned. They’re careful and think things through before they do it or while they’re doing it. As a result, they don’t make many mistakes.

I can see similar patterns in how I do things. I won’t go into detail, but let’s just say I can see patterns. Sometimes I move too quickly and then have to retrace my steps because I forgot something. I sometimes end up doing something over because I rushed. It’s an ADHD thing, okay?

This saying also reminds me of the saying, “If the job is worth doing, it’s worth doing right”. The saying about how you do anything is how you do everything seems to add to the meaning of this one. Taking time and effort to do any job the right way, builds self-esteem and you become better at many other things because you are teaching yourself to be more conscientious. In turn, this leads to higher self-esteem, stronger self-concept, and more reason to take pride in who we are.

Now if you’ll excuse me, it’s time to go make my bed.

Gary Watson is a Solution Focused Therapist in Grand Rapids Michigan.  He provides counseling for couples, counseling for teenagers, and adults.  He provides counseling for anxiety, depression, stress, college and work stress, and relationship problems.  For more information, please visit the website at