Brightwork

Considering that I went a little heavy on the boat metaphors in the last post, I figure it wouldn’t hurt to keep it going in this one, especially since the topics go together.

In Trimming Sails, I talked about intentionality being the key to accomplishing goals. The other side of the intentionality coin though is discipline. Doing things with intentionality gets you going, doing things with discipline keeps you going.

My boaty metaphor for this one is maintaining brightwork. Brightwork is essentially exposed metal and wood on a boat; on a modern sailboat, you’ll mostly see it in wood toerails, handholds, companionways, and other trim. Maintaining all this wood that’s exposed to the elements all the time isn’t fun or easy work, but it’s the difference between a boat that looks good and a boat that looks disused.

It’s not easy to stay on top of it. It’s far easier to let it go for a day, week, month longer than you should. But when you grab a handrail in high winds and come back with a massive splinter, you’ll wish you’d had the discipline.

Do things with intentionality and discipline, and that’s how you win.

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