This is for the big fish in little ponds.
There's a certain level of intrinsic ambition that is required to push yourself when no one is watching. To deliver A+ work when your boss is still wow-ed by your B+ efforts. To dress up to the office when everyone else is wearing business too-casual.
I suppose we call this overachieving. But even the most type A overachievers sometimes don't feel like jumping through the highest hoops when it's not necessary.
- Be good just to be good: Why leave the Mustang in the garage? Putting your best foot forward is training yourself, like shooting in the gym. The more often you do incredible work, the more that incredible work becomes your norm. Whether it's creating a flawless PowerPoint deck for your presentation or delivering doughnuts to the office. Sharing an out-of-the-blue compliment with a friend or taking a pottery class just because it interests to you. Push your own limits for you, not to impress someone else.
- Someone is always watching: If self-gratification isn't enough, just know that there's always someone watching how you work. Life is a series of chain reactions. You never know what impression you made on someone and how that may be passed along down the road. If nothing else, the glow on your face when you're truly proud of your own work will radiate to others. People know the difference between good and really good.