Your Body of Work

It’s easy sometimes to think, “Where am I? What have I accomplished?” We look at what others have done, compare ourselves and come up lacking.

Let’s consider your body of work. This term is one we are comfortable with related to creative people: writers, musicians, photographers and artists all have portfolios in which they proudly showcase their bodies of work. Even though you may not neatly display yours in a portfolio, it’s time to consider what would be in there if you did.

What caused me to ponder this topic was a recent visit with my brother Michael’s teenage children whom I stayed with while their parents went to Hawaii for their 20th anniversary. When I arrived, I didn’t know my niece and nephew as well as I would have liked. Sporadic visits over the years while you’re raising your own children results in spotty familiarity. However, by the time my brother and his wife returned, I was able to say with conviction, “You have raised two very nice kids. Great job!”

Those children are a part of their parents’ body of work and can be displayed proudly. They have been shaped just as surely as a sculptor shapes clay.

What accomplishments would you include in your body of work? When I look around I see you out there doing things like:

• Providing excellent customer service even when you don’t feel like it

• Doing a good job at work when no one is looking

• Keeping educated

• Living on your own despite disabilities

• Being a good parent

• Making the world around you cleaner, neater and/or prettier

• Buying a home or a car on your own

• Taking care of your elderly parents

• Doing volunteer work for a variety of wonderful causes

• Mentoring others to do their best and build their self-esteem

• Giving a hand to friends in need

• Keeping others calm in the midst of crises

• Lending your shoulder when someone needs a good cry

• Voting

• Paying your taxes

• Sending cards and letters and emails that make others feel good

• Extending kindness to strangers

The list could take up a year’s worth of my columns. The point is that your body of work is both important and extensive.

As for that portfolio, I recommend purchasing one and using it. It could be a scrapbook or a notebook or one of those picture albums with sleeves you can slip things into. I’m shopping for mine today and after dinner tonight will be working on it while my closest friend works on hers. What a fun way to quantify one’s body of work (and what a wonderful project to do with your kids or spouse or friends).

Having a portfolio is a powerful way to utilize the Law of Attraction. You get what you focus on so label it “My Body of Work” and keep it close by. Pull it out to review on those days you need a boost or simply want to remember. As you focus on the work you’ve done so far, you will be attracting more of the same. Imagine how much you could add to your body of work with very little effort.

Remember, you get what you focus on. Your body of work is a great place to start.

Download a PDF of this column