We “inherited” a professional gardener recently and every time he’s come to mow the lawn he’s broken something.* He’s put a hole in the hose, cut the washing line, poisoned the good ground cover as well as the weeds, and more.
Each time I’ve pointed these things out he’s made efforts to rectify them, but I wouldn’t use him again, and I certainly wouldn’t recommend him to anyone.
Now he’s a nice enough young bloke, reasonably intelligent as far as I can tell, and he’s trying to establish a gardening business, so it got me wondering what was going on. The conclusion I can’t avoid is that he’s simply careless – at least as far as the work is concerned.
One definition of careless is “not giving sufficient attention or thought to avoiding harm or errors” and this sums it up beautifully.
We’ve all been careless at times. Hopefully with no negative consequences. But who knows if and when it’s left a bad impression, or stopped us from getting a recommendation or being presented with a good opportunity?
Thankfully, it’s a state that doesn’t require much effort to overcome.
We could try being careful, but I’m not sure that’s always the right approach. The definition “making sure of avoiding potential danger, mishap, or harm; cautious” sounds a bit too heavy for most activities and could have us so worried about making mistakes that our minds aren’t on the job at hand.
Instead, why not try applying care. This is simply to “feel concern or interest; attach importance to something”. It’s not a heavy attitude or a forced state. Simply remind yourself of the need your efforts are addressing and why you might care about that.**
When you care about something it naturally attracts your attention. When you attend to what you’re doing, great results follow.
* First World problem, I know.
** If you really don’t care then perhaps you’re in the wrong place. If you can’t change that you might have to assume a more careful approach, but please don’t just be careless. Not around my garden at least!