Your work is a reflection of yourself, your values, and your commitment to what matters. Regardless of what you do in life, take pride in your work. What you do is far less important than how you do it. That is your craft.
There is an excellent crossing guard at my step-daughter's school. He excels at what he does, at his craft. The cross-walk he controls contains a four-way stop and kids funneling in from all directions. Florida is not known for its precision drivers, and humans are not known for their ability to comprehend the intricacies of a four-way stop. Yet somehow he orchestrates it all.
The adage about "not knowing what you have until it's gone" is never more evident than when he isn't working on a given day. He is replaced with either a random volunteer or a miscellaneous police officer. Sure, they get the job done. Traffic gets into the school, kids walk successfully across the cross-walks. But it is noticeably different. It just doesn't work the same way. His mere presence brings an aura of control.
And not only does the entire system run more smoothly, but kids, parents, and teachers love him. He gives "high fives" to kids, reminds them to wear helmets and walk their bike across, and asks about how they are doing.
He takes pride in his work. This is his craft.
While being a crossing guard may not seem like a glorious title you brag about, that's not what matters. What matters is how your carry yourself and take pride in your work.
I have an enormous amount of respect for him, and I'm not lying when I say I could just pull up a chair and watch his orchestra at work. It's a beautiful example of reflecting yourself and your values in your work.
You have to dance beautifully in the box that you are comfortable dancing in. My box was to be extremely ambitious within the sport of basketball. Your box is different than mine. Everybody has their own. It’s your job to try to perfect it and make it as beautiful of a canvas as you can make it. And if you have done that, then you have lived a successful life. Kobe Bryant
Kobe Bryant echoed this sentiment exactly. He took pride in his work through the game of basketball. And Jiro Ono, a master sushi chef many regard as the best sushi chef in the world says much the same.
Once you decide on your occupation… you must immerse yourself in your work. You have to fall in love with your work. Never complain about your job. You must dedicate your life to mastering your skill. That’s the secret of success and is the key to being regarded honorably. Jiro Ono
When you find your craft, take pride in it, commit to it, and master it.