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Six Words About Your Work

July 22, 2011

Smith magazine, home of the six-word memoir, has joined forces with global HR firm, Mercer Consulting, to put on a very cool contest. They are asking people to describe what inspires them to do their very best work, in – you guessed it! – six words.

The submissions are then judged by work/happiness consultants of the moment, like Gretchen Rubin, and Tony Schwarz.

What. You’ve never heard of work/happiness consultants? (You can get with the program and read more here.)

The winner will get an Ipad2, and their six-word masterpiece will be published in an upcoming book that includes all of the best entries. Sweet!

Here is an example from the website:

Voices in head say “Be better”

A vegetarian diet, yoga, and antidepressants.

How inspiring!

I really like this six-word contest idea. It’s like someone cramming poetry and inspiration and purpose and focus and personal productivity and strategy all into one very tight elevator that lets everyone out at the top floor penthouse suite with a view. I wonder what brilliant marketing team came up with it? (Fellow editors at The High Calling, take note.)

So I thought I would throw my own inspirational six words in the ring.

Experts typically advise to go with your first inclination when facing a brain-challenge such as answering a difficult exam question, or choosing the color of your office carpet, because, they say, the initial gut-level intuition is usually right. But I don’t think that rule applied to me. Here were my first attempts at six words to describe what inspires my work:

Jesus is watching, so look busy.

Cut the crap, get to work!

Not necessarily inspiring, despite their accuracy. Hey, that was six words, too! (And so was that! I am so on a roll.)

I gave those six words a little more thought:

Give the best, get the best.

Leadership: How can I help you?

Then I started waxing all poetic

Corporate spirit unearthed, life springs up.

Beguiled office taking inventory of love.

Cubicle farm spills beans, then counts.

Finally, I went back and looked at a Purpose Statement that I had written many moons ago and distilled it down to six words.

Grace advances. Management Retreats. Clarity Follows.

I don’t know. It’s just a game. Which one should I submit?

Oh, and what about you? What inspires you to do your best work – in six words?

To find out more about the contest, click here.

The cool six-marble photo comes from the house of Nance M.

9 Comments leave one →
  1. July 22, 2011 8:45 am

    How about five words!

    Paycheck appreciated but headaches not

  2. July 22, 2011 10:40 am

    God Love light heart people sight

  3. July 22, 2011 10:42 am

    i liked a half each of two of yours…put together:

    Jesus is watching, cut the crap.

  4. July 22, 2011 10:50 am

    or how about

    debts debts debts debts debts debts

  5. July 22, 2011 12:58 pm

    Consultant for a non-profit serving people with disabilities, giving undergraduate members service-learning opportunities that change the world.

    “Empower one, change lives of many.”

  6. July 22, 2011 2:37 pm

    The truth?
    “Really, really, really want an iPad2.”

    But I’ll probably try to think of something else to submit, heh.

  7. July 22, 2011 11:20 pm

    This one made me laugh.

    Jesus is watching, so look busy.

    Ok, I’m also a little silly since it’s past my bedtime and I have a houseful of 3rd grade girls who are wide awake. At least I can blog!

  8. July 23, 2011 9:56 am

    Post retirement medical, if still exists.

    Ha! no really, I like this exercise. How about:

    Loving leadership builds community and profit

  9. Bobby permalink
    July 28, 2011 1:46 pm


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