Doing the Work of Life

Facing the blank page can sometimes be a daunting task. Almost every morning, I wonder, will inspiration strike? Will I just sit here, my mind blank, with nothing to say? Yet every morning, I begin anew. I get to work on making the impact I am here to make.

Writing is like a muscle, I find the more I do it, the more I can do it. But I think it’s that way with everything. I’m not sure we can expect to do anything well if we don’t work the craft of life.

If we want great relationships, they take work.
If we want great health, it takes work.
If we want our businesses to succeed, it takes work.
If we want to be a great leader/teacher/healer/artist/
musician/strategist/server/banker/baker – whatever we aim to be – it takes work.
If we want to be a great parent, holy smokes does it take work!

It takes work to make an impact.

But first, it takes showing up. Every day. Even on the days you don’t want to, or you’re scared, or tired, or empty. Keep showing up to do the work you’re here to do in the world.

Greatness is a byproduct of doing the work of life. Of showing up even when greatness is nowhere to be found.

We like to think that some people have that “special something” while the rest of us are simply ordinary, but that’s not really true. We don’t normally get to see all the work that’s going on behind the scenes that makes their accomplishments seem effortless. But trust me, it’s there. The work.

Do the work you’re here to do. Work your life. Make an impact. Allow yourself to let your greatness shine.



Kimberly Davis
Kimberly Davis
An expert on authentic leadership, Kimberly Davis shares her inspirational message of personal power, responsibility, and impact with organizations across the country and teaches leadership programs world-wide; most notably, her program “OnStage Leadership” which runs in NYC and Dallas, TX. Additionally, Kimberly teaches for Southern Methodist University’s (SMU) Cox School of Business’s Executive Education Program's Transformational Leadership Program and their Latino Leadership Initiative. She is also privileged to teach for the Bush Institute’s WE Lead Program (empowering female leaders from the Middle East). Kimberly is a TEDx speaker and her book, Brave Leadership: Unleash Your Most Confident, Authentic, and Powerful Self to Get the Results You Need, is the 2019 winner of the Benjamin Franklin Silver Award for Business and Career; an Amazon Bestseller in Business Leadership, Business Motivation, and Self-Improvement, and Motivational Business Management; and was named as the number one book to read in Inc. Magazine’s “The 12 Most Impactful Books to Read in 2018,” with a cover-endorsement by best-selling author Daniel Pink.

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  1. Actually, all those who are successful, sometimes very young, certainly worked hard, with no distractions, chasing a dream, believing in a project, with a lot of self-confidence and passion. No external aid, in case risks and layoffs. Just so people recognize quickly that you have talent and gives you a chance.
    Even the “formula” of genius is made by a spark, a good knowledge and a lot of work. In fact, talent without application does not count for anything. To have an impact you need a minimum of predisposition, excellent teachers, and the iron will to become the best. Success can only be achieved through hard work and dedication. Even the extraordinary abilities of individuals commonly thought of as genes are not an innate gift, but the result of a skillful combination of personal skills, education of the highest level, and hours of study and application.

  2. Kimberly, I love this article. The hardest part sometimes is showing up, so if we can do that, then we are one step closer to doing what we do. When my husband was going through cancer a few years back, someone asked me how I got through each day. I just did. I took each day as it came, and if it seemed overwhelming, then I tried to get through an hour, and then another. Our will is so much stronger than we think, and I am grateful every day for my resilience and the courage to look adversity in the face and carry on despite it.

    To your point, everything takes work. And sometimes, our best work shines during the most challenging of times. Thanks for these reminders, Kimberly.

  3. This resonates completely, Kimberly!! Thank you so much for the encouragement!

    What I have found so helpful on this journey of “doing the work” is to let go of “doing someone else’s work” or being distracted by someone else’s scripts or pecks and calls and focusing on my dharma, if you will-my truest, deepest calling in love and service. That finally freed me in all ways. Breaking free of the “beck and call” of what other people think you should or shouldn’t be doing was one of the most liberating choices I kept making over and over again!

    Doing the work of your heart/soul/mind/body purpose can become easy and something you’d do for a lifetime. No longer a burden, you become alive, awake, and utterly grateful for the opportunity to give, to offer guidance, to be yourself, to love, to heal, grow, and transform.

    • Oh, yes, yes, yes, Laura! You and I had a conversation about that last year at #NLV. Following someone else’s script for your life diminishes your ability to bring yourself fully and shine! That’s why your work is so important, friend, as you’re always reminding us to listen to our hearts.

  4. It’s just another thing that show us how to do. You don’t glorify it or make it sound like it is easier than it really is, you are open and candid about how doing important stuff requires effort, focus and commitment. None of those things are fun things, glamorous things or things that will necessarily come to us without putting forth some effort. Some people may be better at it, some people may never be good at it… but the ones who will never be any good at it are the ones who don’t do it because they either believed some naysayer or themselves who said that they’d never be able to… and so they don’t. We don’t arrive at that magical place of being who the world needs us to be, but we get there incrementally, one step at a time, one day at a time, being just a little better than we were last time, or a little better than we were yesterday. Spot on, Kimberly, thank you for blazing yet another trail.

  5. Wow…. this is so true, Kimberly. Today, in the age of social media, photoshop and filters, we often see the most polished version of everyone else making it look so easy while we see our own struggles, failures, challenges, etc. I think of it as watching everyone else’s highlight reel while one’s own blooper reel loops continuously. Thank you for the reminder to not only do the work, but showing up. It reminds me of Brene Brown’s quote: Courage starts with showing up and letting ourselves be seen.

    • Boy do I hear you, friend! It’s hard to anchor yourself in real when comparing yourself to a fantasy, isn’t it? Grateful to be on the journey with you, friend!

    • These are excellent points, Melissa. I, too, feel like my blooper reel is on repeat when I watch other’s highlight reels. As for the Brene Brown quote, it is one of my favorites. I have several of her quotes on the inspiration board in my office. Showing up, even in our most vulnerable state, takes a lot of gumption. And I dare say that many of us do this and do it well, day in and day out.

    • Amen, Laura! The good news is that we can share our vulnerabilities with other brave people and get stronger every single day!