I studied the attention to detail and quality of the stitch work and wondered how it could possibly have been made at a profit. It had obviously taken a long time to make, yet sold for so little.
But then I asked myself why I had presumed it had been made just for the money. Perhaps the crafter who made it did so for the pleasure of it, and was happy to just cover the cost of materials.
The quality of the mouse showed that the maker believed in producing the best standard of workmanship they could.
This reminded me of the mantra that Jane Goodall has always lived by:
“If you are going to do something, do it as well as you possibly can.”
Martin Luther King, Jr. agrees:
"If it falls your lot to be a street sweeper, go out and sweep streets like Michelangelo painted pictures. Sweep streets like Handel and Beethoven composed music. Sweep streets like Shakespeare wrote poetry. Sweep streets so well that all the hosts of heaven and earth will have to pause and say, here lived a great street sweeper who swept his job well."
Do you have a passion for doing something? Do you have something you can excel in and enjoy?
"When you are inspired by some great purpose, some extraordinary project, all your thoughts break their bounds. Your mind transcends limitations, your consciousness expands in every direction and you find yourself in a new, great and wonderful world. Dormant forces, faculties and talents become alive, and you discover yourself to be a greater person by far than you ever dreamed yourself to be." ~ Patanjali.
"I have looked in the mirror every morning and asked myself: 'If today were the last day of my life, would I want to do what I am about to do today?' And whenever the answer has been 'No' for too many days in a row, I know I need to change something." ~ Steve Jobs.
"The people who make it to the top -- whether they're musicians, or great chefs, or corporate honchos -- are addicted to their calling ... [they] are the ones who'd be doing whatever it is they love, even if they weren't being paid." ~ Quincy Jones.
In author Cal Newport’s book, So Good They Can't Ignore You: Why Skills Trump Passion in the Quest for Work You Love, he argues that following one’s passions can be a dead end. He argues that it’s better to identify which skills you have that could be rare and valuable in the workplace – and then to hone those skills till you have career capital that you can spend in the way you choose.
Surely you have to love your job to be good at it though, and isn't happiness more important than money?
"Your work is going to fill a large part of your life, and the only way to be truly satisfied is to do what you believe is great work. And the only way to do great work is to love what you do." ~ Steve Jobs.
But what if you need the money? What if you want to follow your passion but can’t afford to just cover costs? If you live your dream will the money follow?
"Yes, I've made a great deal of dough from my fiction, but I never set a single word down on paper with the thought of being paid for it ... I have written because it fulfilled me ... I did it for the buzz. I did it for the pure joy of the thing. And if you can do it for joy, you can do it forever." ~ Stephen King.
So maybe following our passion is the key to success. Here are some more quotes on doing what you love:
"Everyone has been made for some particular work, and the desire for that work has been put in every heart." ~ Rumi.
"The law of work seems unfair, but nothing can change it; the more enjoyment you get out of your work, the more money you will make." ~ Mark Twain.
"Work is love made visible. And if you cannot work with love but only with distaste, it is better that you should leave your work and sit at the gate of the temple and take alms of those who work with joy." ~ Kahlil Gibran.
"I think people who are creative are the luckiest people on earth. I know that there are no shortcuts, but you must keep your faith in something Greater than You, and keep doing what you love. Do what you love, and you will find the way to get it out to the world." ~ Judy Collins.
"The secret of joy in work is contained in one word -- excellence. To know how to do something well is to enjoy it." ~ Pearl S. Buck.
"Never continue in a job you don't enjoy. If you're happy in what you're doing, you'll like yourself, you'll have inner peace. And if you have that, along with physical health, you will have had more success than you could possibly have imagined." ~ Johnny Carson.
"There is no passion to be found playing small--in settling for a life that is less than the one you are capable of living." ~ Nelson Mandela.
"You have to be burning with an idea, or a problem, or a wrong that you want to right. If you're not passionate enough from the start, you'll never stick it out." ~ Steve Jobs.
"If you feel like there's something out there that you're supposed to be doing, if you have a passion for it, then stop wishing and just do it." ~ Wanda Skyes.
"If you don't love what you do, you won't do it with much conviction or passion." ~ Mia Hamm.
"I have no special talents. I am only passionately curious." -Albert Einstein
It's always great to get to do what you love and to do something that hopefully people will see and love. ~ Casey Wilson.
My daughter certainly loves her mouse.