Thursday, April 1, 2021

Leave No Stone Unturned (MY Eng #9)

This is part of a running series about English idioms - less about language, more about life itself. Previously, we covered 'missing the woods for the trees', 'the elephant in the room', 'practising what you preach', blowing hot and cold', 'no smoke without fire', 'one swallow does not make a summer', 'apples and oranges' and 'cut to the chase'.

Imagine you're rushing off to school or work. You kept snoozing off your alarm. In a frantic frenzy, you step hard on the accelerator. You drive like a speed devil. You get out of the car, and dash like an Olympic runner through the car-park, hallways, and flights of step.

Whew! You just barely made it! Woo hoo!

But wait! Your pocket feels empty. Frantically, you pat all over your body. Oh no! Your keys have gone missing! You must've dropped it on the way. And so, the search begins! You retrace your every step, leaving no stone unturned...

* * *

Indeed, this is the bare necessity whenever you're undertaking an important and urgent task. Diligence. Being meticulous. Sort through stuff with a fine comb (another idiom!).

You can't be lazy. Complacent. Sloppy.

Even after your work is done, check, double-check, and triple-check. Often time, we tend to shoot out emails to mass recipients in a huff, only to realise we made a boo-boo. Even minor typos like the wrong year (2021 instead of 2020) can diminish one's credibility. Misrepresenting a fundamental fact can land one into hot soup.

It's no secret that bosses and leaders value character as much as - if not even more - than competence. Learning new stuff comes easy for most people. Learning something over and over again to imprint onto one's muscle memory - now, that takes a special kind of driven discipline.

* * *

Hence, the importance of 'leaving no stone unturned' in your daily work.

Sure, it may be a tiring and frustrating exercise. Checking 101 dirty rocks for a tiny key that you (or worst, someone else) dropped isn't on the top of anyone's list of fun things-to-do.

Still, having a keen eye for detail is a much-valued character trait in most organisations. Whether you like it or not, execute every task with every ounce of dedication you can muster. Hard work matters.

And don't be deceived by the apparent mundanity of stones. Who kows? One of them may turn out to be a shiny jewel after all...

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