ear·nest1 [ur-nist] Pronunciation KeyShow IPA Pronunciation –adjective

1. serious in intention, purpose, or effort; sincerely zealous: an earnest worker.
2. showing depth and sincerity of feeling: earnest words; an earnest entreaty.
3. seriously important; demanding or receiving serious attention.

I’ve just come back from a weeks holiday and during that period I had too much much time to think as I rolled paint onto the walls of my lounge – I’ve been decorating you see.

Allow me to paint you a fuller picture (I’m good at painting now you know!), using my decorating antics as an example. I recently moved house and the property I’ve moved into needs decorating from top to bottom, even though what is currently there is perfectly acceptable. We decided that the lounge was the first place to tackle as we could live in the dining room whilst the lounge was being decorated. So both myself and my girlfriend took a week off work in order to achieve this.

Our earnest attitude to each other was this:

  • Intent – to decorate one room within one week
  • Purpose – to create a space that is uniquely ours

Having a goal can make you more earnest and we both had individual goals which would lead to the same overall outcome. For my girlfriend it was having the room of her dreams with a working fire. For me it was finally getting my mits on a new LCD TV to finish the room off. Either way it was an honest reward, and that meant we would work harder in order to achieve our goals. She knew what I wanted and I knew what she wanted and we both knew we wouldn’t let the other down.

Being earnest isn’t about rewards though but having a goal does help you work all the more earnestly with better intentions.

Earnest is really a nice, old-fashioned term which rarely sees the light of day in the modern world. An earnest person is an honest, trustworthy person with a hard-working attitude.

The word earnest has a warm, cosy, friendly feel something you don’t normally associate with high flyers and modern business. Earnest is your best friend. Earnest is the person who will never let you down.

Ernest is also the fastest milkman in the west… and if you’re old enough to remember what I’m referring to there, good for you friend.

I’m campaigning to bring earnest back into the workplace.

Are you earnest enough?