A job worth doing is worth doing well

   
   No it’s not.  The point of a job is to get paid.  That’s it.  Everything else is window dressing.  Anything

else is simply a means of making the job bearable in order to continue to get paid.  As long as you are

getting paid then it doesn’t matter if the job even gets done, let alone done well.  In fact there are endless

jobs where attempting to do it well will end up making the position so unbearable that you end up leaving in

anger and frustration.


   I spent most of my youth and early working life, working hard and trying to be and do my best.  I

wanted to succeed and prove my worth without kissing up to anyone.  I believed that my uncompromising

standards and attention to detail would shine through in my works and I would be recognized and rewarded

for my efforts.  No matter how long it would take, and in the end at least, I would be able to be proud of the

job I had done.


I admit this did serve me well for a period of time and I would consistently rise to the upper bottom of any

organization I joined.  At first I felt pride and a sense of accomplishment at having been promoted to lead

this, head that, or supervisor of whatever.  Eventually, I realized that working hard gave me a step up but

that was it, a step.  Hard work was not an elevator, an escalator, or even a whole flight of stairs.  Hard work

was a step stool that could help you get your nose above the water.


In time and with some resistance, I came to except the phrase work smarter not harder. At first I took this to

mean that you should figure a better way to implement your efforts which lead me to the understanding

that you need to get an education.  So I pushed myself through Jr. College to get an A.A. and then

transferred and got a B.A in eight years after four years in the Marines and 2 years of marriage.  I thought

that somehow school would magically make life better.  Finally, I followed this logic to its negative maximum;

Try to figure a way to get as much as possible with as little direct effort as possible.  This can also be

known as the scheme or scam philosophy.  In this mindset work and especially hard work is a bad thing

that only stupid people believe in.  The logic of this is obvious, when is the last time you saw bill gates or

Donald trump picking up garbage or wiping down a table.  They manage things; they don’t really even

manage people they are so far removed from actual work that it is hard to say that they do work.  They just

exist and the money comes into being. (Note: Being out of touch does not equal better ideas.)


My ever evolving work ethic has made many transitions over the years and the course of my work

experience.  Even as a child I had a good work ethic.  I wanted to do everything myself and earn whatever I

got.  As I grew and entered the work force at a young age I developed the philosophy that hard work was

good for a man’s soul and that to get ahead you just had to work harder.  I still believe in this concept but

as an internal motivation and not as a practical application.  In application, the philosophy of hard work

results in hard work, followed by more hard work, which leads to a lifetime of hard work.  In effect hard work

is its own reward.  Think about it for a minute.  Does that mean, as most would likely assume, that by

working hard you develop a sense of pride of accomplishment in your efforts or does it really mean that if

you just work hard you just get more hard work.  That is until you get too old to work or become disable in

someway, then you are just cast off because you can no longer get the job done.  Kind of turns the saying

on its side a bit doesn’t it.


What I have found is that most jobs are not worth doing in themselves.  If you were a fireman and rescued

a baby from a burning building it would be worth it but having to wash the truck or hang out a thousand

feet of fire hose to dry, not so much… and most of us are not firemen.  Most of us perform tasks and

functions that are simply a piece of a larger activity who’s main goal is to produce revenue and sadly

enough to produce that revenue for someone else.  The end result of most of our labors is continued

subsistence.  Although most people do not consciously know this, most people understand that it is true,

that is why you always hear in exasperation, “If I could just get ahead…”  We spent a good portion of our

thought process trying to manufacture reasons and justify that we are doing is important.  We waste time

decorating our activity with meaning in order to defend our self esteem from the truth that what we do is

not important, that the sole purpose for it is provision, and that doing it alone will not enable us to reach

our goals.


“So what,” you say, “What do we do to solve this problem and make it better?”  “How do we get out of this

delusional existence?”


1.  Have no illusions.  Recognizing there is a problem; realizing the truth of something is the first step.


2.  You have to be more dynamic in both your actions and especially in the way you think of things.


3.  Analyze your self, skills and abilities, and develop a concept of yourself as a tradable commodity in the

market place.


4.  Break free of and resist the fear of being on your own.  In doing these things you will develop the

possibility of failure.  You will likely fail time and time again but you also gain the possibility of having some

real success.  The type of success that can enable you to reach some of those goals.


Image yourself standing still on a cement surface and jumping as high and hard as you can to reach the

edge of a 17 foot high basket ball hoop, (the ones in the NBA are 10 foot) it would be an amazing feat for

even the tallest NBA players.  This would be the scenario of you in your present job with your present

mindset.  Now consider my suggestions as putting a large trampoline between you and the cement.  There

not like a ladder that you can simply climb up and reach your goals.  You are going to have to jump and

build up some momentum and you are going to miss more often then not but every once in awhile you will

touch the rim.


The Point:

If you delude your self with the misguided concept that what you do is important then you will never be able

to reach the goals that you dream about.


The Lesson:

You have to risk in order to gain.  If you want to succeed you have to try and trying allows for the possibility

of failure.  It also provides for the opportunity to succeed.  So break loose and give it a try.


The Brutal Truth:

In order to succeed you have to get and stay focused on your goals you have to define how and what you’

re doing affects your goal.  If what you’re doing is simply a means to an end then view it that way and act

accordingly.  Be objective about what your doing and why.