Many years ago, a wise old King called all his wise men together and told them: “I want you to go out and compile the wisdoms of the ages, I want you to put in a bound book form so that we can leave it to posterity. The group of wise men went out and got to work, they worked really hard and came back with 12 volumes and presented to the King. After receiving the volumes, the King said: “I am confident that is the wisdom of the ages but it is too lengthy, people won’t read that. Condense it”.
The group went out again, worked hard on it and came up with one huge volume. The King, looked at it, thanked them and observed that it was still too long. The wise men came back again with a page, then a paragraph, then finally a sentence. This time the wise old king looked at the sentence and said: “That’s it, that is truly the wisdom of the ages! As soon as everybody everywhere learns this, we would have solved many of our problems”. The sentence simply states “There ain’t no free lunch”
I don’t know about you, but I am a true believer of that wisdom. I believe it really lays the emphasis for the importance of work, that we should not be wasting our time trying to get something for nothing. You will probably agree with me that you need to sow before you reap, perform before you are rewarded, and yet many people of our time would like to either gamble or cheat their way to success. I am of the firm belief that whatever is worth doing is worth doing well and every job identifies a self-portrait of the person who did it, so it is in your best interest to autograph your work with excellence. Contrary to popular belief, when you go to work to your place of employment, you are not working for your boss. He might be writing your check, but you are working for yourself! The sooner you understand and agree with that statement the better it is for you. You have the power to determine how much the amount of your check is going to be. You might be thinking “but how is that possible?” My answer to your question would be to not only work all the time you are at work but also to always autograph your work with excellence.
If you have co-workers, I am sure you can identify among them people who always come late and leave earlier. Not only that, but they always talk or play around most of the time. So those people are not working all the time they are at work. There should be no surprise that when the company is downsizing, they will be the first to be shown the door. On the other hand, the employee who is willing to do more than he is paid to do, will always, one day, be paid more to do what he loves, either by his current employer or by the competition. A wise man once said that “the family of success has work as the father and integrity as the mother” I could not agree more, integrity and honesty in every area of your life, but specially in your job would help you go a long way.
When you buy into the idea that whatever you do you are working for yourself, the expression “there is not free lunch” makes a lot of sense. You would always want what’s best for yourself and you know that what’s best always has a price. Do your job the best you can and always go the extra mile, someone at the top will notice and pull you up or the competition will grab you. It is that simple! For the last 10 years that I have been in the in the service industry with my own business, if there is one thing that I could unequivocally say that always works wonders for me, it would be “going the extra mile”. When you go the extra mile, do not even except a return from the source, person or company which you went the extra mile for. It does not matter, because it will always come back to you, it is a law, the law of increasing return, that states that whatever you send out will come back to you multiply.
A great sage made an interesting observation about work and I think it is worth sharing with you here. “Work is the foundation of all business, the source of all prosperity and the parent of genius. Work can do more to advance youth than his own parents, be they ever so wealthy. It is represented in the humblest savings and has laid the foundation of every fortune. It is the salt that gives life its flavor, but it must be loved before it can bestow its greatest blessings and achieve its greatest ends. When loved, work makes life, sweet, purposeful and fruitful”