Today is the fifth day of the Lunar Chinese New Year, the year of the dog. In the past four days, I have managed to meet with some relatives, students and friends over this festive season; sharing and catching up time exchanging news and events in our lives (especially the past one year since the last celebration)
One thing that have caught my attention and prompted me to write, is about their complaints of too much work and how their bosses have loaded them or treating them. According to many, sometimes they have to work till late and buried with work in the office. Some taking them home while some suggesting that their bosses are nuts for asking them to work overtime and on weekends!
Not that I have not experienced these problems, I sympathise with them but I do see things differently though. Those who knows me long enough would see that I am quite enthusiastic about everything I do. Honestly, yes. For the record, I have worked in an engineering workshop during my teenage years; working on many heavy stuff, threading, sawing and hydraulic pumps. Working in a cramp environment that time wasn’t easy at all, but thanking my philosophy that I have kept all these while, I have managed to survived a typical 8 to 7 job. My late uncle, who was the boss at that time, had praised me once for being diligent. I will share my philosophy today, something that I have understood from my own reasoning at the very young age.
In the college soon after, I have studied really well, focusing on my mission to gain a good qualification so that my life and those of my parents would be better. On a typical day, as I remembered, I would put in many long hours understanding and reasoning all the subjects leading to my diploma and a charted qualification. I don’t ever remember complaining to my parents that studying is difficult (which I know they couldn’t help too if I would have tell). I don’t remember. At that time, I knew it was difficult but I know that the only way to get around the problem is to be more focus, cutting out the whining and carping. I made it though and I will share the same philosophy that I have understood. Looking back, I have endured the immense workload, beating the odds against myself; so what have I understood then?
It wasn’t easy too into working world soon after. As I can remember, I am proud to tell that none of my bosses have ever complained about my work. I know a few are reading this though and I hope they can confirm this! I remember, the work load at many moments were terrible heavy and bring home work is a norm, work till late is second nature and I remember on few occasions, I have overnight in the office! I wasn’t complaining that time, neither I remember telling someone about my workload. In certain times, I felt that no one understand my pain! I knew they were my job, it is about being excelling in my job and completing my task. Even the time I have swithched career, the learning curve was so steep that I began picking up the trade as fast as I could. I remember doing new stuff like teaching, marketing, selling, counselling and organising fairs. They were totally new to me. I swear, I have not complained to anyone! Not even to my wife until today how difficult things were. It was really complex balancing so many new trades in exchange for a new lease of life in the career switch. I only hope some would undertsand. I know some of my ex-colleagues are reading this too. I swear, I have not complained! I remember my philosophy well.
Today, at the age past 50, perhaps I could share the philosophy. I have understood two things.
One, I have understood this during my teenage years that I, like everyone has only twenty-four hours a day. The amount of time has been fixed by nature. (I must say that we can do more things within the day with new technologies, but we have not thought about that back in the 70s) Thus the amount of things thrown to us can only be handled within these twenty-four hours. I understood that more things thrown to us not necessarily means that time will be taken away from us. I knew, the more I do, the more I learn; having more things loaded to me was interpreted by me as opportunity to learn. I took them that way in the engineering workshop, I took the same approach in college and repeating the same in my work (till today) and not forgetting applying them in my career switch! I am glad that I have understood that very well. I have only twenty four hours and that modelled my behaviour to accept work as opportunities. Opportunities for me to learn new stuff and sharing my focus on the tasks given. Complaining of too much work really wasn’t me.
The second, we all have three meals a day, I understood that at a very young age. How is this part of the philosophy? Yes it is. I understood that no matter how much or less work you have, you are going to have the three meals (although I skip my meals too!) We are all confined to this time scale, around the clock. In my mind all these while, more work or less doesn’t bother me because we are bounded by these three meals. I focus on the job or tasks knowing that they will be completed within the three meals, No matter how you complain about work or not complaining, the three meals are our routine. We can’t change that. Stop complaining!
In the past four days, I have told some that I have 3-24 (yes, three meals within 24 hours, we all have that, don’t we?). Forget about complaining the workload, your boss or the unreasonable working time. Treat those overloaded tasks as opportunities, something that you can only look back later telling yourself that you are glad that you have taken the opportunities or chances. Believe me, the nature works this way.
At least, I can tell you they are real. The philosophy has enable me to learn so many things that I never thought they were possible. Writting a computer program? Test me!