I recently read where somebody described our present age as “the age of the shoddy.” This person went on to say that so much of the work that we turn out is shoddy – you buy something at the store and it malfunctions. We see inferior products at so many places.
How can I do my work effectively and with excellence? I spend more time at work than in any other activity of life – how can I make my work more meaningful? Here are a couple of practical suggestions.
First, I think we always need to work hard because excellent products require hard work. Nothing comes easy. There is no free lunch. You have to work hard.
Three little boys were arguing one day about whose daddy was the fastest. One little boy said, “My daddy is the fastest. He can shoot an arrow and he can get to the target before the arrow does.” The second little boy said, “My daddy is faster than that.” “He can shoot a deer and he will get to the deer and catch it before it falls.” The third little boy said, “That is nothing. My daddy is a lot faster than your daddies. His work shift quits at 4:30 and he is home by 4:00.”
One day a college student asked a very successful businessman, “Tell me in one word what is the secret of your success?” The man said, “Work.” The student said, “Could you give me another word?”
A lot of people look for Easy Street. I am told that in Hawaii there is a street called Easy Street. It is north of Honolulu. If you go out the Pali Highway you will come to a street called Park Street. If you take a right you will see Easy Street. The interesting thing is that Easy Street is only one block long and it is a dead end. When you finally get to Easy Street – it is a dead end.
A second thing is that we do quality work. A lot of businesses have a quality control department. If we are really serious about doing our work well, there is never a necessity for quality control. What we are producing in our work is not to please a boss, but to please God.
I heard about a cute interview with a baseball player who during the off-season digs graves in a cemetery. The interviewer was curious about being a baseball player and a grave digger. He asked him the question, “What do you do better – playing baseball or digging graves?” The baseball player answered, “Digging graves.” He said, “I haven’t had anybody come out of one of them yet.”
How well do we do our work? A man approached his boss one day and said that his contract indicated that a pay raise would be in the future. He asked the boss, “When does my pay raise become effective?” The boss answered, “As soon as you become effective.”
Ty Cobb was a great baseball player. He was interviewed one day and asked the secret of his success. Ty Cobb indicated that he was successful because, “I practice hard at the things I don’t do well. Most players like to practice the things they do well so they will look good. I practice hard for the things I don’t do well.”
Always improving, always working to be more efficient, and always looking at doing our work with excellence – that makes life exciting.
I need to remember that the ultimate goal of my work is not to please a boss. The best paycheck and retirement plan that can be offered in any job is one day to stand before God and hear Him say “Good job. You have been faithful in a few of the small things I have given you – now I am going to reward you with the big things.” (Read Matthew 25:14-30)
Heard “Good job” lately?