80% of the Next 30 Years

The bulk of a person’s adult life revolves around the work he does. Close to 80 % of a person’s ‘awake time’ is spent in doing some work. My basic proposition to people when I conduct workshops is that whether you like it or not, you will have to work anyway. You are going to be at your workplace for those 8 hours. Since doing a bad and a good job takes the same amount of time, might as well do it to the best of your ability.

If you work better and more effectively, everyone benefits. Most people believe they are doing a favour to somebody else [their employers or customers] by working better. Sure, it does benefit others. But the one that benefits the most is the person himself. The employer and customer benefitting is a by product of the same.

To get better, the first thing required is the desire to get better. Everyone has a latent desire to improve [Just like the latent desire every person has to become rich]. The real question is – are you willing to work hard consistently over a period of time? Doing anything consistently is what life’s real challenge is and that’s why only a few people end up having stupendous careers as entrepreneurs or working professionals.

Given that you have the desire, there are lots of things that need to be done in order to become a more effective professional. But the most important aspect is taking 100% responsibility for your work life. Which in a nutshell means – whatever good or bad happens at work you will only look inwards for answers. You won’t blame anyone else for your mistakes, instead will find different ways of improving your own self.

The moment this attitudinal change takes place – you will start getting better. Because now, your focus is on getting better. Not on blaming anyone else or the situation. Nobody ever got better like that. And neither will you.

A lot of people spend time bitching about their Boss’s behaviour without reflecting on their own. We poke fun, find faults in others while all the time ignoring what we did wrong. Will your boss always display the right behaviour? Definitely not. But the minute you start looking at where you could be wrong, you will possibly know and not do it again.

If your business is not doing as well as it should – please don’t blame the market forces, blame your own inability to create a robust business. If you lose a job because of man power rationalizing – hold yourself responsible for not putting in a spectacular performance to be retained. If you don’t get that raise you think you deserve – please don’t blame office politics for it. Blame your inability to manage your boss as well as you should have.

Blaming someone else for our failures & mistakes is always easy and feels better in the short run. We do it to get temporary satisfaction of feeling smart & worthwhile. We don’t realise however, that this short term feeling of happiness is detrimental to our own future. You would rather look inwards, feel the pain and improve.

Getting better at the workplace is a huge responsibility we have. When you get better at work you produce healthier results; which in turn leads to you making progress and becoming a happier professional. This helps your personal life too. You make more money and can provide better for your family. You’re own, your company’s and your family’s benefit lies at stake on whether you work better or not. A worthwhile cause to start getting better and make the 80% of your next 30 years the most productive, wouldn’t you say so?

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