You can give people as much knowledge as they can assimilate, you can train them all day on the skills, but if they do not have the right attitude, they will fail to achieve their full potential.
Dr Viktor Frankl was an Austrian psychiatrist interned in the Nazi concentration camps in World War II. In his book ‘Mans Search for Meaning’ he relates how fellow inmates came to him complaining about the severity of conditions, “Torture, depravation, starvation, hard labour – we expect nothing more of life.”
He challenged them and pointed out that they had it backwards. Life was expecting something from them!
Life asks for a contribution of every individual and it is up to this personality to discover what this contribution will be; and for those who survived the concentration camps, they all discovered a purpose in existence.
Do not expect anything from life; life is waiting for something from you! Don’t anticipate anything from your company; they expect an effort from you. This was the basis of your employment; to help THEM, not the other way around. There was an expectation that you, above all the other applicants, would be the one to deliver.
Unfortunately, many individuals seem to have an attitude of “What can I (me, me) get from this company?”
I was with Alexander Forbes for seventeen years and observed the people who were there just for the salary, medical aid, pension and the sick leave.
And guess where those people still are? At the bottom, drinking Mainstay for the rest of their lives. However, the ones that ‘gave’ to the company were the ones that were nurtured – and these now perch in the top branches.
As soon as we give to life, life does give back.
However, the problem in our current age of technology is we expect everything immediately.
Sadly, this doesn’t happen with the real world – it takes some time.
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Oscar, thirty kilograms overweight, goes to the gym for the first time. He does sit-ups, leg raises, crunches, sweats, puffs and passes wind like a ruptured cyanide tank. That evening he checks himself in the mirror … and there’s NO change, NOTHING’S happened – he still looks like an over-filled tin of apricot jelly. The next day the same.
However, nine or ten months later after regular training, Oscar’s bathroom scale doesn’t hide under the basin when he appears. The hippo has become a cheetah! But it takes persistence and time…
Plant that tree; it requires daily watering, nourishment, care and effort before it matures. But spend this period nurturing the plant and suddenly it bears fruit.
Nevertheless, it starts off with us initiating and continually persisting with the process. And do not get despondent. As the old cliché goes; the best time to plant the tree was 10 years ago. That occasion has gone, but the next best instant is now!
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The Japanese have a principle called ‘Kaizen’ – do something today which is just a little bit better than yesterday [not a whole lot more, or you’ll blow yourself out] and watch your steady improvement.
Do not hesitate; just accept the fact that the mind and our attitude takes a while to change. Just persevere and you WILL triumph.