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Attitude - Make The Impossible, Possible

August 18, 2021 - Reading time: 4 minutes

There are no impossible things, only inefficient people. That is, the sentiment that, given reason there are no possible tasks, rather people who make the possible harder than it needs to be. I heard the expression yesterday in a meeting and the phrase stayed with me, it got me thinking all night because it has a great application for life as a whole. There are many cases in which we have to fight every day to improve who we are, this begins from the moment when we get up, we start a fight against the inner slacker, those extra minutes that we tried to sleep through the snooze and then, forced to hurry, we try to do everything fast and often unavoidably wrong. The fight continues once we get to work, and we see that there are a lot of tasks to do, which we find impossible to finish, and when we start using the defeatist thinking that we will "do our best" without committing to doing anything completely.

Have you noticed how many ways we can make life more complicated for both ourselves and for those who live with us?

Perhaps our wife to whom has become accustomed to our bad character, our little ability to surprise her with some flowers, or a box of chocolates when we return from work, out lack of desire to help with the things around the home, or perhaps in our work, with our co-workers, to whom we send the hardest work, we treat them badly. Or perhaps it is the treatment to our parents, of whom we choose to forget everything they have done for us, and we hurt them with our unthinking treatment, we answer them harshly, we hurt them with our bad attitude.

Are we aware of our bad attitude? Is it impossible to change?

I don't think so.

In this life everything is possible, another issue is that it does not depend exclusively on us, but if we do not internalize it and we really believe it, we will not achieve anything, we will continue with the same way of being, of acting, of treating others, of working, thinking that it is impossible instead of committing to improving ourselves every day, and not to be the reflection of the inefficiency of the people who are in our environment, simply because everything easy is fashionable, everything that does not involve effort or commitment to success.

I know that it is easy to say: "yes, I'm going to try to change some things," but nothing is that simple, it takes more than good intentions.

more than good intentions

You may be wondering how to start -- to begin changing from this moment forward? It's not easy, but we already have the first part outlined, the commitment, the real desire to want to do improve. The next thing is to think specifically of three or four points where we know we can change, not tomorrow but now: for example: get up from this week forward at a fixed time and not give into the temptation of the snooze button. Another way is to buy a small gift for someone you love and haven't shown it to in a long time, and give it to them fondly, they can be your parents, your grandparents, siblings, a friend. Maybe it is somebody who needs to talk. The gift can be simply listening to them, dedicating time to them (the easiest way to be generous is to buy something, but the fact of dedicating time to the person, listening to their problems , implies a greater effort and therefore greater satisfaction). Finally we can make the effort this week not to lie or exaggerate (which is in truth the same as a lie), if we analyze ourselves well, we will see that throughout the day one tends to say not one, but several lies.

How can you be certain you are on the right track? To know if we have done well or not is easy, at the end of the day we can focus only on these three topics: punctuality in the morning, generosity and the struggle to tell the truth. At the end of next week you will see how it was not impossible, that it is not a fight to live better life. Rather it flows naturally when you set simple goals and work toward them.

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COVID-19, Work Ethic, and Unemployment

June 22, 2020 - Reading time: 5 minutes

For many of us the coronavirus has meant less money, either through fewer hours or layoffs. This lack of social and economical means has caused estrangement in our society. Regardless of the necessity to further infection control actions aimed at delaying the spread of the disease by minimizing close contact between people. Methods like quarantines, travel restrictions, and closure of schools, workplaces, stadiums, theaters, or shopping malls are important. People can also apply methods of social distancing by limiting travel, avoiding crowded areas and physically moving away from sick people. Many areas now demand or recommend social distancing in the regions affected by the outbreak. Yet, this has meant a major cut in our daily lives, socially as well as economically. Which brought me to think about the different aspects of work.

Why do we work?

What is our motivation to work? Are we motivated by money, for a need for attention and praise, or for something that matters more? What drives us to work and get it right?

There is no doubt that economic remuneration and the desire for promotion are two of the most important motivating factors, but will they be the only ones? Will they be the most important? I don't think so, there are more and more indications that we feel driven by others, such as obtaining a better "mental salary" (salary related to quality of life) or even more importantly, by something more internal, by our desire to do things right, either by spiritual motivation or to overcome the personal limitations that we all feel sometimes.

Understanding what drives us to work can help us focus, it allows us to see what's really worthwhile, get past stages where you feel everything goes wrong, or that you're bored of work, or that your relationship with other employers is bad, because you know that what you're doing has a value that goes beyond your paycheck, or of getting along with your boss. All of these represent challenges and they are simply a personal challenge that has a motivation of its own. By having that personal motivation, it immediately makes you work better, harder, more dedicated and that often makes the difference between a good employee and an excellent one.

A great example was Konosuke Matsushita, a Japanese industrialist who founded Panasonic, the largest Japanese consumer electronics company. Here is an excerpt from the book entitled "Matsushita Leadership" by Dr. John P. Kotter, The excerpt gives us good insight into the character of Konosuke Matsushita.

A frail, sickly bicycle apprentice who survived unspeakable childhood tragedy, Konosuke Matsushita lacked formal education, wealth, charisma, connections and even a special talent. Yet, early hardships produced hidden strengths which opened Konosuke Matsushita's mind to the collective wisdom of others. The author reveals how a lifelong thirst for learning fueled the passion that led this humble, shy 5-foot-5-inch humanitarian idealist to pioneer management practices and advance his philosophy that the mission of a manufacturer is to relieve poverty and create wealth, not only for shareholders, but for society.

His brother-in-law, Toshio Lue, said of him: "I don't think Matsushita was a brilliant person or a man of great talent. However, his zeal and dedication to the work were exceptionally elevated." Surely many "gurus" would have said that Matsushita triumphed by having an outstanding IQ, and a spectacular vision, but his brother-in-law, who knew him well, chose something as far from it as commitment and dedication to doing things well.

The trick is not to look at the events that happen to us impatiently, stop measuring projects or jobs in terms of weeks or even days. Life must be given a chance, with short-term visions where we can focus and do our best regardless of the monetary reward for completion. With no work to do, the ethics associated with it do not generate distinctive value. The negative ethics of work and power structures that do not value the work done or attribute it improperly (in ethical terms) have dissolved the ethics present in society and emphasize individualism. Moreover, urbanization and large-scale businesses lead to the elimination of vital learning from work-related concepts.

These are all values my parents hold. Today however, the millennial generation is not identified with work but by their consumerist patterns (use of technology, fashion, popular culture) and not by the traditional concept of work ethic, but by tolerant (liberal) beliefs. This clash has been made more noticeable through the current crisis. In the 1940s work ethic was considered very important, and dissidents (nonconformists) were treated autocratically. The suppression of mood in the workplace was characteristic. A Ford Company worker, John Gallo, was fired for being preoccupied in the act of smiling.

As with all things, however, there is a happy balance, a balance which I hope we'll find before the end of the crisis.