I want to talk about good old fashioned hard work today. At the risk of sounding cynical, sometimes I wonder if it is’t becoming a lost art; the ability, willingness, and know how to actually work hard, like a man.
Before I get into it though I am going to recognize the sponsor of today’s program, StumpTown Kilts. They are, in my opinion far and away the finest manufacturer of every day Kilts. So support this podcast by checking out this great sponsor. That’s stumptownkilts.com, and type betterman (lower case) at checkout to receive this special offer.
OK, we are talking about the concept of hard work. “Hard work” is kind of a nebulous term…I think it means different things to different people. To me it doesn’t just mean physically working hard. When I say hard work, what it means to me is doing your absolute best, in everything you do. Not taking short cuts, not skipping any steps just because no one is watching. It means paying attention to the fine details as well as the bigs ones. Listening closely to instructions and following through.
Everyone listening to me right now probably agrees that these are all good things, right? Of course you do…that’s what kills me about this; it’s not a secret, this is stuff everybody knows intellectually and yet, there is a serious shortage of people who apply these ideas everyday in our work force.
At least…thats my experience. I’ll explain what I mean. I’ve had three different construction companies in my life and in each case my number one biggest challenge was finding men who really knew how to work hard, in the way I described a moment ago.
I’ve had guys tell me they ran out of energy and walk off the job in the middle of the day. I’ve had guys do a simple task wrong, over and over again, even though I gave them repeated instructions in between.
I’ve had guys not come to work because they decided to have a party instead…and then invite me to the party. I’m not joking.
I have seen it all, and I have gone through so many guys before I would come to a genuine, bonafide, hard working guy. And when I did…I would treat him like gold and try to keep him as long as I could.
I have also been an employee at several jobs, working alongside other guys. The same thing always happens…maybe some of you can relate to this, over time I wind up doing extra work, taking up the slack for my fellow employees who are doing everything half-assed.
It’s really frustrating, and it’s a problem. The reason I’m talking about it here is because what kind of work you do in life is a direct reflection of the kind of man you are in my opinion.
Also, I think there are a great many men who did not have the advantage of learning how to work hard, and well. If you grew up like so many have, without an example of a man who took pride in everything he did, and always tried to be his best…if no one taught you that then how are you supposed to know?
You may have never thought of it as a learned skill…but I absolutely believe it is. I think this because there have been young men I mentored, who didn’t have a clue in the beginning, they took no pride in their efforts, they quit as soon as they were tired. But, as a result of working alongside men who did know how to work hard…they learned, and in every case it changed their life for the better.
It changed their life for the better because it gave them a whole new level of pride, confidence, and purpose as a man.
I hate picking on millennials, I know many fine amazing millennial people. Their generation is getting a bad rap though, because many people my age just think they are lazy good-for-nothings with misplaced priorities. But what if…they just didn’t have anyone to teach them? Perhaps the generation before them was too busy doing other things? I don’t know…just speculating here.
So what is the remedy to all this? Well here’s what I think. You can make up your own mind, but I think that you men out there who are hard working guys that take pride in the things they do, who know how to work…instead of just being angry with the guys who don’t, try taking them under your wing. Just try being an example and taking on that leadership role. You will find it to be mutually beneficial.
Of course only a few may be receptive to it…but for those few, you could change their life.
If you think you are one of the guys who didn’t have a good work example…to you I encourage you to find one. First start looking at everything with different lenses. Start noticing other people and how they do things. You’ll see the difference. Some people don’t give a crap, and some do. When you find someone who does, try and become their apprentice, spend time with them, talking to them, helping them. He’ll appreciate it, and it will rub off on you, because that’s how it happens. That’s how us humans are designed.
Regardless of where you are on the scale, this is an area that we can all continue to improve in, myself included. It’s easy to start coasting when you think you have everything figured out…but that’s when you really have to pay attention. That is when bad habits get formed and before you know it…you are not who you think you are anymore.
Wether you work in an office, or out on a construction site, wether you are a window washer or a cook, or a fighter pilot or a fireman or a barista…or a podcaster for that matter, it will serve all of us to be very focused and committed to doing everything we do, well. And, it is a sure-fire way to become a better man today than you were yesterday.
If you feel stuck or have challenges in this area you can always write me a letter at firstname.lastname@example.org, and we can talk it over.
Before I sign off today there is one more thing I want to tell you about. As you may know I am creating a book, it will be a compilation of the Wednesday stories. These will be great for kids and adults alike because the lessons apply to us all, at every stage of life.
In preparation I am assembling a launch team. What a launch team consist of is 50 to 100 people who really believe in the project, who are willing to help.
The launch team will have it’s own private Facebook group where we can network and organize. The amount of help the launch team provides is up to them, it won’t be anything too strenuous, but many hands make light work.
I’m going about it like this because I believe that the more hands the book gets into, the more difference it can make in the world. I want to put something good in the hands of as many people as I can.
If you share that belief I have, if you want to be part of something good and are interested in being on the launch team, write me an email and let me know. I will respond with a more detailed explanation of what is involved.
To be clear, you will not be compensated for this, it is volunteer work. What you will get out of it is a book, and the satisfaction that you contributed to a good thing.
Now head out into the world and be a better man today, than you were yesterday!
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