Work ethic or wish ethic?
Posted on 04 October 2012
Which is stronger: your work ethic or your wish ethic? One of the great universal and constant truths is the role of hard work in living your life to its fullest potential. Yet somehow, despite the plethora of stories we hear about how our parents and predecessors worked so hard, many feel that it is somehow beneath them to struggle for success today. They’ll use all kinds of excuses such as the opportunities are not there (where’d they go?), life’s not fair (who said it was?), and cast stones at those who have what they do not in an attempt to tear them down (the blame game).
My grandfather had five children within five years in the heart of the Depression, but no job. That didn’t stop him from working. There are countless studies about the impact of having meaningful work and how it affects your self esteem. If you have a work ethic, you will find work because it’s in your blood. I am constantly looking for people who are able to bring a strong sense of accountability and commitment to our organization. I can and always will have a place for them.
How badly do you really want to succeed? Enough to ignite an internal revival? Or are you content to languish in the mode of survival? Life will always be one continuous, glorious pageant of struggles. That’s the nature of it. It’s like the Samuel Goldwyn quote, “The harder I work, the luckier I get”. Wishing is child’s play. What do we wish upon? A falling star? A birthday candle? It’s a tradition, but it doesn’t actually mean anything.
Never forget, those at the top of the mountain didn’t fall there. Even if you are born with certain privileges, if you don’t work to keep them they won’t always be there. Money can’t buy a work ethic. It is something you develop internally. The government can’t subsidize one for you; quite the contrary: any help received that does not help you to develop your work ethic is injurious. As my father, Charlie “Tremendous” Jones used to say, “It takes a lot of learning to figure out how to help somebody more by hindering them less. Imagine what will happen if Congress ever figures that out.”
It reminds me of the classic Blues Brothers song, “Rubber Biscuit”:
“Have you ever heard of a wish sandwich? A wish sandwich is the kind of a sandwich where you have two slices of bread and you wish you had some meat..."
So what are you packing in your lunchbox? Are you wishing for something? Or are you working to get some prime cuts into the bread box of your life?