Sunday 25th February, 2007


Work hard at yourself

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Last week, we ended with the question: Is the sum of the parts really the same as the whole? Usually after Christmas we know that many a toy has been assembled with parts left over, and many a piece of do-it-yourself furniture has been put to use, with bolts and washers still in the sealed plastic.

So what good does it bring us if we experience “a strong growth performance” and a real domestic output that has expanded by 8.5 per cent, according to the Economic Bulletin of the Central Bank?

The answer resides in whether you think the average figures for the population have any effect on the experience of those in the two tails of the classic normal distribution bell curve, ie those demonstrating exceptional performance or minority trends.

Those in the tail of the curve, dwell in that locale either because they do precious little to better themselves individually, or because they master individualistic work to better themselves. Those who work harder on themselves move to on achieve unbridled success. It is the epitome of self-realisation. And it is not greed!

The point is that regardless of the national statistics on growth and personal wages, we have to stop laying blame on others or on things. We cannot blame the Carnival because we failed to render productive work for our employers on Ash Wednesday. It is foolhardy to blame the traffic congestion, the weather, or even the Government.

And while we have to know and understand what’s gong down around us, we must break free of the shackle that deceives us into believing that somebody else will take care of us.

To work harder on oneself is to do the difficult things that others refuse to do. Surprisingly the difficult things are really only systematic, routine steps that must be done every day.

Have you ever worked out what it costs to bounce the ignition in your motor vehicle each day that you drive to work?

Do you know what it costs to make a work related phone call from your cellphone? If you are an entrepreneur, you would know these things, because the success of your business translates into your ability to pay. You have to pay the costs of that motorcar, and the phone, plus all bills, with money left over to reinvest in your business, or to retain as earnings.

If you get paid $200 per day, your tax liability may leave you with $175 to pay for goods and services. Your daily expenses cannot exceed $175. If it costs you $75 per day to start your car and commute to and from work and your lunch costs $25, then you are left with $75 to pay for housing, clothing and utilities and contribute to your savings.

So the questions abound: is the economy growing at your individual expense? Does it cost less for public transportation? And how does growth in the economy filter down to those in the middle of the bell curve? The concept of separating the dictates of the job, the limits of its pay, and the norms for the economy from the individual himself is an old formula.

In a packed Ballroom at the Atlanta Hilton, in 1997, I remember famed motivational speaker Jim Rohn saying, “You can climb the ladder of success as high as you wish, but you have to work harder on yourself than you do on your job.”

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