I interact with young people every day. I get a lot of shiny, young faces coming up to me, looking for one thing or another—mentorship, an internship, or even a paying job. Well, one day, I looked at one of these shiny, young faces and I said "yes."
Suddenly, I'm traveling all over Louisiana with my new road dog sitting shot gun. Now, of course, I appreciate the company. We spend long stretches of road talking, laughing, trading life experiences. But the truly amazing thing: this kid actually proves himself useful. Speaking as a stubbornly self-sufficient man, this means a great deal.
Without even asking, he's carrying my computer, carrying boxes, checking my mic, selling my books, getting me water when he sees I'm parched... the kid's a miracle!
Although I tell this story with a great deal of enthusiasm, there's an element here that makes me stop and shake my head—why do I find this young man so remarkable? Shouldn't honest, bright-eyed diligence be the norm? Didn't it used to be? I've had several other interns who didn't take the initiative;
these kids would just sit there daydreaming, and roll their eyes when I asked them to do something. Because they were just along for the ride—these kids expected something for nothing. They were just going to wait around 'til the thing up and got done itself—like passing out business cards was the same as watching the grass grow.
They'd just wait.
Well, my daddy only had the opportunity to get up to the eighth grade. He was one of the hardest working people you'd ever want to meet and he never once gave me a bad piece of advice. And contrary to the popular expression, my daddy taught me that good things come to those who work!
There is not a lot of optimism in the economy these days. Jobs are not easy to come by, but people are still losing their jobs for sheer laziness. A recent University of Ohio study documents that 85 percent of terminations are due, not to a lack of job skill, but to a lack of good work habits.
People are not willing to listen, to communicate, to cooperate—to show up on time. Or even to show up at all!
We cannot turn things around until we are willing to change. We need to be instilling a positive work ethic in our children, in our homes and our work places. And we need to lead by example.
To cultivate your own work ethic, first things first:
1.) Develop a sense of responsibility.
2.) Work to strengthen your self-esteem.
3.) Develop and improve your sociability by
improving social skills.
4.) Develop self-management.
5.) Act and Speak with Integrity!