Hi! And how are you all? I do hope this newsletter finds all of you in good health. August has been a good month. It has been busy, but not hectic such that I had a chance to take a week off during the school holidays to spend time with my family. I must admit that I am in a fortunate position of being able to dictate my own personal holidays. September will be a mixed month due to the holy month of Ramadhan. Training usually takes a back seat during this month, which will be good for me as it will give me time to reflect, do up some of my notes, power point slides etc. Importantly it is a time to ‘sharpen my saw’ as Steven Covey puts it. This is a time for me to read all those articles and books, listen to all those audio tapes and to also watch all those training CDs which I have been putting off for some time now. And this is what I would like to talk to you about this month i.e. this concept about sharpening your saw.
Last year, I remember when I went to a seminar by Jack Canfield, he said something to the effect of “Learn to work harder on yourself than on your job. When you work hard on your job, you can make a living, but when you work hard on yourself you can make a fortune.” I cannot help but agree wholeheartedly with his statement. Do you realize that many of us put in hours and hours of hard work at our jobs? This is good, but it brings about two problems. Firstly, we work hard because we are doing the same things and therefore the only way to get better results is to work even harder. Secondly, we are neglecting ourselves in relation to our own personal development and skill sets.
Like Jack Canfield, I believe that we need to focus on working harder on ourselves, and on improving ourselves as opposed to working harder at our job. Let’s take a salesman for example. Let’s say he works 8 hours a day trying to sell his products. I would think that if he invested a half hour of his time daily in improving his sales skills by reading books, listening to audio tapes, going for seminars/training or interacting with star salesmen, then he will most certainly become better at what he does. By applying what he learns he will then most certainly improve his sales results from the same number of calls that he makes. He improves not because he worked harder, but because he used different methods or else improved his previous methods.
We are all products in the job market and therefore need to always be knowledgeable and competitive so that we remain competent at what we do. What we know and how proficient we are in the skills that we have determines our "market-value" in the job market. It is therefore important that we "invest" in ourselves by constantly upgrading and learning new skills or improving those that we have already acquired. The trouble with most of us is that we tend to leave this heavy responsibility of our personal development to the company’s training department or our immediate supervisor. I would argue that it is best for us to take charge of our own careers. Anything extra the company does will be a bonus.
Please remember that if you keep on doing things the way you are now, you will continue to produce the same results and therefore your career will remain stagnant. Worse still, you will have to work harder and harder as your management will obviously expect greater productivity through time. As Albert Einstein said, “Insanity is doing the same things but expecting different results”.
Thank you very much for taking the time to read this. I really do hope that I have in a small way made a difference to your lives. Have a great ‘Merdeka’ holiday and I do hope this beautiful country of ours will continue to have peace and prosperity in the future. Until my next newsletter, take care and I do hope you will all have a great month ahead. HAPPY MERDEKA!!!