Be Like Mr. X
The former prime minister of Great Britain, Sir Winston Churchill once said “Attitude is a little thing that makes a big difference” Truly, our attitude determines the way we see our work and ultimately influences our productivity at it.
There is a popular story about three bricklayers carrying out the same task at a construction site. One day, someone asked them the question; “What are you doing?”. The first bricklayer quickly responded, “I’m laying bricks” with a grim look on his face as if he was asking “is it not obvious?” The second man after laying down the bricks he carried in his hands said, “I’m putting up a wall.” It appeared the third man was so engrossed with his tasks that it took extra effort to get his attention. Let’s call him Mr. X. After the question was repeated, he smiled, took a long look at the progress they have made so far on the project and said, “I’m constructing a luxury residential skyscraper.” Interesting answer, right?
These three craftsmen were engaged on the same job given the same tasks but were all driven by different visions. While this story is about bricklayers, it also applies to all of us regardless of the occupation we are engaged in. If I ask you “which of the three bricklayers do you most relate with?” I’m sure you would say you are like Mr. X. Yes, everyone wants to be Mr. X – the worker with a great attitude and work ethics. But think about it again and be brutally honest with yourself; do you approach the seemingly ordinary or menial tasks assigned to you with the right mindset? Are you passionate about your work and value your role enough to put in your best every time? Or do you complain and refuse to see beyond a given task, losing sight of the collective goal of the organization?
Your answers to those questions will really show if you are like the 3rd bricklayer. To help you, here are 3 things to know about people who approach work like Mr. X:
- They Keep Their Eyes On The Big Picture
The likes of Mr. X who see far ahead, they keep their eyes on the end result even as they carry out their daily grind. They understand that every skyscraper begins with a single brick; every great invention begins with a simple idea and every journey to success begins with the first step. They are so focused on this big picture; they are not deterred by the difficult tasks they have to accomplish today. This makes them more resilient, positive and productive than their colleagues.
- They Understand Their Importance In The Grand Scheme Of Things
Have you heard the statement; “Perception is reality” it simply means that your mental impression about a thing ultimately defines how you see it. The way you perceive your value and importance in the grand scheme of things will influence how you carry out your tasks and ultimately affect how others perceive and appraise you. It’s important to understand that no matter how small you think your role is, you are contributing to the bigger picture. The world would not be complete without you. You are a significant piece of the puzzle.
- They End Up Being Promoted
Climbing the career ladder is an aspiration of every worker. However, you will only go as far as your vision and attitude will carry you. People who do their work with the right attitude usually get noticed and are better positioned to be promoted than others. Using the illustration of the craftsmen in the beginning of this article, the other two men who only saw themselves as bricklayers and nothing more will most likely continue to lay bricks unless they expand their vision and pursue it diligently. Let me remind you of a famous saying by King Solomon of Ancient Israel; “Do you see a man diligent in his work, he’ll stand before kings and not mere men”. A person who is diligent in his/her work, whatever it is, will be recognized and rewarded. Remember, You Have Only One Life to Live, MAKE IT COUNT!