The Evening Café with Coach Robert: Working on Your Life’s Work Ethic

Most of us know that it is important to have a good work ethic in order to be successful. Whether a person owns their own business or is an employee for a corporation, he or she must work hard and be dependable if they want to be successful.

While there is a lot of attention on our professional work ethics, have you ever given any thought to your own personal life’s work ethic? What is your commitment to your goals and personal growth? Are you dependable to yourself? Are you working hard on making changes? Do you push through problems?

Today we are seeing the product of a generation of children who were brought up believing that everyone is a winner. In school and sports every team member brought home awards and trophies. No one was allowed to fail a test so our educational system allowed students take test over and over until they passed. And even if they didn’t pass, more times than not the child was allowed to move on regardless of their grade. The children were lulled into believing that everyone was equal no matter how little or how much effort was put forth. The drive for winning and working hard slowly diminished as adults fought to prove that their child would not be left behind even if little Johnny refused to do his homework.

This type of child rearing has created a generation of young adults who carry around a sense of entitlement. Expectations are that they should be bailed out of the trouble they get themselves into. There is an attitude that Dad and Mom should pay their bills for them, provide automobiles and allow adult children to live at home until the child decides to move out.

I have seen grown adults well in their mid to late twenties sleeping all day and playing video games all night, claiming they can’t find a job, while living with their parents. The sad thing is many times Dad and/or Mom is still making excuses for them too! The truth of the matter is that in these families no one is happy. The young person does not feel good about themselves and the parents are frustrated, often almost broke from supporting an adult who should be out on their own.

The challenge with many people today is a lack a good work ethic in their personal lives. There is an expectation that life should be easy and when it’s not, give up. The truth is that life is not a place where everyone wins. Our results are based on the effort we put into our life; when we put forth a half concerted effort, we don’t get awards anyway. No one is going to come to your door to offer you a $100,000 a year job just because you finished high school or college as far as that goes. Everyone has to pay their dues. Everyone has to work.

Let me go back to my question: How is the work ethic in your personal life? Are there things that need some work that you’re not addressing? When things get hard do you quit or ignore the problem hoping it will go away? Maybe you’re not a young person waiting on someone to offer you a dream job, but you might be in a job you can’t stand but aren’t doing anything to change things. Are you just sitting around waiting on someone to do life for you? What about your spiritual life? Are you where you need to be?

As we head toward a new year I want to challenge you, as I have challenged myself, to revisit your goals and get to work. If there is an area you and I are weak in, we should hire someone to help us shore up that weakness. If the finances are out of whack, get a financial advisor to help pull it back together. If the business isn’t going good, get someone who can help create a new business approach. Perhaps it’s a relationship that has gone off track; make a commitment to meet with a professional counselor. Keep in mind that you don’t always have to hire. Many of us have resources through friendships and family we can tap into. The bottom line is quit making excuses and get busy.

Start today by listing out your goals, your strengths and weaknesses. Take the time to be honest about what is going good and what needs help. Ask yourself what is going to be different in 2012 than what went down in 2011.

One word of caution though. Listing out everything is just the beginning. Many people confuse identifying problems and what needs to be done as working on something. The work does not truly start until action has been taken. Every goal should have a person and date assigned for action. Regular updates should be conducted to see how progress is being made. When action is taking place, then change is occurring, but not until then.

Now, what do you say we get going on bringing out our best in 2012!

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