Things can either happen from you or because of you. You can choose to do something or nothing. Working smart requires that you do something.
Great Leadership when working smart.
Great leadership takes discipline and the discipline here relies on the courage to trust ourselves enough to suffer through the process of solving problems. By delaying gratification, we look for the most efficient solution no matter how hard the process. This is what comes to the fore when working smart.
This is a character you build when young and is much harder to do as an adult, just as any habit is.
See, it is more like how you eat your cake. Do you start with the frosting, which is the sweetest part of the cake, the more appealing, and the most gratifying on a short-term basis?
If yes, then what happens when you take too much of it?
Eventually, you likely become sick of it. It is also common knowledge that too much sugar is unhealthy.
Was it gratifying at first? Oh most definitely! Did you feel like you wanted to do it again and again? For some time, yes and that felt good the sugar rush, and the sweetness as it melts in your mouth is just priceless!
What if you started with the cake itself first? It is not as gratifying as the frosting. for some people, yes, but then you would end up eating less frosting if you did that which is way healthier, though this is debatable.
It all depends on how you were raised.
Most people do not realize this and in a way, it depends on how we are raised as children. We watch what our parents, who are like gods and goddesses, do when we are young.
To children, parents are perfect beings who know it all and so we copy this. For example, how do you start correcting your child for hitting his younger sister or brother or getting into a fight in school when you as a father physically fight with his/her mother, in front of them frequently without any shame or restraint.
They will follow what you do, and not what you say. If he/she sees you taking liquor from the cabinet every once in a while and you tell him/her that alcohol is a vice, what do you think they will believe more?
Your actions or your words? Your actions most definitely. This is called undisciplined discipline.
This is similar to any skills you want to teach your child.
If they see you with them through pain, take risks that other people are afraid to take, being with them through their discipline issues, through their problems, and not shoving them aside as if they are nothing, these children learn that it is not so bad to go through pain.
That it is okay to take a long way instead of a shortcut because ultimately, there is a greater reward from doing it that way.
And so we will teach them problems in mathematics, or any other subject, which they ought to go through and solve because success in life is about working through problems for this is how we get to grow.
Grit when working smart
A leader brought up this way when young, will acknowledge that there is a shortcut to reach, and that is through shady deals, corruption, lies, and stealing.
But they will choose to take the road less taken and go through the pain of having something legit, fall, fail at times but still pull themselves up, for he or she realizes that it is okay to endure pain for that is at times the only growth path.
Through this he or she will learn what works, and what does not, he/she will not be afraid of challenges but will gladly look forward to them for they will ultimately know that it will teach them something.
What makes the difference?
Who do you think will survive in the face of crisis, the one who spends his/her life hopping from problem to problem, evading it, and always looking for the easiest way out because apparently life is meant to be enjoyed and merry?
Or do you suppose it is the person who appreciates pain, welcomes it, and knows that at the end of it, there is a greater reward in delaying immediate gratification? Who would you rather be led by?
Do not rush into judging this person who hops from problem to problem because that person is in every one of us.
What makes the difference is the love and care, and support one received when young. An individual starts realizing their individuality when they are about six months of age.
At this point, they realize, that their soul livelihood is dependent on their parent.
If the parent, which in most cases is the mother, tends to the child’s needs, is supportive, and always re-affirms to the child that they are loved, cared for and that mummy and daddy will always be there when needed, that they will not be abandoned, then they view the world as safe.
Such an individual can trust the process of delaying gratification and seeking a more difficult path of growth because they are secure in themselves that at the end of it, it will all work out.
On the opposite end, however, where one is constantly abandoned by the mother, ignored and threatened to be abandoned and deserted whenever they do something unpleasant, comes to view the world as uncertain, bleak, and dangerous.
For such a person to trust the process of change, of putting themselves out there and enduring pain is not something logical for they are too insecure to trust in the future.
For them, the shortest easiest way to gratification is the safest, and most convenient, no matter the consequences. They simply do not have confidence in waiting and going through challenges. Who do you think is to blame for this? Can it be changed? Yes, although the process is much harder when one is an adult.
How do you teach your child to embrace working smart?
And so when you see your child, coming home from school with homework and flipping channels with a bag of popcorn on the sofa, instead of finishing homework first and then watching television, you can gently and with a lot of love, prod them towards a path of discipline.
Trust me, they will thank you in the future. It is also very important to a child, to receive love, care, acceptance, and emotional security from their parents because ultimately when they see this, then they trust in what you tell them and understand that you do what you do because you love them.
It also becomes easier for them to trust and accept others for they view the world as safe and friendly. They also get to have hope and confidence in the future, that despite the challenge, it always gets better with time if we are willing to suffer through the process and get to learn the lesson underneath the difficulty.
How It all relates to leadership and working smart.
So how does all this relate to leadership in general? What happens when we enable state-free marketing because of the conditions we have to meet when asking for donor funding and food during drought and when seeking medication and healthcare? Are we working smart when we do this?
Countries that are more developed in most cases offer more quality goods at the expense of our goods and at times services.
They get more market and we then get used to believing that imported goods are better quality than our locally manufactured goods. To be fair, at times they are. Why? Because of grit. Who does the revenue go to? Back to their country. Are we working smart in this regard?
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Are we growing our economy? No. We are simply telling our young ones and youth that it is okay to seek the easiest way out and at times go for the shortcut if it puts away our problems for a while.
It is the same way we would drink ourselves senseless or take drugs just to escape from our problems for a while. Do the problems go away? Nope.
We have computer gurus in universities and some of them are talented, but then by embracing technology from the west and east we are simply telling these young men and women that they are not good enough as Africans. Is it true that they cannot amount to the level that the market demands? Are we working smart when we do this?
Don’t we have engineers studying and graduating but who do we give contracts to make our roads and build our most prestigious buildings?People from foreign countries.
What are we telling these graduates? Your talents and skills do not amount to the level needed by our present market. Are we working smart when we do this?
We have had a market for our goods and services since independence. While we have very talented individuals only seeking the opportunity to showcase their prowess, our hands are tied to state-free marketing.
We grow coffee for example, but then while we can develop our factories and produce our coffee. We export it, then have it sold back to us processed and parked, at a much heftier price and where does the revenue go to?
How come we keep asking for donations in health care and medicine while we could do it ourselves, or find a way of doing it ourselves? It is harder but more productive because we have the brains for it. If we were working smart, we would take this path.
We also have genius minds, that can help us through solving our problems and be independent. Can we plan for drought, famine, and floods that bombard us every year? Most definitely. We have the power inside us, yet we behave like chickens instead of eagles.
To read more concerning growth, here are some articles you can sample
We are seeking the easier way out, by seeking external help. Even though we are capable of working through the painful process of independence, we think our hands are tied. We realize this, but we still do it anyway, why?
Why can’t we take the path less trodden?
Because we prefer the easiest solution there is. Where does it come from? Our childhood probably, which brings it down to parenting. This is where we lay the foundation when working smart.
Why are we corrupt? We are seeking instant gratification, instead of suffering through the pain and process and taking the road less traveled.
Do we acknowledge responsibility for our actions when working smart?
Are we aware that we are in fact in charge of our own predicament? Have we the power to change it? Yes, always. Why are we so fast to blame it on the system? Is this working smart?
Well, honey, the system is made of you and me. Those who developed it were people like you and me. They came from families and backgrounds, just as we did.
Is a system always meant to be that way? No. We can change it, but then society tells us we are incapable of that, and that that is the default. Sad but true, yet it is a lie.
But then it all starts with you as a person. Can you acknowledge yourself and be self-aware of your insecurities and why you behave the way you do? From there can you then take a step toward the painful process of change, growth, and development? It all starts with the journey within. If so then there you have it. Working smart will be a breeze!
Influencing people is possible. You can guide them towards the path of light by helping them realize their power too. They will shine that to others. It starts with me, it starts with you. Change begins with one courageous enough to take that step, and walk a different path from the majority.
I send you love and light!
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