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Nov 01 2014
A Blessing Called . . . Work
Shane Inglesby, CCE, Geneva Rock Products, Inc.

"Work is four letter word."  "Back to the salt mine."  "Back to the ole grind." We've heard them all before - phrases that communicate the drudgery of work. Most likely, you have caught yourself uttering one of these phrases or similar phrases from time-to-time. Hey, we're all human. Such phrases only become of concern when they are used frequently and reflect an all-consuming negative slant on work.


During this season of thanksgiving, if you find yourself lost in the tedium of work rather than recognizing it as an opportunity, I encourage you to step back and take a look at work from another perspective. Instead of concentrating on the bad and the ugly of your daily routine, look for the good. If the good doesn't come to the surface as rapidly as you would like, dig until you find it! Believe it or not, you will find something worthwhile about your employment.

As counter-intuitive as it may seem, if finding the good in your job is a difficult assignment, imagine your life for one brief moment without work. I'm not talking about the lifestyle of the comfortably retired (as appealing as that may seem).


There is the satisfaction of knowing that what you do makes a difference to your company, perhaps, maybe even your community. Yes, we can all be replaced but the key word is "replaced."  Your contribution is needed if the company is to succeed. There is also the benefit of the social connections you make with your co-workers. You have the ability to learn and grow from your interactions. Your circle of influence increases with each individual you meet. 

If you are currently working, you most likely are doing so because you need the income that comes from your employment. Another exercise, if needed, that can help bring into focus the benefit of work is imagining your income . . . gone.


For most it is not a pretty picture. Most Americans live from paycheck to paycheck. Yes, we all know the ideal (have the equivalent of three to six month's income saved for a rainy day) but the reality is we have to put food on the table, pay the rent/mortgage and, hopefully, have enough to spare to cover a few extras.  


Personally, I don't have to use my imagination, I can draw from experience. Unemployment is not enjoyable. Through both experiences, I was never so grateful to get back to work. My appreciation for work changed dramatically when I went without. Hopefully, you only have to use your imagination. 


Contemplating a world without work can be a productive endeavor for those who need an attitude adjustment. This exercise helps drive home how employment puts the glass at half full.  Ideally, contemplating such a world will fill the glass even higher. Your perspective will improve as you recognize the many benefits that come from your job.

No question, work poses its challenges . . . but what is life without challenges? Most individuals who look back on their lives recognize that some of life's greatest lessons were learned through challenges that have been overcome. Hopefully, you recognize and learn from the benefits that come with struggle.


Yes, some work challenges can be too much. If that is the case, then change must be implemented whether it be within or without the organization. However, I would dare say few of us find ourselves in such extreme situations. All we need is a change of perspective. 

Recognize the opportunities that abound. Yes, there are many. You just may be focusing on the negative rather than the positive. Be grateful. Recognize the blessings that come from work. Gratitude really is an attitude than can change your perspective in the workplace.  


May this season of Thanksgiving provide the opportunity to truly reflect upon the blessing of work.