The Sweat of Your Brow | #MyFridayStory No. 223

The Sweat of Your Brow | #MyFridayStory No. 223

Some people work to live, others live to work.

My parents were hard-working middle-class folks who believed: By the sweat of your brow you earn your keep. My Dad enjoyed a 53-year career as a technical instructor at South African Airways. My Mom was a night-shift nursing sister, a job she loved for 58 years. My Grandparents were farmers that passionately toiled the land. My Parents grew up seeing their parents labouring and themselves having to help on the farm.

They taught us that hard work should never stop you from doing what you love.

Our Calvinist background prevents us from ever being a “jippo” — skiving, at work. Having high regard for the privilege of work and the associated benefits, our strong work ethic is almost DNA. Our tendency to be loyal beyond reason is like a badge of honour for our kind. We place any form of authority on a pedestal, sometimes blindly so. Anyone older than you, anyone that holds a position of influence—teachers, ministers, doctors, anyone in a uniform, and of course, your employer. All to be treated with great respect.

To us, giving your employer your attention while at work seems the natural way to respond to a fair employment contract.

Always be on the lookout for your employer’s best interest—always.

I’m a person that lives to work. I identify with what I produce as a human for my stay here on earth. For me, work has seldom not been fun. A good friend and I once worked for a grumpy shoe shop owner. That wasn’t fun. But that was in high school, and I needed the money to pay for my motorbike.

I’ve been careful to try to work with people I like and believe in. The quality of your life increases exponentially through this one choice. An employer deserves the best of you for the exchange of a paycheck. You deserve an environment to do your best work. When you’re seen as a valuable member of the team—someone who’ll be missed if they were gone—your productivity increases.

Being treated as worthy and appreciated brings out the best in us.

The honour of being able to work, to create something better or that wasn’t there before, shouldn’t be taken lightly. There’s responsibility in our labour. Enjoying what you do, finding joy in your daily routine, makes each day worth trying to do your best. Will you always succeed? Of course not. But it’s the knowledge that you choose to make it joyful that spurs you on to try harder.

As a good friend said recently. “Every job is an opportunity, no matter what it is.” Whether it’s with sweat on your brow or a furrowed brow, make sure you’re having fun while making the world a better place.

Have an awesome weekend and please be generous! 😄

As always, thanks for reading 🙏

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