If you are pursuing the job or the line of work you like most, then work is never a chore, never disagreeable. If, however, you prefer another occupation or endeavor, yon are doing yourself and everyone else an injustice by continuing. It will never be a challenge it will always be a bore. Simply be honest with yourself, and have the courage to face the situation and make a change.
The world does not owe me a job or even a living, for that matter, but I owe myself and my loved ones that place in our economic structure where I can be happiest and most useful to society. When I have done this, life has been infinitely simplified and my efforts are crowned with glory.
You may well ask if there is any yardstick by which we can determine whether we are in the right field of work. This is a question important to us all. I believe most men, if asked what is the most important thing in their lives, would answer that next to their loved ones is their future earning power, for it is through this that they are able to give themselves and their families a good measure of the tasks and rewards of this life. And that is why every person should search diligently, untiringly and even prayerfully for his proper niche in our great economic pattern.
Yes, I am sure there is such a yardstick for determining whether we are job hazards and professional maladjustments or whether we have won the first great battle in our economic campaign by finding our rightful place in society.
The great industrialist Kettering once said:
I don’t want a man who has a job. I want a man whom a job has — has so completely in its grasp that it is the last thing he thinks about at night before he closes his eyes. It has him so completely under its spell that each morning when he wakes up it is sitting on the side of the bed beckoning him to arise and partake of the joys and adventures of his work.
If a man is working for money alone he is underpaid regard less of his income. There is a story of a man who approached two bricklayers at work.
He asked the first one what he was doing. The workman said, “I am laying brick and I’m getting the full wage scale and double for overtime.”
The man walked a little farther along and accosted the second bricklayer and approached him in the same way. The second workman looked up, then gazed away with a dreamy expression and said, “I am building a cathedral — one that will be a great spiritual influence in this community — one which will last forever.”
These two men were certainly not receiving the same remuneration for their efforts regardless of their hourly wage.
The president of a certain railroad was sitting on the observation platform of his special car as it slowly passed through a small southern town. Two elderly workmen with pick and shovel stood near the tracks.
One raised his hand and said, “Hello, Walter.” The president smilingly waved and answered, “Hello, Bill.”
The second workman did a double take and said, “Why that’s the president of our railroad! Do you mean to tell me you know him?”
Bill replied, “Yes, I know him. In fact, we started to work for this railroad about the same time, thirty-five years ago working on the road bed a few miles from here.”
The second workman said, “Just a minute. Let me get this straight. Are you trying to tell me that you and the president of our railroad started to work the same time, same place, doing the same thing and that he is now president of the railroad and you are still doing the same thing you started at?”
Bill replied, “Yes, that’s right.”
The second workman with a searching expression on his face said, “How in the world could a thing like that happen?”
Bill hesitated a moment, leaned on his shovel and said slowly and philosophically, “I don’t know. I’ve wondered about that many times myself. Maybe luck had something to do with it and maybe it didn’t. But if! had to be honest about it I believe it was because thirty-five years ago I started to work for 30 cents an hour and Mr. Walter Winston started to work for the railroad.”
Yes, I’m sure it’s not difficult for any of us to determine whether we are in the right field of endeavor. Do we eagerly embrace our work each day? Do we take pride in it? Are we paid only in a monetary sense for our efforts? Is our work a mission—is our job a career? To be successful we must harness our heart to a task we love and direct our entire efforts toward the goal we have a burning desire to achieve.
Coach Billy Hayes, one of the greatest track coaches this country ever knew, had a great saying for his men just before they attempted a high jump. He would say, “Just a moment. First throw your heart over the bar and your body will easily follow.”
Unless we have already thrown our heart into our work — unless we are doing the thing we would prefer to do above all else, it is time to make a change. That is the best test to determine whether we are in the right field of endeavor. Do a little self-analysis, a little soul-searching. Be honest with yourself. Often it takes great courage to make a change, but if you give more importance to the ultimate than the immediate, it is well worth the sacrifice.
Work has her rewards but she will only give them to those who are willing to pay in the coin of sacrifice. One of the most moving scenes I ever witnessed took place during the last Olympic Games. The Russian who won the high jump and set a new Olympic record, after making the jump. got up, stood frozen for a moment looking at the bar through tears of joy and said, “I have been working and practicing 14 years for that one jump.”