Why Do We Work?

As I am sitting in my hotel room looking at the ocean, I am thinking about why I work? My wife and I are at a beach called Playa Del Carmen in Mexico. It is 82 degrees, and we have a nice breeze. I am writing this while sitting on my balcony looking at the beach and ocean.

As a professor I work hard. I remember when I retired from Boeing and starting teaching full time at Warner Pacific College. I told Dr. Cole Dawson that I could hardly wait to start my career as a professor and take it easy. He looked at me with this devious grin, which seemed to say, just you wait. I now know what he was thinking, teaching is hard work. I am working harder than I ever did at Boeing. However, I am enjoying it much more.

So why do I work? Why do I grade papers until 2am? Why do I volunteer to advise students that are interested in Students in Free Enterprise (SIFE)? Why do I teach additional classes at the Adult Degree Program, is it the additional money or something else?

As I sit here I realize if it were just about the money I would not enjoy it as much as I do. It must be something else. As I sit here I think I’ve realized what is it. It is the opportunity to serve. I love my students, everyone of them, except maybe one or two, just kidding. To interact with them, to watch them grow, and to prepare them for productive futures. It is worth it.

I remember when I first became a manager. I struggled the first year. I did not like the constant conflict. I discussed this with another manager and he said I needed to make a choice, either stick with it or give it up, there were no other choices. I made my choice to stick with it, but with a caveat. I would stick with it with the mental model of service. I would try to serve my employees as much as I could. This is not to say I was perfect. But it did help me stay in management. I tried to care, which is why I work!

And that is my thought for the day.

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