What have I learned from being on an assembly line? I have learned to be efficient. If not then I will struggle. Because if you are going to do a process over and over, 35-40 times in an hour, you want it to be as easy as possible. How do you become efficient? How do you minimize the struggle? You learn. You identify what techniques work, how to hold things, and which way to walk. Can you eliminate steps? Is there something that is difficult that can be simplified? Can you be an expert?
What should you do if you can’t figure it out, after all potential solutions have resulted in failure? The best thing you can do is watch and learn from someone else. There will always be someone who can do it better. I recently learned a technique from a 20 year vet that blew my mind, because I never thought of doing the process his way. He left me with some powerful words, “Why struggle if you don’t have to.” There has also been times when I have seen brand new associates do what seems natural to them and achieve success after only a few minutes when others have struggled for years to do the same process. What success can you achieve by looking at problems from different viewpoints and emulating others that are successful?
Growing up I didn’t know the power of having a mentor. It never occurred to me that true growth could be ascertained in this fashion. My development was often achieved through trial and mostly error. This approach wastes one of your most valuable resources: time. Take the wrong path, and you can spend years, even decades, trying to get back on track. The value of having a mentor guide you in the right direction is enormous. I wish I took advantage of this when I was younger. It is definitely something I will share with my son as he gets older.
So what am I doing with the things I have learned? Am I holding this knowledge for myself or am I sharing it with others? Leonard Nimoy said, “The miracle is this: the more we share the more we have.” How am I sharing? What am I doing to make a positive impact on the lives of others? Over the years, I have been sharing what I have learned in unplanned short conversations with colleagues. This in turn has led to a new venture where mentoring, through fitness and lifestyle choices, is the primary focus. This project is in its infancy and happened almost by accident. When my partner and I were brainstorming this concept with several other colleagues, we found that we had no shortages of volunteers who wanted to take part in our program. We let them know they would essentially be guinea pigs in our experiment, but they did not care. They wanted to change their lives for the better, and they wanted us to help them get on the path. Well, here’s to new endeavors. My hope is that our participants achieve the results they desire. My hope is that I can grow along the way.
My son, and any who chooses to listen:
The lips of the wise spread knowledge, but the heart of fools is not steadfast. –Proverbs 15:7