Here is a basic rule of life: Our rewards in life will always match our service. This concept has been repeated in different ways over the years:
- As ye sow, so shall ye reap (God)
- For every action there is an equal and opposite reaction (Sir Isaac Newton)
The extent and nature of our service determines the extent and nature of our rewards. What you put out will determine what you must get back in return. You can apply this logic to all areas of your professional life. If a business is not expanding, it must examine its service. If you are not happy with your income, you must examine your service.
So, who do we serve? Everyone we come in contact with is an opportunity for service. The obvious places to look are at work and within our community.
What are the rewards? Rewards fall into two categories:
- Tangible (income, car, house, toys)
- Intangible rewards (inner satisfaction, peace-of-mind, happiness)
As Earl Nightingale says in “Lead The Field”, expecting more than you’re willing to give is like the man who sits in front of an empty fireplace expecting heat. The man says “give me heat, and then I’ll give you wood”. But until he puts in the wood, there isn’t going to be any heat.
People typically fall into 3 categories:
- Those who understand the law. These people put in the right amount of wood for the heat wanted.
- Those who may understand, but it’s just too much effort. These folks put in too little wood and expect a big bonfire in return.
- Those who just don’t get it. These people put in nothing and expect everything.
Our job is to do the sowing; the result will take care of itself. We’ve been given the equipment: time, a brain, opportunities to learn and continually improve. What we do with our equipment will determine our rewards in life. Whatever your job, think of it as a piece of ground. If nothing is done with it, weeds will soon take over. If a few seeds are thrown on, you may be rewarded with a few flowers and plants. However, if the plot of land is cultivated and carefully managed, the rewards will be wonderful.
Each of us is given a plot – a lifetime and the job we’ve chosen. We can use our resources to increase our level of service, or we can fall into old habits and let the weeds take over.
Ask yourself daily: how can I increase my level of service today?
This topic is based on a concept in Earl Nightingale’s “Lead The Field” series. It was one of the first motivational tape series I purchased and I’ve listened to this series dozens of times over the past 20 years. You can purchase it here: http://www.nightingale.com/prod_detail~product~Lead_Field.aspx