Recently, an auditor evaluated the company I work for to approve us to perform work to their workmanship processes. During the close out session, the auditor made a comment the struck a chord. “I let go of the quality in my life 15 years ago.” He went on to talk about working overtime and dedicating himself to his job. He had an air of superiority when he related to us about his experiences. The stories were good and there were elements we could learn and apply to our own organization. I believe his intentions were good and that he was genuinely trying to help. However, the comment he made stuck in my brain.
From the business of you perspective, this person made his decision whether it be consciously or unconsciously. He obviously found some benefit in investing the majority of his time in work or else he wouldn’t have committed so much of his life to his assigned tasks. And, so it is with each and everyone of us. We all have a decision to make. Every moment we have the opportunity to utilize time to achieve the objectives we decide are important to us. For this auditor, his objectives whether known or not aligned with those of his company. His company utilized him as a resource. He utilized his company to provide regular employment. A cooperation was formed. However, his comment made me think he had residual thoughts about how much time he gave to the company. When take a job we enter into a contract. We sign papers to get paid. Sometimes we sign non-disclosure agreements. The “contract” I speak of is the unwritten expectations of both parties.
If we don’t understand what we want out of life, we will not have established expectations for ourselves. Not having this personal contact, we expose ourselves to being used more than we like. Before we know it, our job begins to consume more of our time. Our life outside work suffers. Our spouse or family members may begin to have difficulties with us. We then perpetuate the problem by telling our family the job is how the family survives and decide to work more as our home life isn’t fun. We may lose our sexual desire or we lose our zeal for our family and life. If the situation runs its course, divorce or other obstacles arise.
Quality of life emerges out of the decisions and choices we make. To say we have let go the quality of our life is an indication we have let our accountability slip. We haven’t given up quality but rather our responsibility for our our decisions. We’ve focused on our philosophical cave instead of turning around to embrace the light of our own life. It’s not managing the business of you.
“The only person you are destined to become is the person you decide to be.”
-Ralph Waldo Emerson