” Winners view ticking clocks as precious time, and work fervently to accomplish much before the sun goes down.
Losers view ticking clocks as the means to get them closer to the end of their 8-hour work day.”
~ Nonnie Jules
My close friend and colleague, Nonnie Jules, at Rave Reviews Book Club, always inspires me to be the very best I can be, both in my personal life and my professional life as a writer at Fiora Books and administrator at Rave Reviews. She is the founder and President of our book club, an excellent writer in her own right, as well as a loving mother and wife. I do not know anyone who dedicates more hours in any given day to promote the well-being of others. This quote, along with many other pearls of wisdom, can be found at Quotes By Nonnie.
The central idea behind this quote is the most significant ingredient in any formula for success, and that is a person’s work ethic. We all know people who work hard at whatever they do and those who seem to be allergic to honest work. I have known families where not all the children grow up with strong work ethics, despite the fact that they had that good example from their parents. I have often wondered why one child in a family is as lazy as the day is long, while another works very hard at everything. There is so much we don’t understand about human development, but I suspect that a good work ethic is not learned and there is a predisposition to be this way.
Having said that, I do believe that responsibility is learned. We, as parents, must teach our children about priorities and then model those lessons. Not only must we teach what the priorities in their lives are, but also that priority activities are completed before anything else. And there’s one other aspect to this teaching, and that is to give our work all the quality effort we can muster. We need to instil that a job isn’t done until it is done well and that we strive to improve our performance each and every day.
When a child grows to maturity having mastered and internalized these lessons, how can they not be winners as Nonnie Jules refers to them? My parents modelled hard work and taught myself and my siblings the lessons I outlined above. And yet, I recall that it took a long time for me to develop my work ethic. I could have earned much higher grades in high school and university if I wasn’t so lazy then. I would do things because they had to be done and that was all. I wasn’t prepared to go the extra mile. Perhaps it was immaturity, I don’t know. I can say, that I do understand laziness to a degree – it’s easy; but, it is a one-way ticket to loserville.
I do remember that I turned the proverbial corner and began to develop my work ethic after my first year of teaching. My attitude changed because my work became very important to me. I felt I had to become the best teacher I could be, and I spent the next 34 years working each day to be a better educator than I was the day before. It was, and is, a mindset.
I’m retired now, but I have a whole new career with a steep learning curve. Im a writer and an administrator for a wonderful international literary community. I observed, not long ago, that I put more hours into my new careers than I did into teaching… it’s like I get to play all day at things I love to do! I am bewildered when I see retired folks sit in front of their TV sets for many, many hours each day. But I remind myself not to judge… they probably think I’m crazy!
When I saw this quote about how winners view the passing hours on a clock, I immediately identified with what Nonnie was saying. That’s how I feel, I thought. But for me, the concept of the sun going down is more figurative than literal. As a young man beginning my career in education, my whole life stretched out before me. Now, most of my life is behind me. There is an urgency within me and so, I have found my second wind. I have dreams I need to realize yet and I don’t have decades more to reach them. The hours of each day are so precious… not to be wasted… but filled with the best efforts I have to give. I begrudge the hours of sleep my body needs each day.
So, am I a winner? I know, in my mind, that I may never achieve my dreams – either because I ran out of time or because I lacked the skill. But as long as I stay in the race and give my work the very best effort, then, yes, I’ll die a winner. My dad taught me as a teenager that the perfect man is one who never quits in the face of failure. I have tried my best to live that way, and I look to mentors like Nonnie Jules for the wisdom and inspiration to fight the good fight and run the race. Thank you, dear friend.