Trouble. There’s always trouble.
That’s what the work place is all about. You deal with trouble all the time.
Difficult customers, backbiting office mates, unreasonable bosses, fighting fires all the time. Sucks your energy and makes you feel like you are being punished for something you did not do. But pause for a while. Take a deep breadth. And take time to look at it the way business consultant Robert Updegraff sees it. Updegraff says: “You ought to be glad for the troubles on your job because they provide about half your income. If it were not for the things that go wrong, the difficult people with whom you deal, and the problems of your working day, someone could be found to handle your job for half of what you are being paid. So start looking for more troubles. Learn to handle them cheerfully and with good judgment, as opportunities rather than irritations, and you will find yourself getting ahead at a surprising rate. For there are plenty of big jobs waiting for people who are not afraid of troubles.
If you look long enough and hard enough, you will always find something to bellyache about. Some people complain all the time it is as if complaining is their chief purpose in life and they think they can get rewarded by doing it. Maybe… it is because they have not given gratitude a chance.
Gratitude is always an option. The great Bible commentator Mathew Henry inspires us with his words because Henry made gratitude his option. When the famous scholar was robbed and his possessions forcibly removed from him, he wrote this in his diary: “Let me be thankful first, because I was never robbed before; second, because, although they took my purse, they did not take my life; third, although they took my all, it was not much and fourthly, because it was I who was robbed, not I who robbed.”
Gratitude should be your option.
Thankfulness should be your default emotion and pretty soon you will be giving thanks, learning from and growing in character as a result of the problems and challenges of the situation.
So, here is my take on this.
- Somebody backbiting you? You must be doing something right in order for some people to be doing something wrong against you. Be thankful.
- Somebody sending anonymous text messages spreading false lies against you? You must be famous because this is what celebrities and well know personalities eat for breakfast every day. Smile. You’re famous!
- Somebody sending anonymous mail or brown envelopes to important people everywhere containing documents with trump up charges against you? Wow! You must be doing something effective so that some people would go to the length of doing such cowardly things. Be grateful!
You should be grateful you are not the one doing the wrongs against anyone, you are not the one sending text messages and sending mail maligning people.
So chill out. Focus on what you do and let the Eternal One who sees everything and knows everything keep score. Meanwhile, allow trouble and challenges in your life to transform you into a better person. Stronger in character, more compassionate in dealing with erring people and draw closer to God who is your Rock and your Refuge.
Give gratitude a chance and be amazed at what it can do for you!
Note: Because Jemuel requested for this article of mine that appeared in my column at the Philippine Star dated October 18, 2008, you’ve got it!