Friday, May 14, 2004

Nature's Perfect Accounting System

Nature's Perfect Accounting System

If you do good work, you will always be rewarded. To me that's an inviolable law of nature. Nature has a perfect accounting system--rewards will always come, no matter what, sooner or later, and in forms that you do not always expect.

We feel frustrated sometimes because we think rewards are not always forthcoming. We do well in a task and we expect praise from our bosses or to be given public recognition or some form of financial compensation. If for some reason that doesn't happen, we feel unappreciated. That's a perfectly normal reaction--we work our asses off for our company and we expect to enjoy some form of tangible reward, if not gratitude.

I try not to be unduly perturbed if my hardwork is not always recognized. Why should our own happiness be tied to some other people's approval or acknowledgement? To me the successful completion of a task is already reward enough: to be able to see your creative ideas and your labour bearing fruit is already such great joy. The experience of accomplishing a difficult task is immediately a reward in itself. You learn something from it and no one can take that away from you. You are forever richer by your experience. Any praise, recognition or monetary compensation is just added bonus.

There's nothing wrong in wanting recognition if it genuinely gives us pleasure and motivates us to work harder. Subconsciously all of us will seek that. Unfortunately we tend to become a slave to it. When that happens, our happiness is no longer within our own control: you need other people's approval before you can be happy.

Sometimes it is us who do not know how to recognize the indirect rewards that come our way. You see, rewards do not necessarily have to come in an explicit form. When people trust and respect you more because of your work, that is already a form of recognition. You win true friends in the process; and true friends will always stick with you through thick and thin. Instead of immediate returns, you gain an asset that appreciates in value over time.

Call it karma or what you may: good work will always be rewarded. It is an axiomatic law that I have complete faith in. Why worry? Just focus on doing good work and let God do the accounting. God knows exactly what is the best investment portfolio for you.

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