Enjoy your way to the top

The right attitude on the job is 90 percent of what’s required

I know you’re busy, but I’ll bet you could use a break, a refreshing and inspirational 34-minute break to be exact, and you can find it right here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yM8CFR01KwQ.

What you will see is an absolutely fantastic performance of Mozart’s Concerto for Piano & Orchestra in D-Minor by Mitsuko Uchida and the Camarata Salzburg. I’ve been to Salzburg; it’s Mozart’s home town, and they take performances of his music very seriously.

What is so amazing is Uchida is both the piano soloist and the conductor! She does two jobs at the same time, and doesn’t appear overworked. In fact, it would be hard to imagine her enjoying herself any more.

She puts her heart and soul into both roles and looks like there is absolutely no activity on the planet she could enjoy more. The other musicians are having a great time too, but no one is enjoying it more, or is more productive than Uchida.

Notice that she doesn’t have any music in front of her. She has her part memorized as well as all the other parts.

As you watch, ask yourself if you enjoy your job as much as she does. This question requires a lot of thought. I’m sure there are parts of her job she may not like, just as there are parts to every job with which we’d rather not be saddled.

Even so, is there any part of your job that you enjoy this much? What is the most enjoyable part of your job? If you say leaving or going home, you might want to be looking for something else to do.

If you think of other situations, have you ever seen anyone doing a fantastic job who wasn’t enjoying it? Would you want to be operated on by a surgeon who hated his or her work? Admittedly, cutting into people can’t be a lot of fun, but healing them and making them well again has to be very satisfying.

This phenomenon applies in just about every walk of life. There are waitresses who love people and waiting on them. Their cheerful attitudes make us feel better, and we reward them with better tips. They aren’t cheerful because they get good tips; they get good tips because they’re cheerful.

It seems the best people in every profession love their work and enjoy doing it. Because so many people don’t enjoy doing their work, it’s easy to leave them behind and rise to the top.

Now, I know business hasn’t been great, and many have been forced to make big sacrifices. It may be a long time since you’ve had a raise, or maybe you’ve experienced an across-the-board pay cut or two. Your health insurance isn’t as good as it used to be, and it’s much more expensive. And your pension? What pension?

There have been layoffs, and those “lucky” enough to stay have to pick up the work of those who have left. You may well be working longer hours for much less.

It’s often called the race to the bottom, and who could blame you for going with the flow? Regardless, don’t do what everybody else does.

I don’t know why there was no conductor in that performance; maybe he was laid off. And I don’t know if Uchida collected two paychecks for her dual roles, but I’ll bet her star is rising a lot faster than a lot of other musicians’ stars might be. Regardless of how much she makes, no one is having as much fun as she is.

You could be having fun just like she does. Enjoy yourself doing a great job. If your boss can’t reward you, someone else will. Don’t race to the bottom with everybody else; head for the top. Break from the herd. Stand out from the crowd.

The right attitude is 90 percent of what’s required, and thankfully, it’s the part we can control. Go for it! You have nothing to lose, and there’s no limit on what you can gain. Even if the money doesn’t come rolling in right away, you’ll be so much happier.

I think I’ll watch that performance again. With all the bad news we get, it’s refreshing to see something working so well. 

Ronald J. Bourque, a consultant and speaker from Windham, has had engagements throughout the United States, Europe and Asia. He can be reached at 603-898-1871 or RonBourque3@gmail.com.