Thursday, November 5, 2015

How to Stay Motivated at Work: Maybe it's more than just money?

If you are reading this, may I ask you a question?

Why are you waking up before the sun rises, going to work at least 5 days a week and possibly arrive home when the sky is just as dark as the moment you woke up?

Let's face it. Most of us work primarily for the the income our work generates, so that we can give enough to our families and ourselves. But to a large extent, the things we do at work are usually not directly related to the money we bring home at the end of the month, so if work becomes simply doing enough to reach payday, it will be very hard for us to stay motivated for a long period of time.

There is no perfect job in the world, but every job has its worth and value-adding element to the society. There are people who stay motivated because they are passionate about what they do, others stay motivated because they are so good at their craft that it will be a disservice to their customers/supporters if they stop. What about you?

What I do in Thailand predominantly revolves around importing small hand-held agricultural equipment and their spare parts and distributing them throughout the country. Truth be told, I have absolutely no love for the products I sell. I do enjoy the process of building the company from scratch and putting the system in place for it to run smoothly within the relatively short period of time I have been in Thailand, but the 1 thing I have found that will always keep me going is this:People.

I appreciate my co-workers, every one of them. I would not be living a comfortable life in a foreign country if they did not commit themselves to helping me. Many of my colleagues were doing odd jobs on the streets like driving motorcycle taxis before joining me. Over the years, I have seen colleagues recover from 2 bouts of pneumonia and acute appendicitis without needing to pay a single cent, all because they can enjoy the benefits of Thailand's social security as they are working for a properly-registered company. I have also seen another colleague blossom from a bell-boy at a hotel into a successful sales manager owning 2 family cars. My colleagues motivate me, to keep going, to grow the company even more to make everyone's life better.

My customers inspire me. I came in as a foreigner holding the distribution rights to a couple of brands which were not popular here. They had no obligation to support me, but many of them did. Today, some of my customers have become much better off because of this belief and trust in me and my products. For them, I cannot stop.

Preparing lunch for toddlers at a children's home

My company's charity work motivates me. In the last 4 years, we have contributed to many charity projects, including building a road that provides improved accessibility to a poor remote village and the building of toilets and playgrounds for schools in rural Thailand. I have seen for myself how such small contributions can make big differences to the lives of people who are not as lucky as us. This drives me to work harder, so that we can do even more for them year after year.

To a job well done.

Your source of motivation might not be the same as mine, but I feel that the only way to push through the difficult times at work is to find some meaning from what you actually do everyday at work. Good luck looking for it.

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