Work Ethic

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This past weekend was my Love’s birthday and I surprised her by taking her to a Food Tour in the Mission District located in San Francisco, CA. I wanted to have a tour with an awesome tour guide so like many of us I checked out yelped. I found Foodie Adventures who was ran by Chris Milano. Now just to get it straight he didn’t pay me to do this post or any way shape or form, it was actually the sole experience I got from his tour that stimulated this piece.

On the food tour we stopped by several Ma and Pop restaurants, learned about each of their culture and back stories, and ate their food. There was a relentless amount of eating. What I was so inspired about is that these family run businesses epitomized work ethic. That is the very reason they are still in business after 30+ years! Several factors that give them that edge over their mainstream competitors are:

  • They own their property, not lease it.
  • They stay true to their quality.
  • They work HARD.

We first stopped at a bakery, where one of the owners is chinese but speaks fluent spanish! Chris said it’s hilarious to see the look on all the hispanic women’s’ faces when the chinese owner starts talking to them in their native language. The other owner works 13 days on, one day off. That’s almost 2 weeks of non-stop working, each day being 12+ hours. Believe it or not they love doing it!

Another restaurant we stopped by had their kids start working at the age of 13! Some of you may say “Oh my thats child labor! Horrible!” It’s not horrible when you understand the reason behind it. One of the workers came out as she was giving us a sample dish of what they offered, and she explained, “When we turn 13, my Dad tells us, ‘By this age you already know how to spend money, now it’s time to learn how to make it.’” With that being said, they start to learn what hard work really is.

Just because they work hard at a young age, however, doesn’t mean they’re mindless drones. They still go to school and get their education, but at the same time they learn what work ethic really means, what it feels like, and what it can really get you. One of the older brothers already owns his own home, at the age of 21. This past month we were also told that their parents who own the business and work alongside them, took all their kids to Disney World to thank them for all their hard work.

It’s a different feeling when you are awarded for your hard work and achievements. There’s an appreciation there that cannot be replicated. Work ethic in today’s society is substandard in my opinion. Too many complaints about unnecessary things. The lack of appreciation for anything is growing at an alarming rate. The term “FML” (Fuck My Life) is used without a second thought. It’s a slap to the face to someone who’s struggling to keep theirs. It’s sad, and the only way to get out of the mentality is to realize that if you work hard enough in anything, success is possible.

It may not come right away, and it may not come in the way you first envisioned it, but once you’re there, you will look back at how far you have come and grasp the fact that your dream has finally become a reality.

“A dream doesn’t become reality through magic; it takes sweat, determination and hard work”.- Colin Powell

Life

Some of us were born into a life with all the bells whistles; a mom, dad, a sibling or two, a big house, financial stability and most important of all, Love. Some of us on the other hand were born into a life of loneliness, hardship, hunger and hatred. A lot of us are somewhere in between. No matter where you came from, you were dealt a hand in life you had no control over. What you do with and how you play it, however, is ultimately up to you.

A great example of this is Aron Ralston, the canyoneer who got his arm stuck in a canyon one day during a hike. He literally ended up with a do or die situation, leading to him to sacrifice his arm in order to save his own life.

He valued his own life over one of his body parts. He knew the consequences were to endure the excruciating pain of cutting off his own arm and live without it for the rest of his life. He also knew the end result would be the very act of living. At that point in time, he wanted to live more than anything.

We always hear rags to riches stories but commonly call the people in those tales “lucky.” They were not lucky, they had the same mentality of Aron Ralston at the time he was in the canyon. They wanted to succeed as bad as they would have wanted to live in a life or death situation. No matter where they were in life, they worked their asses off to get where they wanted to be.

They knew that if they made the decision to walk and sometimes crawl the path that lead to success, it came with harsh lessons and experiences. What separated them from the others who have tried to no avail is that they knew that only they had the power to decide how successful they were going to be. They knew they had full control of the way they played their hand of life that was dealt.

When you want something bad enough, whatever it is, the biggest mistake you can do is not do anything at all. If Aron just sat there and did nothing, it would have been a very depressing fate. Go through life with that mentality, as if you were literally stuck between a rock and a hard place and the only way to break free is to do the unthinkable!

If you want to change your life, in any way, shape or form, you have to play your hand, and play it the way YOU want to. Your way may not always be the best way, but at least do it with confidence because nothing is guaranteed in life. Don’t be afraid of making mistakes, that’s all part of the “game.” Don’t underestimate yourself, because when the time comes, you’ll even surprise yourself on how well you have played your hand.

“Life is not a matter of holding good cards, but of playing a poor hand well.”- Robert Louis