I am a team leader in a public service organisation. In an organisation where efficiency is not the priority, sometimes ridiculous decisions are made. My subordinates complained to me that the management often made stupid decisions which resulted in a lot of wasted work done, all for the sake of appearing good on paper but serving no practical purpose. To oversimplfy things, we assume that the management wanted us to take an apple from point A to point B. After we did so, they realised that moving the apple to point C was for the best. When the apple was at point C, they said that perhaps it was better for everything to return to point A, as it originally was. This spanned across many different decisions, often coming back one full round. Naturally I had the same thoughts as my subordinates. But as a team leader, I need to encourage my men to give what the bosses want.
So I told them this story: Assume that you are a noodle seller, and a customer came and paid you money for a bowl of noodle. After cooking the noodle for him, he threw the food away right in front of you. He then took out more money and pay you for the next bowl of noodle.
Question: Despite knowing that he will throw away the noodle you prepare for him, do you still sell him the noodle?
Answer: Yes, because your main purpose of selling noodles is to earn money, so that you can use the money to support your life and your family. It should not matter whether the ‘customer’ eat the food or throw it away.
Most children are curious at a young age. They wonder how things are, they asked a lot of questions and they tried out a lot of things. Their hunger for knowledge is intensive. When they learnt how to do something, they wanted to try it by themselves. Be it walking, changing of clothes or even things such as housework. That is why we always see them imitating adults, because that is a very efficient way to learn new things. Because they know next to nothing, everything is new to them and they are curious. Yet as they grow into adults, most stopped being curious. Most stop wanting to learn new things. Although there is still so much the world has to offer, most of them stopped taking in new things. By being constantly curious and learning new things, we gained a bigger horizon, more abilities, new knowledge and above all, we become an improved version of ourselves. When was the last time you come across something you did not know and searched it up online? When was the last time you tried new things? Have you stopped learning and growing as a person?
Often times when I go about my daily life, I would cringe at certain embarrassing moments in my life. Embarrassing moments as a result of stupid decisions in my life, be it from my teens or as a young adult. Even well into adulthood, there are things I did which I felt was stupid. Sometimes I made a fool of myself, sometimes I messed up big time. A 3 year old may just cry whenever things do not turn out his or her way. But a 10 year old may look at the 3 year old and know that he should not cry easily anymore, because he would be embarrassing himself. However the 10 year old may just prattle about the ‘big’ things he heard his parents say at home to his friends, even though he has no idea what was going on. A 15 year old may pull the hair of the girl he likes, but a 20 year old would not do that and may pretend to be part of the cool gang. As we grow older and thought about our past actions, we knew what we did was perhaps stupid or embarrassing, perhaps just plain wrong and sometimes just plain inefficient (a waste of time). This is natural. At every age, we had a certain maturity and scope of knowledge upon which we based our actions on. As we grow in age, maturity, intelligence and experience, we realise that what we did was not the correct way and we continually revise. Yet perhaps somewhere along adulthood, we stopped doing that. If you look at yourself and for the past few years you have been doing the same things and not changing at all, and did not feel that anything you did was off, then it just means that you have not grown or matured at all in the past few years. When was the last time you reflected and improved on yourself? Continue to reflect and grow, and be a better person.