Published on December 14th, 2013 | by Mannie Ramos0
Do You Mistake Preparation for Productivity?
So I read a quote from Shia Lebouf-you might know him as Sam Witwicky from the Transformers movie trilogy. It simply stated, “Never mistake preparation for productivity” and I must admit he knocked the wind out of me with this quote. I don’t know about you, but it got me thinking. I thought about all the people who put in all this work and get very little done. In this country, people feel the more you work, the more you get ahead. Back in my service days, I would have agreed wholeheartedly but now I think differently. I think Shia hits this on the head for two specific reasons: Education and Working For Someone Else.
Education : We all know when it’s finals time in college. We see everyone in study sessions, drinking energy drinks and coffee, burning the midnight oil just for an exam that they won’t remember. The other part of education that relates to mistaking preparation for productivity is pursuing a degree just to say you have a degree, in the attempt to make someone else proud. To those of you with degrees, I commend you; my hats off to you. However, I want you to do me a favor. Do a self-assessment of your education and ask yourself one question: Were the last four or however many years productive? If so, make a list of how or why these things are productive to the life you want to lead. Now if the answer is, “No,” you were only preparing to help someone else build their dream. The purpose of a secondary education is to teach you to commit to something for a period of time. But so many young adults mix this up and think their preparation equates to automatic productivity.
Working for Someone Else: I believe we all have a purpose in life. Some of us are people who love to sacrifice to help others build their dream and there is nothing wrong with that. However, there are others who have bigger dreams. The people who have those bigger dreams that could possibly create jobs should be productive and get their ideas out there. Have you ever met that person who ALWAYS has something that they are preparing to do? But they are never productive enough to get it done? Operating like this is selfish. So if you are in that dead end job and you’re just waiting for retirement, I beg you to get out there and find your niche where you can be productive.
Preparation can definitely lead to production but don’t mistake an 80-hour work as productive. Always make it a point to ask yourself, “Is this preparation or productivity?” I wouldn’t want you to end up like me and spend a whole decade preparing rather than being productive.