進取與努力的影響

By Jim Mathis

若如他們所說「多樣性是生活的調味品」,你可能會認為我的生活相當「有味道」。最近的一個週末就是一個好例子:禮拜六下午我為一個律師事務所的成員拍照。從那裡我又去當地的會議中心為我幫忙設計的展覽照相。回到家後,我把我的攝影器材和設備收好,然後去一個受歡迎的咖啡廳與我的樂團「天藍樂團(Sky Blue)」一起演奏。

第二天早晨,我的教會慶祝成立50週年紀念。我參加了詩班,並且拍照。然後我去心地鋼鐵吉他協會(Heartland Steel Guitar Association)參加即興音樂演奏會,我是這協會的創辦成員之一,也擔任幹部。晚上我與妻子去考夫曼表演藝術中心(Kauffman Center for the Performing Arts)欣賞一場音樂會,我們在那中心擔任義工。

不久前,一位朋友要我對他找一個更好的工作給些建議。坦白說,我不認為自己能幫他什麼,因為我從未找過工作,所以不知道要如何找工作。因為我一直做我想做的事,我的運作原則是若你擅長某事,就會有人付錢請你做那件事。若你不擅長,你可以只為了享受其中而做那件事。

目前攝影是我謀生的方式。在我看來,若我賺的錢不夠,那是因為我拍的相片不夠好,或是因為我沒有把我的作品展示給夠多的人看。因此我就花許多時間去成為一個更好的攝影師,並將我的作品展示給人們看。

我也彈奏樂器並賣我寫的書來賺錢。在這兩方面若要做得好,我必須要更好。我必須學習彈奏得更好,寫更好的歌曲,並成為一個更好的作家。

路加福音16章10-12節給我們一個商業上的基本原則:「人在最小的事上忠心,在大事上也忠心;在最小的事上不義,在大事上也不義。倘若你們在不義的錢財上不忠心,誰還把那真實的錢財託付你們呢?倘若你們在別人的東西上不忠心,誰還把你們自己的東西給你們呢?

換言之,若你盡全力發揮你已有的才能,你將有機會去做得更多。

幾年前我親身經歷了這個原則的真實性。我想要一輛好車,但我買不起,所以我就買我付得起的車。但我沒有因為它不是好車就不好好對待它,我把它當作一輛好車那樣照顧它。每個週末我都清洗並打蠟,買一本關於汽車美容的書,盡我一切所能使這輛車更好看。有一天一位汽車經銷商把我攔下來,他說他看過我在城裡開著我的車,他想知道是否可以買下我的車。我同意賣給他,然後就用我賺到的錢,去買了我一直想要的那種「好車」。好好地對待我的舊車真是很值得,因為能讓我得到更好的車。

這個原則──在你擁有的事物上忠心,可以證明當你承擔更多責任時也會忠心──在生活的每個層面都是真的。

所以我給那位要找更好工作之朋友的建議是:若我要一個更好的工作,我就要做得更好。這就是我所知道的方法。

吉姆.馬提斯在堪薩斯州陸路公園市經營一家照相館。他的專長是商業和影劇界人像。他也經營一所攝影學校。他還寫了一本書「一般民眾的高度攝影表現」,那是一本有關數位攝影的書。他曾是一家咖啡店的經理,也曾是CBMC在堪薩斯州堪薩斯市和密蘇里州堪薩斯市的執行主任。

思想 / 討論題目
本文作者認為,若你在某件事上做得夠好,就會有人付錢要你去為他們做那個工作。你是否同意?在這方面你有過什麼經驗? 你是否享受你現在的工作?為什麼? 作者建議若你要找更好的工作,必須先學習把你目前做的事做得更好。你對此有何回應? 本文所引述的聖經經文似乎指出,證明自己在小事上忠心可靠,與被升遷或被指派去承擔更大的責任之間有因果關係。你對此有何看法?註:若你有聖經且想要看有關此主題的其他經文,請看:
箴言12章24節,12章27節,13章4節,13章11節,18章9節,21章5節,22章29節,27章18節;歌羅西書3章23-24節

THE IMPACT OF INITIATIVE AND HARD WORK
By Jim Mathis

If as they say, “variety is the spice of life,” you might describe my life as fairly “spicy.” One recent weekend was a good example: Saturday afternoon I photographed members of a law firm. From there I went to the local convention center to photograph exhibits I had helped to design. Upon arriving home, I packed my instruments and equipment and left to play with my band, Sky Blue, at a popular coffee shop.

The next morning, my church was celebrating its 50th year anniversary. I sang in the choir and took photos. Then I went to a musical “jam session” presented by the Heartland Steel Guitar Association, of which I am a founding member and officer. That evening my wife and I went to a concert at the Kauffman Center for the Performing Arts, where we work as volunteers.

Not long ago a friend asked my advice in finding a better job. Frankly, I did not think I could help him much because I have never looked for a job and would not know how to go about finding one. This is because I have always done what I wanted to do, operating on the principle that if you are good enough at anything, somebody will pay you to do it. If not, you can do it just because you enjoy it.

Currently I earn a living doing photography. As I see it, if I am not making enough money, it is either because my pictures are not good enough or I am not showing them to enough people. That is why I spend much of my time learning to be a better photographer and showing people some my photos.

I also earn money playing music and selling books I have written. In both cases, to do better vocationally, I have to be better. I have to learn to play better, write better songs, and learn to become a better writer.

Luke 16:10-12 gives a basic principle for business: “Whoever can be trusted with very little can also be trusted with much, and whoever is dishonest with very little will also be dishonest with much. So if you have not been trustworthy in handling worldly wealth, who will trust you with true riches? And if you have not been trustworthy with someone else”s property, who will give you property of your own?"

In other words, if you do the best with what you have, you will have the opportunity to do more.

I experienced a practical illustration of this principle years ago. I wanted a nice car, but could not afford one, so I bought what I could afford. Instead of treating it poorly, I cared for it as if it were a great car. I washed and waxed it every weekend, bought a book on auto detailing, and did all I could to enhance its appearance. One day a car dealer stopped me, stating he had seen me driving the car around town and wanted to know if he could buy it. I agreed to sell it, and with my profit, bought the kind of “nice car” I had always wanted. Treating my old car well had paid off, enabling me to get a better car.

This principle – being trustworthy with whatever you have, so you can prove yourself trustworthy to take on more responsibility – is true in virtually every area of life.

So my advice to my friend that was looking for a better job was simple: If I wanted a better job, I would do a better job. That is all I know how to do.

Jim Mathis is the owner of a photography studio in Overland Park, Kansas, specializing in executive, commercial and theatrical portraits, and operates a school of photography. Jim is the author of High Performance Cameras for Ordinary People, a book on digital photography. He formerly was a coffee shop manager and executive director of CBMC in Kansas City, Kansas and Kansas City, Missouri.

Reflection/Discussion Questions
Do you agree with Mr. Mathis”s opinion that if you are good enough at doing something, someone will pay you to do that kind of work for them? What has been your experience in that respect? Do you enjoy the kind of work you are doing now? Why or why not? What is your reaction to the advice that to find a better job, one must first learn to do better at what they are presently doing? The Bible verse cited seems to indicate there is a cause-and-effect relationship between proving oneself faithful and reliable in doing lesser tasks before being promoted, or assigned to take on greater levels of responsibility. What are your thoughts about that?If you would like to look at or discuss other portions of the Bible that relate to this topic, consider the following brief sampling of passages: Proverbs 12:24, 12:27, 13:4, 13:11, 18:9, 21:5, 22:29, 27:18; Colossians 3:23-24

Show More