Work vs Perform

Some work. Some perform.

My maid works. Virat Kohli performs.

Workers do their tasks daily. They don’t train or practise daily. They just work.

Performers practise their craft daily. They train daily – away from the public glare. And then perform before you and me.

Workers aim to give you results. Performers aim to wow you with the outcome.

Workers do the routine – they avoid, and usually escalate, challenges. Performers revel in solving challenges.

Notice. Performs are always better respected and better paid than workers.

So, are you working, or are you performing?

A Dedicated Worker

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The Daily Pledge

On his way to work, a dear young friend of mine takes the following pledge every day:


  • I will use my knowledge, skill, abilities, and time at workplace, fully and exclusively, for the attainment of organizational goals.
  • I will not violate any company policy – in letter or in spirit.
  • I will strive to excel and produce quality work – on time, every time.
  • I will act confidently, boosted by my commitment to accomplish the mission of the organization; limited by knowledge that every day is a new day and yesterday’s good work will not save me from the consequences of today’s mistakes.
  • I will not hesitate to forgo my comforts in furtherance of organizational goals.
  • And, I will not compromise my values.

In which direction, do you think, is his career headed?

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Penance and Profit

There is a hierarchy in heaven too. Penances are first answered by angels. If they are unable to grant the boon, it is escalated. Only the severest of penances reach the Supreme Being.

He was not aware of this. And his penance was only severe, not the severest. It was however enough to force the heavenly bodies to take notice.

An angel appeared – more reluctant than excited. Its diary was already full and this was an additional burden. It hardly enjoyed this. Its mind was occupied with all the tasks it already had to do. It wished that this one would be over soon.

The angel smiled. It was part of the protocol. It informed that his penance was taken note off, and that he was offered a boon. “Make your wish”, declared the angel.

He was overjoyed. He poured out his grief. All he wanted was his work to be recognized. “I am never being taken note off. I want recognition and rewards”, he pleaded.

The angel appeared sympathetic. They were trained to appear like that. What they actually thought was nobody’s concern.

The angel asked him to be more specific. He thought about it for a second, and then made his wish.

“I want to be the center of attraction whenever I am performing. I want all eyes to be on me while I am working, even if it were a million. Everyone must be running behind me and desire to have me on their side. And where I am must determine the successful outcome of efforts”, he requested.

He was pleased with his request. He thought he would now finally get all that he wanted.

The angel stopped for a moment to reflect. It smiled again. And granted him his wish. “You will henceforth be the center of attraction, whenever you are at work. All eyes will be on you, and everyone will want a piece of you! And your position will determine success or failure.” it declared.

The angel continued to smile, turned him into a football and left. And ever since, he is being kicked around by all players. And make no mistake, all eyes are on him now whenever he goes to work – in every match, invariably.

Misunderstood moral of the story:

Be wise while asking anything from the management. Otherwise, you may receive what you asked for, and find out that it was hardly what you wanted!

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Planetary Perceptions

Once upon a time, long ago, the Sun got very frustrated and became angry. It complained to The Creator.

“I report for work every day in the morning without fail. Every day I have to cross the skyline from east to west. It is a long and tiring journey. I have to work for at least 12 hours every day and I don’t get any leaves as well.”

He reminded that his colleague working in the nights was hardly as efficient as him, was not always presenting himself fully at work, and also took a day off once every 28 days.

The Creator smiled and called all for a discussion – The Sun, The Earth and The Moon.

The Earth acknowledged that it would fail to exist without the Sun. It pleaded the Sun to keep rising in the east and setting in the west every day to sustain life on the planet. It reminded the Sun of its honorable responsibilities.

The Moon declared that it was doing its best. It could not match the Sun in its performance. It needed a break at least once every 28 days.

They discussed amongst themselves, and with The Creator. Finally it was decided that since the Sun’s services appeared essential in nature, he could not be granted any leaves. It was however declared that he need not do any traveling. Since it was the Earth that needed the Sun’s rays, it would rotate on its axis to uniformly provide sunlight to all the regions. Also, it would revolve around the Sun to bring about the 4 seasons. As for the Moon, it was decided that it would revolve around the Earth to carry out its duties in return for a day’s rest once every 28 days.

Misunderstood Morals of the story:

1. If you are efficient like the Sun, the management will never relax the burden on you. You may, of course, bargain for a few insignificant benefits.

2. If you are like the Moon, limited commitment and efficiency, but with no alternative for you, you may still manage to retain your job.

3. If you are like the Earth, dependent upon others for accomplishment of your tasks, you will have to do the running around.

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