You Are Someone’s Apprentice — And Someone Else’s Master.
If you work at a coffee shop serving people all day long just to pay the bills, and I tell you that you are someone’s apprentice, you’d probably laugh and tell me how your daily routine getting yelled at by your manager is not as glorious as I make it seem to be. But the truth is that whatever situation you are in today, you are in it because someone has influenced you along the way, even if they never meant to.
Being an apprentice means trading in your valuable time, to educate yourself and acquire skills, or even better, to master something. So if you are exchanging your time at work, to get paid, you are getting value out of it. How much value, depends on your mindset and approach.
Everyone has 24 hours in a day, it rains on the poor and the rich. Be grateful for each hour, or it’ll be wasted.
More people should understand that we are constantly exchanging our time to get life experience in return. Whatever grows out of that experience is ours to keep, ours to nourish and ours to share. Sure, you can go to work, and count down the minutes left till your shift ends. But why not assume the position of a secret apprentice instead? You have so much to gain from this way of thinking.
I have worked with three kinds of people: the one with a job, the career driven and the visionary. And on a rare occasion I was able to influence one’s mentality, and switch them to a next level thinker. Sure there is also the jobless or the too rich to work type, for whom this applies also.
You see, an apprentice is suppose to be valuable to the master. So if you can make your manager’s work easier for him or her, you are this much closer to gaining their trust, as you also acquire more knowledge about what they do, and how it affects the business.
I strongly believe that it’s easier to change your focus and yourself, then to forcefully change someone else, like that boss you don’t like for example. So if you don’t like your manager, become better then him, and it starts right now. You don’t need a title. You can start giving practical advice to your coworkers, and making sure they can rely on you with the simplest of things. Heck, even showing up on time sets a good example.
Sure you can say: But Adrian, I don’t want to be a “master” of a coffee shop, I’m just doing this to pay the bills. Then, you are at that job level. People who are at the job level, cycle through being happy when they have a job, being worried if they will lose their job, and being in debt and miserable when they lose their job. So why not make your valuable time spent there, working as if it was a strategic career move?
Can you really not see the benefits of such a mindset? What if you are being watched by your children to whom you are a master, your friends who may secretly look up to you, or someone who can actually give you a better salary and title. Won’t that improve your mood, or at least pay more bills for now?
These skills are universal and transferable, and if put into practice, with enough gratefulness and patience, they will allow you to outgrow your current situation. Acquire an experience no one can take away from you, and even make you a better master, while setting yourself up for better opportunities. If you only do your minimum, then you surely don’t deserve more.