Numbers Are Simply a Measurement

August 23, 2011

When you were a young child, people would always ask you, “How old are you?”  And you joyfully answer something like, “I’m four and a half!”  That half was always in there, as if you couldn’t wait to get older.  And most children are that way.

They can’t wait to grow up, and those that have grown want to back to being a child.  “Oh, to be your age again……”  But that age is only a number.  It is simply a measurement so that we can keep track of time as it goes by.

Each day of your work life, you probably stare at the clock, hoping the time would hurry up get passed so you can leave your job and go home.  Once you are home, you beg time to fly when the children and pets get unruly. And each night, you hope the time drags so can get more sleep.  But the numbers on a clock are only a measurement.  It is not those numbers that count, but what you do before the next number comes up.  It is not the time that passes, but how you pass the time.

In your work, you have numbers that tell you how productive you are.  For example, employee A manufacturers 100 parts per hour, while employee B manufactures 75 parts per hour.  In studying this scenario, you have to consider the quality of the work as well as the elapsed time.  Those parts per hour are a simple measurement of the parts produced within a period of time, not the quality of the work done.

Nearly everything in your life has a number attached to it.  Numbers identify you, allow people to call you on the telephone, tell your banker which account to deposit your money in (and money is another number), and measures progress in almost everything we do.  But you have to take those numbers in perspective.  When you accomplish a goal, does it matter how many times you did the same thing, or long it took?  Of course you don’t.  Because you have made an achievement that you have worked hard for.  It does not matter to you that it took some time to get where you are, but it matters that you got there.  The numbers attached to that accomplishment are nothing more than simply a measurement.

This post is brought to you by the good folks at Dale Carnegie Training of Mid & Northern Michigan. We would love to connect with you on Facebook.

Photo credit: Rich Bowen

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