Manufacture Your Day by STRIVING TO GET BETTER

I would like to share another personal story. 

I started my job at Magna in October 2003. At the time my English wasn’t great and some of my co-workers treated me like I wasn’t all that smart. I am sure many immigrants can relate, especially if English is their second language. They made fun about my Austrian accent. They gave me stuff to file. They gave me training binders to prepare. They gave me stuff to copy and I also received the opportunity to type endless employee opinion surveys. I didn’t complain and I tried to learn from every simple task as much as I could. 

Here is what I have learned during my Magna days:

  1. Learn from every situation, from every person and from every task: In my case the employee opinion surveys gave me great insights into the challenges of people who work for a manufacturing company. 
  2. Learn new skills or you will have a stagnant life: I had my online dictionary open while doing my work, and I learned new words and phrases every single day.
  3. Push yourself out of your comfort zone: That’s where the magic happens. I have learned to feel comfortable with feeling uncomfortable. 
  4. Program your mind: This will help you to become a) irresistibly positive and b) immune to people who try to put you down. Double bonus! Every day I told myself positive affirmations such as “I look great and I feel great”, “I am smart”, “I am knowledgable”, “I have a lot of value to offer”, “I am confident and courageous”, “I am positive and optimistic”, “I live a joyful life” – your brain is like a computer and the input is your choice. 
  5. Learn HOW to think: When others asked me to do something – I got into the habit of figuring it out (this is a skill that serves me well to this very day). One day a co-worker wanted me to print a series of labels and I had absolutely no idea how to do that. I was afraid to ask because I didn’t want her to judge my ability to do simple tasks. I literally sat with the Help Function in Microsoft Word and I made it work. 
  6. Challenge yourself in other areas of your life: In my first year at Magna I wasn’t fulfilled at work, so I started to run races. This gave me the mental strength and emotional stability I needed to create fulfillment in my personal and professional life. 
  7. Set goals that you are excited about: It will help you keep going even if times are tough, and you become more passionate about life. This will also give you more control in your life. 
  8. Ask for what you want: What do you have to lose? If you don’t ask, you won’t receive. When I worked in HR at the Magna Headquarters, I asked to be transferred to a plant to work with the people on the production floor. I had the feeling that I don’t learn anything about automotive in the office environment, and I was right. I received the opportunity to work on a HR project in a plant and I truly enjoyed working with the people. 
  9. Never give up: Going through difficult times will teach you something. Learn the lesson and strive to get to the next level. 
  10. Smile: Everything is a little bit easier as soon as you start smiling. 

When I started my business in January 2007 all these lessons started to make perfect sense. 

Remember to use every opportunity to learn and to grow even if you don’t like the task. You do it for yourself and there will come a time when you are happy that you have approached life that way. 

Enjoy your well-deserved weekend!

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