SOMETIMES in life, we forget about the choices we made earlier in our journey; for example, at work. Many people force themselves to go to work and just do enough to survive the day. They’d rather be somewhere else and this is reflected in their quality of work. We’ve all come across incredibly poor customer service, which in turn, spoilt our day.

These people have forgotten that no one’s actually forced them to do the job. They were the ones who scanned the papers for job advertisements. They filled up the forms and attended the interviews. They portrayed their best behaviour to impress the employer.

Unfortunately, the positive impression didn’t last long. They started “abusing” their work by not giving their best. They complain rather than look for solutions. Unwittingly, they damage the company’s reputation by leaving the customers frustrated by their service.

Similarly, in a marriage, many people succumb to pressure and start doing things that damage the relationship. When the going gets tough, they trade hurtful words instead of cooling things down. They stop investing in the relationship; instead, they abuse it further to the point of irreparable damage.

They forget about those sweet moments when they were dating and wooing each other. They even forget about the oath they took when they got married. Nobody forced them to get married and build their lives together.

When they become parents, they also forget they were the ones who chose to have the children. They shared the great news with the whole world and couldn’t wait for their little angel to arrive. They made advance preparations, ensuring that their little baby would get the best.

A few years later, when the babies turn into “naughty” little kids, these parents lose it. Screams and yells replace lullabies and songs. Loving nudges and encouragements disappear, replaced by impatience.

STARTING ANEW

The good news is that it’s never too late to start anew. Begin with renewing our commitment to our job. Then, remind ourselves that we chose to get married and have children. It’s time to honour our promises and honour them well.

When we show up at work, remind ourselves to give our best. Treat our customers as we would like to be treated. Get to know our colleagues better without being intrusive. Treat each work problem as an opportunity to learn and grow.

At home, give our spouse a kiss a few times a day. Surprise him/her with a small but meaningful gift. Shower them with appreciative words or perhaps plan for a simple but memorable “date” for the weekend.

A happy couple creates happy parents. Extend the joy to the children. Shower them with a warm kiss and greet them with a tight hug. Be patient with their antics and enjoy their company. They’re just kids trying to explore the world. Don’t let our stresses, worries and problems come in the way. They’re here because of our choice. It’s only fair that we welcome them with open arms, and heart full of love.

Zaid Mohamad coaches and trains parents to experience happier homes and more productive workplaces. Reach him at [email protected].