Life will speak to us in a lot of creative and unconventional ways if we only allow it to. Here are a few powerful lessons we’ve learned about life from a construction site.
One can never communicate too much.
When one is working in a place filled with heavy equipment and powerful (and potentially dangerous) tools, communication spells the difference between safety and danger. Constant communication between the people involved in the project site ensures a well-executed job and prevents nasty accidents from happening.
Similarly, in life, if we fail to communicate with people, we end up in dysfunctional relationships. We need to learn how to communicate with each other, even to the point of tolerating over-communication. Too much is a lot better than none at all.
No matter how strong you think you are, if you lack the technique in doing a particular task, such as working with a digger or pouring concrete over a parking deck, chances are it will either take you longer or you’ll end up doing a subpar job on it.
In life, your intentions may be pure and noble but how you do things matter a lot in life. It isn’t just about who is faster, stronger, or smarter. Most of the time, the ones who win in life are the diligent ones who spent years mastering their techniques to get to where they are. There are no shortcuts to life.
Hard work beats talent any day.
One glaring fact about construction is it entails a lot of hard work to succeed. You need to put in long hours and a lot of muscle to bring a project to completion. Laying pipes and erecting structures will require some back-breaking hard work. You can’t wing it on site and rely on your charm and talent to get through the day without breaking a sweat. The moment you do, you start to slow down the process and cause major delays.
In life, a person’s character is more important than competence. There is just no substitute for hard work. A man can be the most talented person in the entire galaxy, but if he is lackadaisical at work or keeps rubbing people off the wrong way, he won’t amount to anything. Talent can only take you so far. It’s easier to train someone who doesn’t know much but has the right character to persevere than someone extremely talented but self-absorbed.
Laughter is the best (and cheapest) medicine.
Everyone will probably agree that a fun working environment makes one excited to go to work. While everyone is expected to work hard on-site, it is also encouraged that they know how to balance work and fun. In a workplace where males make up for about 90% of the population, a lot of fun and funny jokes and banters are sure to fly around. It may appear childish to others but these are what makes all the hard work, the long days, and the terror bosses a lot more bearable.
Laughter shared in a project site helped reduce stress and tension, made the situation a lot lighter, and gave everyone a boost in energy. We need to laugh more. It’s free anyway.
Things won’t always go the way you want them to.
Real talk: The chances of accidents taking place in a construction site is extremely high, given all the heavy machinery, equipment, and tools involved. One slight miscalculation or neglect on anyone’s part could end up in a disastrous mess. It may be unintentional but these things still happen.
Other times, things just don’t end up the way they’re seen in the architect’s plans. Maybe something went wrong with the installation of a pipe or there was an oversight in tile count that you found that you were lacking a few tiles to finish one floor.
Bad things happen. They are inevitable. Whether it’s in construction or in life, you won’t always get what you want no matter how well you planned for it. You need to learn how to roll with life’s punches and adapt. This is the only way you’ll get through life stronger and wiser.
If you only know how to look at the things around you, if you just take a step back and see things from a different perspective, there are a lot of valuable things that you can pick up and learn about life. Don’t miss out on these lessons just because you’re exhausted or too absorbed in your world. Learn to look at things using a different lens. You’ll be pleasantly surprised at the amount of wisdom you can get.