I have been fortunate to have 3 different careers (Engineer, Project Manager and Information Systems Specialist). This has allowed me to identify certain principles that span across these disciplines and isolate the ones that are universal to all things. Maintenance is one of these universal principles.
When something is new it is exciting, the paint glimmer, the interior smells nice and there are undiscovered features and hidden pleasures to find. However the novelty wears of, and in our rushed and busy society that happens all too quickly. The marketing guys and the media will tell you – Get a New one; unfortunately even getting new stuff starts wearing thin after a while….
Now let me introduce the concept of maintenance (Your mother called it looking after your stuff). In essence maintenance is designed to produce a few of the following results:
- Restore the object to optimum use / condition / reliability or near new state
- Introduce improvements or adaptations to increase use / condition / reliability capability
- Ensure the longevity of the product
- It allows inspection of all the critical areas to evaluate current condition as well as identification of areas that may need closer supervision in future
Now here is the interesting bit – Maintenance is a reserved endeavour.
Maintenance is only meant and applied to high value items!!
Are you (yes you, stop looking around) a high value item?
If so, then look closely at the following…
A human is a bio-chemical machine and it contains the most incredible processor that we have ever discovered. Things on all machines (including humans) break, deteriorate and simply wear out.
So where do we need maintenance? Which specific areas?
To give you some idea, look at the Life Priorities picture and just think about what you know about maintenance and humans….
Oh yes, all of these aspects requires maintenance.
But it sounds like work… I’m too busy… Oh, come on it is the festive season….
Now is exactly the right time to introduce maintenance to your life. You will see family and friends that you have not seen in a long time (relationships need maintenance). You will spend more time with your children and significant other than usual. You will have more free time than usual.
All belief systems (social, religious and legal) have one thing in common. They try to entice us to behave in an exemplary fashion, to be responsible, decent and well behaved. These are probably the values your parents and grandparents have tried to instil in you from the moment of your birth.
So what do we all need to do?
- Love yourself enough to identify that you are valuable enough to qualify for maintenance
- Love others enough to realize that they qualify for maintenance
- See that this planet, nature, the Universe, God, and your own spirit qualify for maintenance
How do we do it?
- All maintenance starts with a thorough inspection / investigation
- Identify without constraint the areas that need attention
- Prioritize these attentions seeking elements using a system where the elements in the worst condition needs attention first
- Do not constrain yourself to just repairs, try to improve (while you are at it)
- Plan the effort (include the replacement parts, wearing parts, paint, polish and labour)
- Get specific with regards to cost (not just money) and time lines (someday or soon are not deadlines)
- Do it in such a way that you can walk away from it proudly as a job well done
- Get down and do it… (this is the most important step)
- When done, pat yourself on the back (allow other to do it too)
Now if you are going to do maintenance on relationships – here is some advice.
This pyramid is called Maslow’s Hierarchy of needs (please note – NOT WANTS). If you consider these needs when you interact with other valuable humans, there is one rule…
Treat everybody like they have a sign around their neck – “Make me feel important”
By the way, when you look into a mirror – WEAR THE SIGN
Please feel free to comment on this post, share it to allow others to see it too…
Please remember that you are important enough for maintenance. Your mind, body, soul and spirit requires it…
Love and peace – Have a wonderful and happy festive season…
- Hierarchy of Needs – Psychology Definition of the Week (psychology.about.com)
- Maslow’s hierarchy has a new pinnacle of human achievement (geneveith.com)
- how important is getting a mate? was Maslow wrong? (astramatch.com)