Judge Lawrence Huerta: Enriching Our Lives
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Enriquezca Su Vida
(Enriching Your Life)

A self-published book by Judge Lawrence Huerta
©1968.

translation by Anthony Nuño, 1999.

CHAPTER XIX:
"THE IMPORTANCE OF EFFICIENCY"

Personal efficiency depends greatly on the love and loyalty you have for your work.

How do you define efficiency? For me, it is the art of producing more with less effort. It is the capacity to execute a task correctly, always trying to improve one's performance.

Most of us consider ourselves efficient. How do you rate yourself?

Very well then, if we consider ourselves efficient, how come we don't have more money, better education, or more of the things we desire? The individuals who are truly efficient enjoy a higher degree of what we call "the good things in life." Do not make the mistake of not taking definite steps towards expanding your efficiency. I assure you with higher levels of efficiency you can expand your basic principles. I have tried in vain to find somebody who failed while trying to increase personal efficiency. Maybe you might ask, just what are the probabilities for someone who does not have any money, education or influences in trying to achieve a higher degree of efficiency? The answer is clear and definite. They have the biggest and best opportunities and your probabilities depend on yourself.

Allow me to explain what an improved personal efficiency does for us. First, it teaches us how to organize our life - how to identify the disadvantages and how to overcome them. If we are to be successful in reaching our goals and objectives, we must have an incentive which aids us in organizing our lives, and discarding the useless elements. But only you can do it, like I said before, your life is purely personal. In addition, through efficiency we adopt good habits in all activities of our life including appropriate working and leisure habits. In the long run, good habits not only save time but improve the essence of the person. It has been said that we need to acquire good habits because good habits are a sign of intelligence.

Remember that all required efforts for the organization of your life can not be left to speculation. Instead, events should be carefully planned and organized.

When we improve our principles of efficiency we learn that nothing is impossible if we have faith to fight for it and achieve it. In order to follow this motto in life we need to develop the art of thinking correctly. We should always have in mind that efficiency is the master key to true success and it is precisely the art of thinking correctly that heads the list of requirements. Unfortunately, the ability to think correctly does not come naturally to most of us. Rather the majority has to work hard to acquire it. Otherwise, our lives could be in eternal disarray. The following thought was written about Napoleon, "He planned and won battles in his mind before he won them in the battlefield." We all should practice this ability to "think before acting," because this is efficiency, the human property which separates man from the brutes.

The difference between "what we are and what we could be" lies in our mental strength and capacity. With this conviction inscribed in our thoughts and with the opportunity of learning from past experiences of great individuals, why don't we make an effort to improve our efficiency in the future?

All the observations of "great individuals" could be beneficial if we only look for them in books. Yes, in books, "the soul of the ages," as they wisely have been called. Through these observations, we will not only learn how great individuals applied the art of efficiency but also we will be inspired to practice efficiency. It has been said the if we try to do ordinary things in a extraordinary manner, success would be more probable. But before this opinion could be misinterpreted, I must clarify that such a philosophical view should be complemented with this advice, "In order to always be honest with ourselves, one should never adopt an arrogant attitude, and one should not try to be different only because we love to be different."

Allow me to make a frank warning regarding reading. To read implies the combination of the act of seeing and thinking. If one does not have common sense to choose what we read or to correctly think when we read, one can become a slave of all printed material. We must remember that with an ounce of prevention we are better off than with a ton of remedies. Therefore be careful with what you read.

The art of efficiency covers all aspects of life including taking care of our body. These days, fortunately one can obtain all kinds of knowledge regarding health since there is so much public information disseminated by the experts who know about the topic. We should learn to dedicate time for work and time for relaxation. For instance, the farmer's horse works very hard in the fields, but when the master frees him from the ropes, the horse relaxes. Some people do not know how to relax.

As we continue in life and organize our efforts, we will realize that to be successful depends on several things including loyalty and enjoyment of our work. We should carry out work with our best disposition, intense determination and enthusiasm. Also, we will learn how to take on impossible endeavors, learn from our mistakes and start all over with a smile on our faces. We will feel like masters of our destinity because in reality, we are and we will be willing and prepared if necessary. We will remain alone defending and accomplishing our ideal.

Equally and spontaneously we will master the precept of "give to receive." In some instances, we will learn happily and sometimes sadly that serving others is the only important thing. If we serve sufficiently, in return we will receive more than sufficient, and above all, convinced we WILL KNOW that only each individual is capable of resolving his own difficulties.

Those individuals with efficient stamina are triumphant beings because they have suffered all kinds of difficulties. This is why insignificant hardships are discarded and have no importance. Of course, they will be hit again with more difficulties but now they have built a form of inner strength which enables them to resist whatever comes.

These individuals are not intimidated by obstacles because they do not belong to the group who says "I can't do it." For them a personality is something that can be shaped strongly and positively. Of course they have faults but they work hard to eliminate them by developing their talents and merits. Efficiency has taught them that with a positive outlook and hard work the impossible can be accomplished.

Ambition will not lead to success if it remains simply as a dream. Instead, this dream can come true by acting on it.

What role does taking action play in the development of efficiency? It plays a fundamental role because proper and correct action along with basic principles would be an answer to our prayers. This attitude will allow us to advance in our plan which will diligently carry out our mental and physical capacities, spirit, will and determination. There are some who rationalize looking for an excuse when they do not have the courage to openly face a difficult situation. However, the constant practice of the elements of efficiency will build, step by step the ladder to the heights of success.

As you develop your efficiency, you will have many surprises. For instance, you will find out that it will take some effort to change your way of thinking. Also, you will realize that you need to control your anger by understanding your moods, no other people's moods. You will realize that hate, anger, and sex can not totally be discarded but if one exercises control over them, one can guide them successfully.

This advice is for a desperate person who might try to rush the process of efficiency and success. Although, one must be persistent in the pursuit of our goal, one should not rush to accomplish things that may result in a waste of time. In all fights and battles and before reaching our goals, we must first use good judgement and patience. When I was trying to become a member of the Arizona Industrial Commission, I proceded to create a plan of action. I was tempted to abandon a carefully drafted plan by trying to find a shortcut which would have gotten me there faster. At the end, I decided to follow the original plan. Since I remembered that one intends to save time by rushing to get to a destination. The correct manner is to move forward with conviction.

Also, if we rush trying to accomplish our wishes and objectives, there is the danger to ignore and disregard things of profound value. Many times, we discover that in this rush to achieve impossible things, we neglect to appreciate eternal values which are within the reach of our hands. It has been wisely stated that in our rush to attain our objectives, we forget "how to talk and walk with God." Again, I suggest you draft an effective work plan, but don't rush to the point that you may lose more than you gain. There are only a lucky few who did not waste their whole life while trying to achieve their goals and objectives.

Another mistake we should avoid is to leave everything to chance. This will not only lead to endless odd jobs and professions, but you will also waste the precious time needed to attain your goals. Many people wrongfully think that organization is like a complex maze. Do not believe this. This is not so. An uncomplicated organization will create more efficiency and the road will be straightforward and less convoluted. Why not take this road? This way, you will be sure of every step you take.

In order to obtain the most efficiency, abide by the following precepts:

  1. Make a self evaluation of your talents, dexterity, capabilities and preferences. This way you will utilize the hours of the days more productively.
  2. Plan and write a schedule which at the beginning you will have to follow strictly, but after a while you will get used to it.
  3. Carefully analyze the field you are interested in. Observe those who have become successful in it. However, do not simply imitate them because of the likelihood that you might improve what they have accomplished.
  4. Maintain in top physical and mental condition. A tired body and an unhappy soul will decrease your efficiency and you will become another parasite of society.
  5. Take time everyday to examine what you have accomplished and point out the gains and losses. Do not spend too much time complaining about the latter one. Take some measures and correct them.
  6. Remember, everything you don't carry out will have an effect on your projects and their implementation. Concentrate on your ideal so your actions will be geared towards this purpose.
  7. Plan your activities in a way that you can get the most out of them. A few moments of quiet relaxation is beneficial for the body and you will widen your vision if you read as part of this relaxing time.
  8. Be consistent and systematic. This comes after continuous practice, do not waste your time in pointless efforts. Remember there is time to work and time to rest - one thing at a time.

By following these precepts you will attain success, although, I warn you, it will require a lot of patience and hard work. At the end you will be sincerely satisfied. Exercise your reasoning trying to find a way to improve your plan. Be cautious. Remember that in these kinds of issues, one must exercise prudence all the way through.

Knowing where we are going, and knowing where we will arrive is a pleasant feeling. Both actions indicate a well-lived life.

WHAT DO YOU THINK?

Who do you think is responsible for overcoming your problems? Who do you think is the conqueror of all difficulties?

DO YOU CONSIDER YOURSELF EFFICIENT?

Knowing that just like any other human being you possess all the basic principles of efficiency, what have you decided to do with them? Have you decided to take advantage of them and become successful or instead be indifferent and waste them?

HOW DO YOU MANAGE YOUR PERSONAL PROGRESS?

Do you invest more time in positive or negative thoughts? Do you search for information which will be useful in accomplishing your goals? Do you try to understand yourself better?

CHAPTER XX