(Non-technical article, applicable to all fields, oil-hydraulics included)
I have always said that emotional part of our lives is of extreme importance and I am absolutely convinced that the way we feel about things influences the reality around us. However questionable the statement might be (go ahead, call me nuts!) you must agree that our mood does condition the way we work.
It is quite simple - every action is as good as its motivation. A motivated worker is an efficient worker. Whenever the motivation level drops, so does the performance, attention, learning ability and everything else.
Don't know about you, but I sometimes get those days when I go to work and feel like a million dollars. The workshop seems the best place to be, everything is crystal clear and the best thing about it is that I know exactly what I need to do. Everything gets planned and sticks to the plan. Love those days. The best feeling is the feeling of my head working at 200%! Things run smooth, fast, and in a super-cool fashion.
But sometimes, fortunately rare times in my case, everything starts to go bloody wrong for no apparent reason... So I came up with a theory which, I think, have proved right so far, and it goes like this: "I do not get upset because something is not going right, but rather everything is going wrong because I am upset about something". Last time (which was earlier today, actually) I came to the shop with a problem stuffed head, I tipped over the torch oxygen bottle and busted the entire pressure reducer assembly, turning it into an unbelievably crooked souvenir. The funniest thing is that I still do not fully understand how it was physically possible to go down the way it did... It just went "...No-o-o-o!..." and then "...Boom!..." and then I just stood there, motionless for a couple of seconds, with my hands still lifted as if I was trying to stop the fall with telekinesis, and the expression of "Oh, sh#t" frozen on my face, feeling like a theater actor as the workshop went silent and all the heads turned towards the "spectacle".
The point of all this is to emphasize the importance of emotional atmosphere in the workshop environment. If you run a workshop, you might consider making it a habit of yours to be constanlty looking for ways to make the "guys" feel better - a practice that will reward you with an increased productivity and better working climate. And whenever you see someone with a "problem" face, you should talk to the person to see what is wrong or at least make an effort to cheer him up. A distracted soldier is a dead soldier. A distracted hydraulic technician ends up disconnecting a 60-liter accumulator with 30 liters of oil at 100 bar still inside without discharging it first...
If you are a "hands-on worker", you might consider keeping a positive state of mind as your permanent "work mode". Believe me, you will only benefit from it.
What I see in many workshops I visit, is people complaining about needs they have, and yet doing nothing to satisfy them. This state of mind is a hundred percent loser path, and something you should avoid at all costs. If you are not satisfied with the current state of things, like your position, your salary, you name it, instead of complaining and feeling sorrowful about yourself, change the state of mind to "happy" and GET BETTER in what you are doing. Everything else will come by itself. Hydraulics offers one billion opportunities to anyone at all levels. All you need to do is to chin up and start DOING instead of planning and sitting on your ass.
I consider myself a lucky man - I like what I do for a living...