The simple statement goes: It is important to follow instructions. And the simple response goes: Because when you follow them, you get less of a hassle to face future consequences like bearing the trouble of doing things again, losing your self-confidence for being a repetitive failure and getting ashamed to face others who have put their trust on you. Instructions are there to give you a guide on how to effectively and securely do your job. But following instructions is not just a simple matter. It is a lesson as hard to learn as algebra, physics, calculus, linguistics, history and other difficult and mind-torture subjects at school. Because the thing is, this lesson is forever and the school is life itself.
For many people, following instructions may just be a simple concern of their discipline record and good performance. But for others, especially those working in technical operations, failing to follow an instruction would mean life and death. This is the responsibility, obligation, and duty of the railway operators who are tasked to bring all their passengers to their destination safely. Imagine if one of them gets a single but critical mistake? He could have killed thousands of passengers who board the train, the airplane, the ship, the buses, and all those forms of public vehicles that are operated even though not through a railway. No one could bring back the life of a person who has just died because of a careless act. Many families would have wept for this loss. And many children would fail to see the beauty of a world where the parents are complete and capable to guide them in their life. But this horrible loss will bring them to hate how unfair, careless, pathetic, uncaring and unmindful the people are. Nobody could trust anybody when they feel instructions are taken lightly.
How can you avoid such misfortune? The answer comes almost quickly. Follow Instructions. But the bigger question is: How can we follow instructions? This job is not as quick in doing as thinking about it. It doesn’t come automatically. You do not follow instructions well automatically. Following instructions is a habit. You do it repetitively. And you develop it over a long period of time. You started training on how to follow instructions since you were a kid. This is the reason why kids have to be taught how to follow instructions because they will bring this value when they grow up. But when you teach this value of following instructions to grown-up kids, to teenagers, to adults, you can find out that this is not such an easy lesson. Because following instructions is a habit. And teaching it is a habit-formation. You cannot trust adults who have not honed this skill – because those adults are commonly irresponsible, careless, unmindful, coward of accepting their mistake and lazy to do important tasks and lazy to change themselves for the better.
One indication of a professional is his ability to carry his tasks efficiently. You trust this professional exactly because of this trait. But how did this professional get this trait exactly? It is certain to bet that it is not easy for him – because he has to follow arduous, boring, mind-wracking, probably “senseless” and complicated strings of instructions. But by exactly following all of them, this professional learns many things. He develops a character that is patient. He develops a personality that is firm in his decision-making. He develops an attitude of a leader who can proficiently give commands and fair judgment. He develops a responsible, caring and trustworthy behavior. Whenever this professional is around, you feel at ease, secure and confident because you know that he can handle all things. Aside from railroad and other public vehicle operators, you can see the face of this professional as a doctor or a nurse, a lawyer, an engineer, a policeman or a soldier, a teacher or a professional athlete.
How about someone who is not good at following instructions? How about someone who has not developed the habit of following instructions? Definitely, you can see this person as someone who has hopped on so many jobs, has been sued to a lawsuit, has been performing half-baked products, has been avoided by all other people his like classmates and officemates, has been rejected by clients, or perhaps has been jobless for several months. You find this person who is not good at following instructions to be untrustworthy, cunning, deceptive, always getting ahead of others in unfair means, always complaining, and disliked by almost everyone. How important is following instructions? – Because it can impact you for a lifetime. It determines what you are now and what you will become. Trusted or rejected? Respected or avoided? Remember that only those who have disciplined themselves are given the chance to lead and to be accepted by the rest.