If you are more than 10 years old and are not a plumber, you have failed your life. Are you aware of the 2 secret rules in plumbing?
“The chief task in life is simply this: to identify and separate matters so that I can say clearly to myself which are externals not under my control, and which have to do with the choices I actually control.”
Are you missing out on the best job in the world?
Did you fail to get a Rolex before 50?
Are you being ruled by your children?
As I write this article, I am about to turn 41 years old. I guess I still can save money to buy my first Rolex watch.
“The cheapest Rolex, by 2020 list price, is the Oyster Perpetual. Priced at $5,700, the Oyster Perpetual comes as a time-only model and is available with a range of dial colors to suit anyone’s palette.”
Can I save $5,700 to buy the cheapest Rolex in the next 10 years to come?
Will I do it?
The reason is that I do not need to get expensive material things to try to fit in a specific narrative.
Because ultimately, the way the rest of the world perceives me is outside of my control.
And that amount of money can be put into greater use to help feed the world, and not a shiny artifact slapped into my wrist.
What does all of this story have to do with plumbing?
Plumbing is the most underrated job in the world.
At 10 years old, I imagined myself being an astronaut or a CEO.
Plumbing would have never made it into my Top 100 list of jobs I wanted to do when I was older.
Yet we all have pipes into our houses. As a result, we all face leaks, and we will always require a plumber to fix them.
It is a job that might not feel “sexy.” It is maybe viewed as a “dirty” job.
However, it is a well-paid job that cannot be outsourced and performed remotely.
Are you familiar with the two cardinal rules of plumbing?
If you are not a plumber, I am sure that the first answer is no.
And I hear you say in your head: Only two?! With some confusion.
Well, those 2 rules are the most guarded secrets of plumbing passed from generation to generation.
No, I am not a plumber. Neither am I part of a lineage of plumbers.
A friend of mine shared the secret with me. His father is a plumber.
He told me to share it with only people I trust. Here we are.
The two secret rules of plumbing are the following:
- Water always runs downhill,
- Don’t lick your fingers.
Yes, I know. I had the same reaction as you are having right now.
“Thank you, Miss Obvious!” I answered her.
Just let me elaborate a little bit.
1. WATER ALWAYS RUN DOWNHILL — This rule is just telling us that we cannot fight gravity. In the universe, there are some things in our control.
And the rest of the things are outside of our control.
This first rule is packed with wisdom. We need to internalize it.
In everything that happens in the universe, we have only two ways to sort it. Either it is in our control, or it is not.
There is no third option.
As we cannot stop water running with our bare hands, we must embrace that we are not all-powerful, all-mighty.
We are just Humans, with our limited life, our limited energy. The real power is within the hands of Nature, the Universe, or the Multiverse.
2. DON’T LICK YOUR FINGERS — This second rule is all about focusing on what we do control.
Coming back to plumbing, making sure that we do not lick our fingers when changing the pipes of the toilets is totally in our control.
Acknowledging that we have some control over what is happening to us is vital for our well-being and mental health.
We must not think that life happens against us. Life happens. Sometimes it is not in line with our expectations.
Other times, it is in our favor. In that case, we quickly think that it is because of our hard work.
Yes, it is 10% of our hard work. The remaining 90% is pure luck.
That 10% are required and within our responsibility. We need to act on that day in, day out.
What about those 10 years old and the rules of plumbing?
As a father of two young boys of almost 3 years and 1 year old, I always struggle to find the right way to get them to do what I want.
What I mean by that is the fact that I want my children to do things without me repeating myself 10 times or yelling at them.
Many people yelled at me when growing up, and I was not too fond of every second of it.
I believe that screaming to get attention only applies to crying for help in desperate situations: lost on an island, depression, loneliness, and similar cases.
As an adult or a leader in an organization, I don’t want to scream to make my voice heard.
My in-laws have this approach with their grandchildren. The situation is always the same.
They want them to do something. My sons will not comply. Then comes the threat.
“Either you do this, or I will not be your grandparent anymore!”
They always give two options to my sons and my wife’s nephews:
- Option 01: You do what I want,
- Option 02: I will give you a punishment that we both know will never be enforced.
Of course, their grandchildren never comply for one simple reason. With the options they are given, they always win by default.
If they don’t do what their grandparents want (Option 01), they know that Option 02 will never be enforced because it is unrealistic.
The right approach involves 2 options combined with the two rules of plumbing.
We should always give our children or grandchildren 02 options for which:
- We are satisfied with whatever option they choose,
- One of the options must always be within our control, not theirs,
- We must consistently enforce that option in our control if they prefer neither of the two.
Imagine that we want to tell them to put on their shoes before going out.
The wrong options to give are the following:
- Option 01: Put your shoes
- Option 02: If not, we are not going out.
The right way to reframe the options:
- Option 01: Put your shoes on
- Option 02: I will put your shoes on for you.
In the “right way,” we may not control which option they choose. Yet, we make sure that if they don’t choose either of the options, we can act on the second option, and we must.
Here you have the most guarded secret of plumbing:
- Water always runs downhill: what we can control and what is outside of our control,
- Don’t lick your fingers: We must act on things we do have control over.
So I will ask the question again:
What would you like to be when you are older?
If you did not answer: “I want to be a plumber.”, then you might have failed your life.
Now let me start charging those pipes that I fixed to buy my Rolex!
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You can read my previous article on Do you want people to consume your content? Make sure to use this technique to get other people’s attention. (Friendly link)