Viewing a Burden as a Privilege

By Paul Yung

In parenthood, they say that having two children isn’t double the effort, it’s 10 times.

I couldn’t agree more. My son, Theo is turning 3 months old. Managing him and my 4-year-old really feels like it has been 10 times more challenging.

From managing my daughter’s emotions of having another sibling which include regular emotional breakdowns “You don’t love me anymore!”, to worrying about why Theo hasn’t pooped in 8 days, my wife and I have been pushed way out of our comfort zone.

On one of these sleepless and poopless nights, I was reminded of my experience in PM-International. The responsibility of managing our workforce as we expanded from 5 to 40 employees is exponentially harder than the numbers suggest. Things that weren’t even thought of before suddenly became management discussions. Just like having 2 children.

Life, whether at home or in business, is filled with responsibilities. The burden of these responsibilities naturally weighs heavier and heavier as we get more successful, and this weight does not increase incrementally, it increases exponentially.

There’s a powerful mindset shift I use in these situations that helps me not pull all my hair out. Simply put, it’s shifting the perspective of these responsibilities as burdens to privileges.

It’s a privilege to be a parent of two or more.

It’s a privilege to have a workforce of 40.

It’s a privilege to be responsible for a ton of projects.

It’s a privilege to have meaningful work for the community.

It’s a privilege to lead and have others follow.

How many people would love to be in your position?

You were given these responsibilities at home, at work, by your community or at your own business because you have proven that you were competent at what you do.

Having a second child was a choice (hopefully) you and your partner made because you both thought you were competent parents capable of adding one more to the family.

The reality is, how much longer do we have before the children grow up and mummy and daddy are not the coolest people in the room anymore. Statistics show that 90% of the time we spend with our kids are before they turn 10 years old!

Just thinking about that makes me feel privileged when my daughter pleads for me to cuddle her and watch Bluey to sleep.

This mindset not only reduces stress but also fosters a deeper connection between parent and child. Each new responsibility becomes a cherished chance to guide and nurture.

In the business world, leadership comes with its own set of growing responsibilities. As a business expands, leaders find themselves managing larger teams, more complex projects, and a broader customer base. The increased workload can feel like a burden, but great leaders understand that this is a privilege. You have the chance to serve employees and increase customer loyalty and satisfaction.

If you are working, view additional responsibilities as opportunities to grow and to earn. The people who learn the most, earn the most. Even if your current superior doesn’t value you the way you believe you deserve, take this time to learn on the job, while you earn a salary, and you can use this as a stepping stone to a better job or starting your own business.

A study conducted by Harvard Business Review found that executives who handle larger scopes of work and complex decision-making processes are rewarded not just monetarily but also with greater trust and respect from their peers and subordinates.

A burden-focused mindset leads to stress, burnout, and resentment. A privilege-focused mindset fosters growth, fulfilment, and positive relationships. Personally, shifting this perspective gives me renewed energy, we not only enhance our own well-being but also positively impact those around us. Remember, the next time you feel overwhelmed by your duties, take a step back and see them for what they truly are – privileges that allow you to grow, serve, and make a difference.

To all father’s and father figures, I would like to wish all of you Happy Father’s Day. Being a father is the ultimate privilege and also carries with it the ultimate burden. The responsibility to provide, care, coach and nurture our children is the most exciting journey a man can embark on. Thank you for everything that you do every day, and together lets shape our future generations to be contributing members of society.