THE most important thing your work can offer you is a chance to feel good about yourself. Do you see yourself as a productive, contributing member of your company? Do you know why your company exists?

When you realise what your company offers to society, you will be able to understand what part you play.

Work with the attitude that you own the company that employs you. You earn your money from your employer by doing more than you are paid to do.

According to the "law of sow and reap", you will get noticed for being an exceptional worker, so never worry about giving your employers "something for nothing".

More importantly, you will feel good about yourself because you will be a productive person with a part in your company's future. Reaping the rewards of self-satisfaction, no matter what you are paid, is the true measure of the work you do - whether in love, your career or your life.

The best maxim for achieving success in your job, your relationships and every other aspect of your life is the universal parable about sowing and reaping.

The successes you reap in life are the results of the positive energy and hard work that you have sown in the past - a past that you can begin forming immediately.

Reality rarely lives up to expectations. The late, great sales trainer Alan Cimberg said he heard much the same complaints from the different companies he had worked with, whether they were making computers or selling building supplies:

* Our territories are too large (or too small).

* We need more help; we don't get enough support.

No company is perfect. As long as you are accepting a paycheck, you should keep your gripes to yourself and concentrate on some of the positive aspects of your company.

Ms Bobbie Gee, a corporate image consultant from Southern California, was flying home from Chicago and everything went wrong. There were many delays, and the flight was three hours behind schedule.

One of the cargo doors was frozen, and there was no food in first class. The man sitting next to her complained all the way to Southern California about how that airline could do absolutely nothing right. Who was he? A pilot for the same airline!

People who constantly complain about their jobs, their companies and their colleagues, who goof off or don't give their best, are really robbing themselves of the most exciting and rewarding opportunity in life: the chance to feel great about themselves!

Don't cheat. Do everything as if you owned the company!