Let me preface this whole topic by first sharing that I am as strong proponent for hard work. I believe that applying ourselves in something we care about is a key ingredient to a fulfilled and purposeful life. Having said that, I’m beginning to explore some of the beliefs I have around the right ways to think about working hard.
First is the driving force behind working hard. For many of us ‘hard work’ has been instilled as a core value that corresponds with our character. Almost as if we want to be viewed as a contributing member of society, we need to have a good work ethic. The alternative of being lazy is associated with being wasteful and serves as a negative strike against who we are as a person. That someone who's lazy is just looking for handouts.
But what if, instead of labeling someone who doesn’t work hard as lazy, we choose to believe that they just haven’t found something they’re so passionate about that they want to work hard. That there’s nothing wrong with their character and that it’s more a matter of they environment they’re in. It would completely shift the way we treat and relate with the people in our life that aren’t working hard.
And second, many of us have a belief around hard work that is making our work harder than it needs to be. We’ve been taught for many years to conflate hard work with getting strong results. But what if that didn’t need to be the case? What if we looked for more ways for our results to come more effortlessly and in flow rather than from a big push to create them?
We’re often blind to these opportunities because our minds are more comfortable believing that results are directly proportionate with the amount work we put it. But when we build systems and processes to automate things, when we double down on what’s working best and simplify our activity, we can get better results with less effort. Again, perhaps our relationship with hard work is causing us to miss the easy street right in front of us and go down roads that are more challenging.
Regardless of what you took from this, it’s always important to questions your beliefs. Our beliefs exist within our subconscious mind and dictate the direction of our thinking. In making the unconscious force of your beliefs more conscious, you may find ways to pursue your ultimate life that much more effectively.