“Nothing in the world is worth having or worth doing unless it means effort, pain, difficulty… I have never in my life envied a human being who led an easy life. I have envied a great many people who led difficult lives and led them well.”
― Theodore Roosevelt
Many people look for shortcuts – doing the bare minimum to get by. While it is appealing, it is not rewarding in the long term.
Hard work should be viewed as fun, productive, and one must find happiness and joy in it – I am sure that people at the end of their lives feel most fulfilled about those choices that they worked hard on, and most often felt sad about cutting corners on some of their choices.
Being busy however, need not be the same as hard work – I’d say that we’re all guilty of “busy work” yielding no results. But working hard on a project, business, task or relationship that you LOVE (for financial reward or not) in a mindful and focused manner, allows us to put your heart and soul into the work – this leads to us doing the best we can, accomplish the most we can, and feeling fulfilled at the end of that work.
Work does not necessarily entail Financial Reward. Not all work chases more earnings, profits, expensive cars, houses, and luxury watches. There may be some work like managing a home, nurturing a child, and getting healthier that measure life’s success, happiness and fulfillment apart from material possessions.
So, apart from getting paid, what does Hard Work really help us with?
Doing the hard work, completing and checking off tasks all raise our internal happiness hormone - also called (dopamine?). The best sleep you’ll ever get is after a hard day’s work when you know you gave it your all.
2. Good Busy vs. Bad Busy
I say Good Busy for work that really matters – not just those hours checking emails, social media and other busy work we do all day. Besides, living a blank non productive life is a recipe for disaster – big difference between doing something worthwhile and whiling away time.
3. Personal Development
Hard work, just by itself, makes us evolve into something else – we develop skills, overcome challenges and capitalize on opportunities. It requires us to be better at what we do; more growth usually means harder work that presents us with potential for further growth.
4. Helps “someone”
The hard work we do usually impacts more than just us – even if we’re working on a skill for ourselves r our health, that has a positive contribution towards others, in some way. And if our work involves others, then the group as a whole, along with external stakeholders, benefit from that hard work.
5. Translates to other areas of life
Everything we learn from hard work – the discipline, perseverance, consistency, responsibility, and self-control – help us excel at other things that pose the similar generic hurdles to achievement, such as in fitness, relationships and career advancement.
6. Maximise your daily hours
We all have the same 24 hours – we can fill with good work or allow it to meaninglessly pass by. Choosing to work hard (without wasting time) maximizes effort, impact, earnings, and fulfillment.
7. Models for our children
Kids notice, everything. Especially our habits, and the hard work we put in each day. They may not listen to instructions, but their characters are molded by what they see us do.
What are the best circumstances to be able to work hard?
Finding your passion, finding your purpose, and finding what makes you happy is everything. Every job is not fun! And being motivated to work hard comes easier to some than others, and then again some work is irrelevant as long as it furthers you towards your end result – (ex: tidying the room to have a clean house) sometimes you have just to suck it up and get it done!
People always look for shortcuts – the good news is, there is one! And that path is the straight path of doing something you love, with dedication, doing the hard work every single day. With passion and purpose, and a keen eye on your end result, the actual work becomes non-negotiable, and therefore, irrelevant.