Hard work – or taking decisive action – is one of those traditional values that everyone loves to praise, but few people want to pursue.
We do, most assuredly, live in a quick response, microwave, tap an app and your driver shows up type of society.
Hard work isn’t something that many westerners actually have to do in order to provide just enough to survive, despite our praise of the idea of a good work ethic. Hard work isn’t seen as an end in itself. Hard work, for many, is a means to the end – which is not working.
It goes like this: I only work hard so that I can provide enough for myself so that I can go home and sit and relax.
The work, itself, isn’t that valuable unless it can deliver relaxation later. It’s a necessary evil.
And the kicker to hard work, even if you have your sights set on bigger and better things than Netflix, is that hard work requires faith.
If you want to do great things in whatever area of life, and you realize that hard work is required, then how do you know that the work you choose to do will lead you to the results you are seeking?
Entrepreneurs: How do you know that, if you start that business and work hard for years and years, your venture will be fruitful in the end? After all, so many famous successful entrepreneurs didn’t strike gold for closer to 10 years than 1 or 2 years into their work.
Health Goal Folks: How do you know if you eat better and exercise consistently that your health, fitness, and physique will change, even if it takes consistent action for more than just some 30-75 day challenge? It might take years of consistent hard work and a lifetime of upkeep just to stay healthy, much less lead to the body of a fitness model.
Sales Pros: What if you knew you had to consistently make calls every day and serve clients – both future and current – before that 4th year when things started really taking off from the seeds you planted?
Parents: How patient can you be? How hard can you work personally as an example to your kids of how to attack life? Even if they don’t seem to get it – especially when they’re middle schoolers.
Employees: How do you know that if you put more effort than Judy in the cubicle next to you that it will result in raises and promotions and a fulfilling career in the long-run? I mean, why give 100% if you’re treated the same as everybody else regardless?
Would it be worth it?
I suggest to you that it is absolutely worth it for a few reasons why:
- Work clarifies: Without working hard, if you just half-ass it because you’re scared to ‘waste time’ doing work that might not give you the results, then you’re really not testing the concept and you won’t learn anything. Take action, work hard on your plan, and let the results clarify themselves over time.
- Work prepares: Let’s say you’re the entrepreneur, sales pro, or general employee…. The harder you work and more you take action, the more you are prepared for whatever the next phase of your business or career might be. Take action well and even if your enterprise fails or you don’t climb the ladder, you’ll be more prepared for the next shot you shoot.
- Work teaches: I came from ministry into a sales job almost 20 years ago (wow). The first few years in sales, I fiddled about a bit, wondering if I should be going back into the ministry. That internal struggle caused less than max effort at work. Finally, I came to this realization: This is where I am right now. Even if something different is in the cards for my future, it’s time I started squeezing every bit of skill and knowledge I can from this job. It can only help. Work teaches us new skills that can be used wherever our journey takes us.
- Work honors: Simply, your hard work honors others and demonstrates good stewardship. Working hard honors your family. It honors your leadership at work or your clients. It honors your colleagues. It honors God.
In the end, working hard, taking action, engaging the daily grind with 100% of your effort and all of those cliches are extremely powerful.
Hard work really is a clarifying and illuminating value to help you make better decisions as you make your way along in your journey.