What would you say if I told you that I don’t work hard anymore and I don’t plan on working hard ever again?
Does me saying that frustrate you or have you shaking your head?
I can understand that reaction. I mean hard work is practically the Holy Grail of our society.
Last week I took on freedom. I questioned how free you actually are and whether you are holding yourself to standards that don’t allow you real freedom (which you can read about here).
After freedom, working hard ranks pretty high as a desired American value. But today I am going to ask you to see hard work through a new lens.
It seems you can’t turn anywhere without reading and hearing about how hard you must work for….well, everything!
Work for the grades, the college, the job, the body, the promotion, the spouse, the status, the house, the retirement account, the health, the lifestyle….it’s never ending.
The message you receive is that you must put the time in, pay your dues, work your ass off and donate your blood, sweat and tears for what you want. Then, if you are very, very lucky, you will have the things that you have worked so hard towards.
And the message that is underneath the message is that working hard is the only honorable way to live. That it is somehow cheating if you achieve success or happiness in any other way.
Work hard and you will be successful. Work hard to show people you are a good person. Work hard to prove that you can pull your own weight. Work hard to earn your place in the world.
And here is the thing.
Hard work works!
Hard work channeled in a certain way will garner you achievements, accolades, success and in many cases wealth.
I am not saying that working hard is evil, bad or will cause you to fail. Hard work has tons of data to prove itself. That is not the issue here.
What I am saying is that there is another way. A way that you have seen, but don’t believe can apply to you.
I am saying that the way hard work is pounded into most of us as the only way to succeed is not only misguided but flat out wrong.
What if you could work smart? Or work fun? Or work lucky? Or work easy? Or work in flow? What if you could get to a place where you don’t even want to call anything you do work because you don’t like the connotation around that word?
Here’s a news flash. Hard work does not make you more honorable than someone else. It does not make you a better person or give you more bonus points in life.
Hard work simply tires you out and saps your spirit. Hard work feels heavy, stresses you out, makes you cranky and overwhelms you with pressure to prove yourself.
And so often when you finally get the thing that you were working so hard towards, it doesn’t even feel like you thought it would. So you raise your bar higher and get back to, you guessed it, the hard work it takes to reach the next level that may again leave you dissatisfied.
Is that the way you want to go through your days? Or should I say, is that the way you have already been going through your days?
I certainly lived the path of hard work for a very long time. And while it did pan out with many of the things in life that society covets, it did not fulfill me. It actually left me feeling empty and lost. I felt like I had been sold a bill of goods.
So what does a different kind of work look like?
You already know that I run a house and a business. I have a husband, five kids, a dog and a commitment to movement and healthy habits. I have hobbies, friends, take classes, travel and visit with out of town relatives.
So how is it that I am telling you that I don’t work hard?
Sorry to leave you hanging, but it is summertime and I don’t want to make you work too hard by reading a tome. 🙂
So tune in next week and I will share my secrets to a life full of ease, flow, inspiration and success–no hard work necessary.
In order to change your life, you must first change your mind.