What is Hard Work?


For many years I have struggled with a world that blindly accepts that work ethic means that you need to be willing to sacrifice family, health and peace in service of getting the job done.

When you ask people they won’t tell you this – they will rather say something like “that’s not what I meant but we have do get the job done” or “it is only this weekend that we need to work over time”.  Indeed!  But what about the past six months working after hours and putting in extra – there is only 24 hours in every day.  The original 8 hour day movement recognised the need for three critical parts that needs consistent attention: 8 hours work, 8 hours recreation and 8 hours rest on a daily basis.

Perhaps this idea is outdated?  All I can say is that it speaks to me and I try to apply it as far as possible.  It does however require that I do the hard work inside in order to be able to say no; trust for enough and manage my own irrelevant desires that lead astray and rather continuously foster habits that bring life.  So when people say that you need to have a work ethic what I interpret is inefficient mediocrity – i.e. do things of no significance in a dumb way without question.

I love what Robin Sharma says: “Manage your focus, not your time”.  I completely agree, you have no power over the time that is given to you but you do have a good bit of control over yourself.  The fact is that few people try and change themselves in order to realise their true selves which will manifest accomplishment and significance rather than material success or achievement as defined bu those with “work ethic”.

Don’t get me wrong, I believe in dedication responsibility and accountability for that which you have agreed to but I do not believe in blindly following orders without questioning the why of work.

So today I challenge you to get more life and avoid just surviving by asking yourself whether you are thinking about who you are, where you are heading – you know the ethical stuff of doing what is right – and then do the work that aligns to this.  Now that’s what I call work ethic.  …And that is hard work.

P.S. Don’t forget to grab your copy of Alive Today! if you haven’t done so yet.