I have never been afraid of hard work.
As a matter of fact, my mom taught me what a great value hard work is. You get out of it what you put in. It is a fact. If I only half-heartedly apply myself to any endeavor, one of two things occurs.
1. I do not finish the project
2. I do not like the result.
Committed to Quality
So, how does one commit fully and with heart to follow through completely on a specific project? Especially when hard work is most likely involved. You might have to stay late at the office. You might have to follow up or work after regular business hours or on a holiday even. You might have to stay up late to meet a deadline. You might have to show up early because your client or colleague lives in a different time zone. Maybe you will even have to learn something new or branch into unfamiliar territory. You will most likely have to step outside of your comfort zone.
These things are all do-able and they are all do-able with a happy heart and a strong, committed effort. Two years ago, a five-day rain pummeling forced my town to shut down. The main square was flooded and under mud, severely damaging a historic movie theater and many other downtown businesses. I felt very fortunate that, while my neighbors struggled with leaks and flooding, my little family was not subjected to those trials until late in the game and well-after the rains had subsided. But what we suffered through was nothing compared to those who had to endure the Mega-Storm Sandy that hit the Northeast of the US recently or those who battled Hurricane Katrina in 2005.
During our comparatively little crisis, my daughter discovered that our carpeted storage room had flooded because of seepage from our water-logged backyard. The cleanup required some significant manual labor, we were exhausted, both mentally and physically. At one point, I wanted to give up and just walk away. I was ready to make that an option, though I knew it really could not possibly be. The job had to be done…, whether I wanted to complete it or not.
The work continued for a couple weeks, as the saturated earth around our home could not hold anymore. But even through my despair, and sadness at having lost some items near and dear, I felt good, I felt renewed. Aching, sore muscles do that to me. That residual pain proved that I had worked hard. The fatigue I felt proved that I had completed the immediate task at hand.
I know that what I faced was nothing compared to what some of my friends have faced in New York and New Jersey recently. I know that there is no comparison to what occurred during Katrina.
The commitment I felt was the result of a sense of urgency, a specific need. Is that what is required to motivate individuals to work hard? Or can we find true pleasure in a job well done, is that impetus enough? At some point, each person discovers what propels them and in that discovery, new joy can be found in work, whether manual or behind a desk with fingers frantically tapping away at a keyboard. Brain work, designing strategy, putting together strategies or biz plans, negotiations, writing content – these are no less taxing than manual labor but the sense of fulfillment can be the same from each.
Hard work is hard.
Complications arise when we balk at the work or create excuses to not work. The excuses only change the work in your mind -in perception, but not in actuality.
It’s called work for a reason.