All our lives we’ve been told that hard work is the key to success. And so all of our lives we’ve worked hard or felt guilty if we didn’t. But is hard work truly the key to success?
What about people who work hard and struggle all their lives? What about people who make it big without breaking a sweat?
It’s true that most successful people appear to work hard. They usually work long hours. They usually take on big challenges. They usually do things others see as difficult and stressful.
But are they really working hard?
If you ask them, I believe most successful people would tell you they love what they do and they don’t consider it hard work at all. They work long hours because they can’t think of anything they’d rather be doing.
When it’s fun, can it really be called hard work? Can it even be called work?
“When you do what you love, and love what you do,” it is said, “you’ll never work a day in your life.”
If you don’t love your work, change it. You don’t have to suffer your way to success. (I’m not even sure that’s possible.)
Get a new job or start a new career. Or give yourself permission to move in that direction. In the meantime, look for ways to make your current work more pleasant by focusing on aspects of it that you do enjoy.
If nothing more, see your work as a means to an end, that is, a way to pay your bills on the road to what’s next.
That’s what I did with my law practice. There were many things I didn’t like about it, which is why I decided to start a new career. But I didn’t dwell on what I didn’t like, I focused on the good things my practice gave me: skills, knowledge, experience, contacts, ideas, and most of all, time to start the next phase of my life.
Life is too short to do things you don’t enjoy. Life is supposed to be fun.
As you plan this year and beyond, make sure you’re planning to do something you love. Even if you don’t achieve the financial trappings of success, you’ll be happy. And that’s the real measure of success.
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