Many of these posts have focused on how we have the power to create our own realities; this is true in romance, work, and play. Of these, work may be the sphere we have the most difficulty realizing this effort.
In the Four Agreements, Don Miguel Ruiz reminds us that much of our conditioning about the world is taught to its by our parents, ultimately initiating us into paradigm that would have us refute our abilities to shape our lives. Capitalizing on this ability requires introspection and examinations of commonly guarded and shared misconceptions about the working world. One of the most common- and the focus of this post-is the adage “you have to work hard to get what you want”.
There are many variations of this saying, but rather than reiterating them, I think it is better serving to focus on what they mean. If we accept that nothing comes without hard work, we posit that we must work hard to get everything we want. This line of thinking has the potential to make us miss out on golden opportunities that may arise out of other desires we have if they come up when we aren’t working actively toward their manifestation. You got a call out of the blue to do some consultation work when you are still very focused on advancing in your present job with the goal of being able to work for yourself one day? Maybe you didn’t take it on because you didn’t solicit the opportunity. Maybe you didn’t take it on because the offer wasn’t as polished as you would have liked for it to be. Still, you may have missed a supported learning opportunity because it didn’t seem like a direct result of your hard work.
On the other hand, accepting that all work must be hard to be fruitful has a negative impact on your work life balance. Is there ever a metric of work being “too hard”? Have you made an agreement with yourself that you will sacrifice time with family, friends, your significant others, and yourself to put in this work for an unspecified time and an unspecified reward of “more”? Does your life feel balanced, is the outcome worth it if those relationships suffer?
So, how does one move away from this line of thought? You make a new agreement with yourself. Be mindful of what your goals are. Please understand, I am not saying that you don’t put effort toward the fulfillment of your goals, but I am suggesting you change the focus of your effort. If you want to make more money, how much more do you’d want to make? Are you making more money for yourself or for others through your work? If there is a certain position or title you have for yourself, what is it? What are your specific duties and work responsibilities? How many hours are you actually working versus the hours you are getting paid for? Do you have residual income streams?
Working hard with no concrete goal in sight can be a fruitless endeavor. Work smart instead