Just Try Harder

I love this quote by Victoria Castle:

If struggling were the way to get there, we’d all be there by now.

Lately, I’ve been thinking about the way many of us approach work.  Often, suffering and struggling is so much a part of the everyday experience that it goes unnoticed and unchallenged.  We can automatically and unconsciously believe the lies that say if we just try harder, work longer, suffer enough,….then it HAS to pay off….doesn’t it?  We like to call it “work ethic”.  Seems more like “carrot and stick”.

[Years ago I had a coach who suggested I take a baseball cap, cut a hole in the bill, loop a string through it, tie a carrot to the end of the string, and wear it as I go about doing my work!  The suggestion alone was enough to get my attention and to have me look more closely at my underlying beliefs and cultural attitudes toward work and success.]

Naturally there is a place for hard work that challenges us to grow ourselves and our businesses in positive directions.  But hard work doesn’t have to include suffering and struggling.  Instead, it can be filled with joy, delight, and love.  Rather than draining and degrading, it can be satisfying, energizing and esteem-building.  Hard work can feel good.  Struggling has never felt good to me.

BTW, you’ve probably noticed that struggling isn’t reserved exclusively for work. We can bring it on vacation, to relationships, to parties, etc.  It can become a way of life.  Here’s the bottom line:  It’s a choice.

So here are some questions to consider:

  • Are you willing to let go of struggling?
  • If so, what will you do instead?
  • How will that change your experience of work?