I want to talk about a common misconception that work is supposed to be hard. Our culture dictates that any work that is worth while requires blood, sweat, and tears. Because of this we tend to feel that if we aren’t slaving over some project that it isn’t worth our time. We either chalk it up to a hobby and place it on the back burner in favor of other endeavors, work for other people, or we simply ignore it and fall into a routine. We need to get that out of our heads.
Over the last few months as I have built this business, I have learned a lot about what it requires to achieve personal goals. I work full time and I have a family (husband, kid, 3 cats, and a dog), and all of my work on these posts comes after all of that is taken care of. There are nights I have to work late at my job and this still comes after the fact—unless I have posts prepared from the weekend if I have extra time. I work on these blogs 7 days a week. It takes a lot of time and I am often tired because of all of the other things I have to get done in a day but I do it every day. While I was working on this the other day it hit me, none of this feels like work in spite of the fact that I have to plan and prepare and, again, I’m working on this 7 days a week. I’ve come to realize that the work we are meant to do, while it is WORK because there is a ton of effort required, doesn’t feel like a labor. It’s a project that I enjoy and gives me meaning.
Now, as I mentioned, there is effort, even in work we enjoy. I’m a realist and I know that work isn’t all about joy either. The point of work is to fulfill a purpose but the emotional reaction we have to it is highly entwined with whose purpose it is we are serving. I read a quote that stated something along the lines of we aren’t tired because we have done too much, but because we have done too little of what ignites our soul. I immediately thought AMEN when I read that. It made so much sense. How often when we wake up in the morning do we immediately think, “I don’t want to go to work today.”? It’s no wonder it feels so draining—we are immediately resistant to what we have committed to doing. When we do the things we are drawn to, the energy is totally different—some say we feel more alive. We feel willing to do the work and it feels like it flows.
To be clear, I’m not saying that work is supposed to be easy, just that we don’t have to have the misconception that it is difficult. In fact, like with most things in life, much of the result we get or how we feel about it is how we approach what we are doing. So, really, the point is that even with work that you may not enjoy, try to approach it with an attitude of openness and a willingness to learn. Try and spend as much time doing the work you love and limit your time with distraction. We are allowed to invest in ourselves and we are allowed to be happy. People don’t have to be miserable or stretched thin in a perpetual state of busy to be worthy. The most worthwhile work is what brings you joy, joy that you can share with others. If the work for your passion project comes easy, don’t be fooled into thinking “this can’t be it” because the truth is more likely that this is exactly what you’re supposed to be doing.