I used to think that hard work could only really be applied at your 9-5. The term itself “hard work”, to me paints a picture of someone busting their balls through difficult or numerous shifts. The truth is, it’s concept is one of the most invaluable tools we can use, when applied to our personal lives.
I’ve been reduced to mush following a rough few months. I had the emotional structure similar to that of a portion of mushy peas. I could say its the anti-depressants that have given some magical, temporary, relief. But in truth it’s actually been the focus on doing the smaller things that will improve my life that has provided a turn in fortunes.
An excerpt from a Steve Jobs speech at Stanford University really provided me with a wave of sobriety.
“Remembering that I’ll be dead soon is the most important tool I’ve ever encountered to help me make the big choices in life.
Almost everything–all external expectations, all pride, all fear of embarrassment or failure–these things just fall away in the face of death, leaving only what is truly important.
Remembering that you are going to die is the best way I know to avoid the trap of thinking you have something to lose. You are already naked. There is no reason not to follow your heart.”
It’s a concept I’ve now since introduced into my day-to-day life. I have now come to the rather obvious realisation that there are only 24 hours in a day. I’ve got a limited amount of 24 hours remaining, so I may as well do something useful with them.
Instead of dedicating my life to an existence of sleep and seeking absolution from previous sins, I now aim to be productive.
I hated my skinny figure that resembled that of a 9-year-old school girl, so I’m fucking on one at the gym. I didn’t particularly like my dietary choices, so I’m a lot more careful about what I put into my body. I decided the only thing I’m actually half decent at is writing, so I started writing more. I rediscovered my love for reading, so I read more. I damaged relationships I didn’t want to damage, so I’m working overtime to heal wounds.
I wrote down what I want. What do I really want. What do I want to achieve. How am I going to achieve it? Writing things down really allows your mind to focus on a particular goal. It’s not just some weird habit some extremely keen American life coach will throw at you. Try it, it works.
How is all I’ve discussed hard work? Well truth be told there are days when I simply do not want to get out of bed. The motivation to keep going deserts me. “I’m just going to lay here for a little while”.
No longer. The hard work is doing things when there is zero motivation to do so.
Truth be told, the most rewarding hard word worth doing, is on yourself.