January 14, 2023

The Power of Embracing Hard Work

The real work starts when things get hard.

In a growing world of false gurus, it would be easy to believe that the right tool, service or advice could get you to the finish line quicker. It sounds too good to be true, because it often is.

The real work was never meant to be easy.

The rose tinted lens of social media will have you thinking that the successful possess the same ‘key’ to getting ahead, but beyond inheritance and winning the lottery, it’s rarely the case.

You earn your ‘key’ by forging it yourself. It takes hard work.

There is such a thing as overworking, however. I’ve been on the other end of burnout, and it’s definitely not the way forward.

I tried being overly smart too, but overplanning without adequate implementation is a futile mission.

So, how do we make ‘working’ healthier? Do we fit in whatever work we can around three healthy meals, a daily workout, spending time with friends and even a cheeky Netflix episode of our favourite new show? And I nearly forgot the fancy coffee, take your time in making it! I mean, in this day and age, does work even have to be stressful anymore? At all?

This is the narrative that’s leading a new epidemic, one of ‘busywork’ that neither elicits nor provides much value.

We have to have this conversation now.

Taking a three-hour rest break at the moment we feel stressed is not healthy.

Real work never came easy. The late nights of study in a small, cramped room that no one could see. The problems that we were so engrossed in solving, we’d miss meals and lose sleep for.

It’s not ideal to sacrifice our healthy ‘habits’ to get the work done, but it sure as hell isn’t abnormal, either.

We have to get comfortable with getting uncomfortable, even if just for small periods of time.

The rise of ‘productivity’ and ‘mindful working’ trends can be taken too far and has consequences too, just like ‘toxic’ overworking had its time (and in some places continues to).

A day full of breaks leads to no real work being done.

I’ve tried time and time again to create a perfect balance between the two, but I always find myself returning to my natural ebb and flow of productivity and play.

Whether I’m working or relaxing, I’m all in.

It’s not unusual to find me in a state of burnout or creative ‘rut’. What preceded was likely stressful,  draining and derailed me from a healthy routine. But it was supposed to be that way. The real work I strived for was always meant to put a dent in my day. It was meant to make me uncomfortable and push my limits. That is what makes us grow.

So take your breaks. Put in your physical and mental safeguards.

But when the time comes, do the damn work.

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