Photo by Jordan Whitfield on Unsplash.
I used to think I was working hard, but I wasn’t doing half as much as I can do now. Here are some tips to help you work hard and achieve your success.
Do you ever get home and think, ‘my God I’m exhausted’?
Do you finish you day and feel completely spent?
I have, for a long while. Ever since I started teaching. Full time work is exhausting. I used to come home feeling like I had nothing left to give. And I remember as clear as day my first end of term. I can still picture myself in the car driving home, questioning whether I really wanted to keep that up.
I thought I was working hard – turns out I wasn’t.
Now, I’m a machine.
I get up at 5, I work a full time gig as a teacher, with all the admin, management, behavior issues and marking that goes along with the job. And I still workout every day. But now I also write for 1-2 hours every day, as well as promoting my work and reading a mountain of other people’s work. Also, I spend time every day to play with my infant son and chip in and help-out around the house.
All this often after very little sleep, thanks to infant son.
So how much work is hard work?
And how do we keep doing more?
I used to think I was working hard
But I really wasn’t tapping half of my potential.
It’s weird how your perspective seems so real. I genuinely thought I was ‘max’ing’ out and coming home exhausted. And maybe I was – but now I’m doing so much more.
So how do you do it?
1. Hard Work through Inspiration
Push vs Pull
Inspiration is the difference between the ease of being pulled or the difficulty of having to push. When we are inspired by what we do, and we are intrinsically motivated, we are pulled by that enjoyment or drive to keep going.
It feels easy because the energy needed to do the task comes from our enjoyment of it. However, when we are faced with a job we don’t really want to do, then we are forced to push ourselves to do it. The energy comes from an external demand and we must do it out of fear or obligation. Or a substituted reward, like the money from work – we don’t really want to dig that ditch, but we do it because we need the $20 an hour to live.
The Trick of Hard Work
So the trick to doing more is to love what you are doing. For me this is the case with writing. I may come home exhausted from work, but my intrinsic motivation to write and to keep growing this thing I enjoy, pulls me back to the computer. I don’t need to argue or negotiate, or curse or fret, I’m ready to push through the tired and get the job done.
How to Turn Push into Pull
Now obviously we can’t always feel the pull of heavenly inspiration. I am a teacher and I’m very grateful for my job, but there are many times when I just have to push myself to do it. Marking is not a joy and neither is dealing with behavior problems and administration and all the extra bits that go with the job. So how do we get the pull to keep us doing what needs to be done.
The trick is to have an inspiring goal.
While those bits of the job are not exciting and you never really want to do it, the key is to re-frame things in a positive way so you can get excited.
So for me, while I’d be thrilled to write all day, at the moment that’s not going to pay the bills, so I need to push myself to keep working at teaching. So in order to get some motivational pull, I train my mind to see a very positive big goal. Instead of seeing teaching as a job I don’t really want to do, I see it as an act of service for people who I have the honor to help. This isn’t easy, but by reminding myself that I’m doing a good thing by enlightening and empowering students, I get more motivation than by seeing it all as a job.
What also helps is being invested and setting goals that are personal. So, I may not love all aspects of teaching so much, but if I think of the job as a whole pile of skills and opportunities that can help me personally, then my motivation starts to go up.
It’s not just doing the work for the inspiring cause of helping others grow – which can be tested when you realize how much it actually takes to do really meaningful things like that. It becomes more, ‘do a good job because marking helps to improve your evaluation, analysis and decision making skills’; ‘do a good job at parent interviews because I can learn more about PR and networking’; practice public speaking, research, report writing for structure, use of new technology and on and on and on.
These are the simple jobs that go into the big job. When they are simply tasks that have to be done, it gets tedious and painful. But when they become practice of skills that make us better and can help us to access better opportunities in the future, then we start to feel the pull.
And once we start to feel the improved efficacy of our improved skills, we get that chemical kick along from deep inside; our brains reward us for progress, making us feel good and feel like we want more.
Inspiration and love for the mission will get you to smash through walls and work through exhaustion.
2. Hard Work Through Standards
When the standard is I’ll do a good job – then you feel satisfied just doing the job.
When the goal is do the job and take care of myself – then you do the job and then go to the gym, and you feel worked out and tired.
But if the standard is something much bigger, then you need to expand. And when it becomes a must, you find a way to get it done.
Growth in Standards
My standard became, keep up the good job, stay healthy and start blogging.
With that standard I got to one article a month, and that seemed like great work.
Then my standard was upped to, ‘let’s try for one a week’. And with that standard, I got one a week for a few weeks and then it fell away, because hey I was trying.
But when I said, ‘I can and I will get one a week’, I worked hard to catch up and average things out. So then I did get to an average of one a week.
But as I had to do extra to catch up, I suddenly saw that one a week wasn’t that monumental.
And that became two a week, which fast became as many a week as I possibly can.
And then the standard became claps and fans, and now I know how they work I’m starting to set standards for those measures.
So, evaluate your standards and push yourself to achieve.
3. Hard Work Through Experience
I used to think I was working hard. And you know what, I actually was. There’s no way I could have done then what I am doing now. I would have had a meltdown.
Now I’m working so much quicker and smarter than before. Also, my decision-making ability is much sharper. And I am more aware of expectations. And I set much more ambitious goals and timelines. And I’m much more comfortable working with pressure. And I have so much more material to draw on from my past experiences. Also, I have new skills now that I didn’t have before. And now I’m more confident and I’m physically stronger and I have more supports in my life.
Gifts of Age
And importantly now I’m more focused; my brain isn’t thinking about big questions of ‘who am I’, ‘where do I fit in’, ‘how do I find a partner’, ‘what job do I want?’ All those questions take up focus and decision-making power. Now my focus is on my mission and my daily, weekly and monthly goals and responsibilities.
Ideas and practices are now habits and routines. Big goals are down to just doing the one percent every day and working towards that one-day big magical payoff.
You can’t expect to run a marathon on your first race. That takes a whole lot of work. And a level of intensity in your work. It takes time to build up to that level of hard work.
But the simple truth remains, you can’t win at life if you don’t work hard.
Now I used to think I worked hard, but I kept wondering why I wasn’t winning. (Winning big I mean.) But if you want to win big, you just have to outwork the rest -yes, even if you work smarter.
If you want a big life, then it takes a lot of small, tiny steps, one after another, to build the strength, endurance, and momentum to start being in the game.
It takes time and discipline and good habits, over years, to start putting some wins together.
And it’s win after win, lesson after lesson, that gets you in shape to play at the highest level.
So if you want to be on the millionaire level, in the superstar league, up there with the winners and kicking great goals, start now and aim for experience; lift your standards and find a way to let motivation pull you towards your amazing future.
Thanks for allowing me to share.
Mission to Success
The mission for success is to take our life to the level of awesome. We are actively learning the lessons that will bring us more success, that will improve the future for our children and will help make the world a better place.
If that’s something you want for your life, feel free to come join the mission for success by clicking here: Mission for Success!
All the best, and remember to keep striving for success.