We (and I) write and think a lot about work. We embrace dedication and commitment and “giving 110%” like that’s something easy to do. In reality, it’s not easy, and sometimes it’s downright unpleasant. And the risk is that—faced with a mountain of work—we run screaming in the direction of our Netflix queue and oblivion. Some thoughts on how to persevere instead.
There is a difference between doing the work and loving the work. Much of what produces worthwhile work is–well–work. Painful, sweaty, slogging, frustrating work. That’s why, often, we avoid the work. That’s why “do the work” is an exhortation and imperative; it’s designed to get us to make the first step, with the hope and intent that we keep on going. And that’s where the challenges start.
When someone asks you what you do and where you are going, what do you answer? And is that answer an honest reflection of your dreams, or is there a hint of defensiveness behind it? It’s hard to reinvent ourselves, and it’s hard to make a change. There are times that it is necessary, but making that call involves careful personal judgement. In our journey through life, we persevere, we adapt and we follow-through where necessary.
In the face of challenge, we often avoid work—particularly work that challenges us. This might be a result of preparedness, and it may simply be procrastination. In either instance, solving it isn’t a thinking problem. It’s a doing problem. On the very real importance of action.