A little effort can go a long way, or so they say. But the problem is that effort is hard. Nobody wants to put in the hard work to make things – well, work. And why would you want to work hard? In this day and age – wars are fought over the internet, people work from home, and labour is becoming automated. We are pacing ourselves towards a life of less effort. Due to this, the next generation of skilled workers are probably going to be a lot more open to the idea of taking more days off and shorter work days (which low key could be a good thing). That’s not me trying to say that KiDS ArE sOFt, rather that’s just how our society in the abundant west is shaping up to be and we’re just assimilating into what is expected.
Honestly, I don’t think that hard work or a lack thereof is a good or bad thing. I believe that putting in the effort to do a good job is important. I also believe that taking time off to take stress off your shoulders is important too. But I also believe that all people no matter what they do, be it a student or a working professional – should understand that effort and working hard are not skills that it would be nice to have but rather skills that you need to have. Today, I just wanted to talk about hard work and how I see it fitting into my life.
I was pretty lucky growing up that hard work was something that I was confronted with when I was a kid. My father used to work two jobs in a day when we first immigrated to Canada – so I understood the scarcity of money and that it is so important that my dad had to take time away from his family to earn it. Later on in life, mom and dad opened restaurants which lead me to not really seeing them very much in my childhood. I don’t blame them for it by the way. They sacrificed so that my brother and I could live a better life. Eventually I started playing sports. Like most things in life, once I started liking it – I never stopped doing it. I played football in the Fall for my high school, then I would play rugby in the spring, or maybe I’d play football in the summer for a travel team, or maybe I’d play rugby in the summer instead once I stopped playing football – I might as well, I had to get ready for the university rugby season. And beyond that, when I was playing at such a high level – I was also in school, trying to find some work-life balance.
For me, putting in the extra effort is not extra and it is hardly effort nowadays. It’s just something that I do. I never even realized that complaining about being tired was a thing until I was in my second year of university rugby and newcomers were trying to quit mid-practice because they realized that they couldn’t hang. I was very lucky to have the upbringing that I had. But I think for most people who have had it a little easier, they don’t understand exactly why it’s important to give a shit about what you do. The hard work that you put in when no one is looking can be seen and felt by others. Even if they don’t see it – you have to realize that hard work is something that you do to invest in yourself. Spending extra time to lift weights, study, or put in a little OT – with balance these are good things.
And you know what? If everybody is working at a normal pace and they’re not really sticking out, effort is the one thing that you can do more of to stick out from the pack. You can work hard, get better than others, and earn yourself a higher grade, a promotion, or some sort of special status. We live in a capitalist society damnit, take advantage of it. You can’t control your talent or those around you but you can control the effort you put in. At the end of the day when the dust settles, no one is going to remember you by the numbers you put in, they’re going to remember you for your heart, something that can’t be measured. And they’re going to measure that by the level of effort you put in and how much you cared about something.
I also want to tell you that hard work is actually not that hard. I think that the idea of hard work is tougher than anything else. Lying in bed, thinking about the jog that you should go on is a lot tougher of a reality to face than when you’re actually jogging in the moment. Once you get the ball rolling and you have found your rhythm, it’s hard to stop. You’re not afraid of hard work, you’re just anxious. Sure this article could pretty much be my article on discipline again but I think that this article actually does a better job of breaking down how you can build discipline. It’s one of those things that you just have to do. The hardest part of putting in effort is the mental hurdle. Once you’re over that hurdle and you get going, it’s just smooth sailing from there.