What does hard work really look like? You see others who work hard, but are they really? Isn't it a matter of finding what you enjoy doing... what you're good at... and what others will pay you for?
My dad is a good example. He works hard. He's always worked hard. But it actually comes easy to him. Sure, it might appear to be a struggle sometimes, but most of the time, it's easy and it's what makes him feel alive.
So when something feels hard, what is really happening?
Right now, life feels hard. And when life is feeling hard, everything feels harder on top of it. There seems to be a layer of hardness we are all experiencing right now. There's a higher set point of difficulty that we have been forced into thanks to covid.
Find out where there is less friction.
For me, adventure and curiosity is a big part of what keeps me enthusiastically engaged in life. When I am put into a role that I have to do the same thing over and over again, it becomes difficult. Variety is truly the spice of life for me.
So where does that put me talents and strengths? I'm an idea guy. My clients love that I keep trying new things - some of which open doors, others don't - but you never know until you try. You need to be original. Once someone is doing something - hundreds others see it and start doing the same thing.
Be original. Maybe that's my unique value proposition?
I'm going to redefine 'hard' by reminding myself that my life is anything but hard when you look at the advantages I've been given. When it starts to feel hard, I'm going to take a 'hard look' and zoom out to see the truth.
There's that work again... HARD.
Do you see how the language you speak predisposes the experience that follows? I'm going to try to banish the word hard from my vocabulary altogether.
For me, it's about effort:
My point is that the set point of effort is continually going to rise. When you accept this, you'll stop resisting it. The further you go in life, the more effort it will take to move forward.
Once you give up - once you stop putting in the effort, you can be assured that you'll begin to slide back. You can look around and see millions of people who've stopped making the effort... or at least have failed to put the extra effort needed to keep up in life.
So don't give up. Expect more effort will be required. Swap out the word 'hard' with effort.
Related words/concepts that you can adopt if 'effort' doesn't resonate with you:
I like the idea of pre-achieved and pre-accomplished.
When you realize that doing the work leads to completing what it is you desire, the work doesn't seem so hard!
Reward follows hard work. Anything worth anything takes effort. If it takes no effort, anyone can and will do it - and if anyone can do it, there's nothing unique or impressive about it.