Is Hard Work Overrated?

Have you ever tried to make something work, but feel blocked and inefficient?

Have you ever been frustrated because no matter how hard you try you just don’t get what you want?

Has your hard work and sweat equity lacked the payoff you desire?

hard workFor decades we have bought into the idea of no pain, no gain. We have believed that persistent stubborn effort is needed to get anywhere in this world. We believe life is hard and difficult. We believe that life is a struggle. We believe as Colin Powell said, “A dream doesn’t become reality through magic; it takes sweat, determination and hard work.”

What if we are wrong?

Before becoming a Recovering Type A, I was a dogmatic, controlling, persistent, nose to the grindstone, timeline driven, checkbox checker, diligent hard worker. The effort I was making was not fun. I was so stressed and consumed by work that I did not enjoy life. Getting things done took precedence over those I love in my life. I believed in the hard work Colin Powell professed, but it wasn’t making me happy and it was not providing me with the results I desired. I respect Colin Powell, and I also have to respectfully disagree with his quote. Dreams DO become reality through magic. Sweat, determination and hard work may actually hinder, not help us, get where we want to go.

Over the past year, I have received my dreams by replacing stubborn determination with inner peace, replacing sweaty, hard work with passionate effort, and by being clear about what I really want. Not only am I receiving my dreams, but sometimes I have been given opportunities – amazing opportunities like living in Mexico – larger and more in line with my heart than my mind would have ever imagined. And I received all of this while I am enjoying my work, enjoying more moments in my day, being present with those I love, enjoying the beauty of nature, seeing the magic in every moment, and being astounded with coincidences which bring me more of what I desire. So how does it work you wonder?

Here are the three pieces which need to be in place to make your dreams come true through magic, not hard work:

  • Be Open to Receive: What are your deep beliefs about life? Is the world a supportive loving place or one of hardship? Do you believe you deserve to receive your dreams or are your personal sins or the injustices others experience reasons you should deny yourself joy? To experience an amazing life, you need to be a clean channel of receiving. Remove all doubt. Remove your past experience, familial beliefs, or expectations which are not in alignment with receiving magic. Remove your self-creating reasons you should not receive. Paint a new picture of a supportive world and remove anything within you that blocks that good. Make these changes deep within yourself. Much is said about vision boards and affirmations, but if your visual and auditory wishes do not match your internal energy, they are headed nowhere. Ensure you have clean energy ready to believe and receive.
  • Be Clear About What You Want: I am not talking about the red sports car and Tahitian vacation. Be clear about how you want to experience your life. Do you want calm peaceful days or adrenaline-filled adventure? Do you want a regimented work schedule or flexibility throughout your week? How do you want to experience others? It is not necessary, and actually better, if you don’t have all the details. Instead know the feeling you want to experience. Know the tenor of how you want to spend your days. Don’t look at the “how” you are going to make it happen, but focus on the “what” you will experience and the “why” you want to experience it. For example, for years I focused on the “how” of coaching in the forms of specific marketing campaigns, events, or coaching programs all with limited results. Now I focus on the “why” I coach (helping others escape the pain like I was in) and the “what” (my ability to mentor individuals to their own empowerment and enlightenment) and look for the ways which appear that give me the “how” needed to experience my why and what. I also focus on the “what” I want to experience in my personal life (flexible, easy going days filled with sunshine) and the “why” I want it (it makes my heart sing).
  • Take Fun Baby Steps: Magic only works if we take the first step. Even the tiniest baby step in the direction we want, can result in magic meeting us more than halfway. It does not have to be, and usually isn’t, a Herculean task – but it does require some effort. Throughout your day determine if what you are doing is bringing you closer to or further from the way you want to experience life and the gift you have to share with the world. Then adjust your efforts to be more in alignment. That is it. Small simple adjustments on a daily basis. If you try to push your effort or force things to happen in the way or the timing you imagine, you are actually hindering the process. The effort should be fun and easy. It can be a challenge at times, but if the action feels joyful and in alignment, you are on the right path.

As these concepts are counter to how we have been taught, they can be hard to embrace. Start one by one and build up your strength in each one. Over time you will find a new rhythm which flows you into your dream life without all that pesky hard work and struggle.

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