Work is the key

Work is the key

"Cursed is the ground because of you; through painful toil you will eat of it all the days of your life. It will produce thorns and thistles for you, and you will eat the plants of the field. By the sweat of your brow you will eat your food until you return to the ground, since from it you were taken; for dust you are and to dust you will return." - Genesis 3:17-19

And this is just our curse for life. Work is not meant to be fun. Work is not meant to be enjoyed. Just look at ants, those busybodies. We are supposed to work like them. There has to be an easier way.

I have inside me this paradox. I want to become successful, but not with too much work. My struggle is with laziness and with not following through with the things I have started. Sub-consciously I have had the mentality: "Nobody really likes work. Why would I be different?" I want to take the easy road to success. I have even set goals to achieve what I perceive as success, only to come short of one ingredient - action. I want to be like Robert Frost and say that I took the path less travelled, yet the path of least resistance, of laziness, is much easier. I have come to realise for things to change I must change.

But where does one begin? I went back to the books I have read and the people whom I respect. I studied the likes of Tiger Woods and Bill Gates. Of all the successful people I have studied, to the last one, they are hard workers. We often dream of living a life like Tiger Woods must surely lead. But Tiger's work on golf started when he was just three years old. Would you want to work for seventeen years at one thing until you make a success of it and continue to work on it day in and day out? Bill Gates would often work throughout the night and his co-workers would go home and when they would come back the next day, he would still be there. Eighteen-hour days, seven days per week. Do you want to work that hard? 

Work, the noun, means the "expenditure of energy, striving, application of effort to some purpose" (Oxford dictionary) or "the exertion of strength; effort directed to an end" (President New English Dictionary). Often we want the purpose or end, but are not willing to expend the energy. They say a journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step, but what they often neglect to say is that you have about two million steps to go. Yes, success is hard work and if you are not a hard worker, success will remain but a distant dream.

So what are we, who tend to inertia, to do? It is simple really: just take the next step, and the next, and the next, and the next... For every step of your journey, you will come up with excuses or reasons not to go on. Use your mind to steamroller these objections. What do I mean by this? Let me use an example. Until recently I had a problem getting up in the morning when my alarm would go off. Often I would snooze it until there is no more snooze left on the alarm (an hour later). What I started to do is, the evening before, I would imagine what I would feel like when the alarm goes off. How I would grumble while still feeling very sleepy. I would imagine how I would go to the bathroom even thinking that I would want to sleep some more. I would then pre-programme my mind to react to these objections and steamroller them. I would switch of the alarms instead of snoozing it ("Its too much effort to set the alarm again just to get some more sleep"), I would switch on the radio ("I cannot sleep with all that noise and its too much effort to switch off as its in a different room") and I would start the bath tap running ("I would not want to waste the water already run"). After a bath or shower I would be awake and not thinking of sleep anymore. And in the end I would even imagine being proud of myself for overcoming my own objections and getting up early. In the same way we should do this with all the other things that require work or effort - imagine your objections, imagine yourself steamrolling your objections and most important of all imagine you are successful at it.

What if you would fail? What if you would fall? Just get up and take the next step. Never cease your journey because you have fallen. Remember how far you have come - all the steps you have taken. If you want to be successful, work is the key. Yes, even repetitive work. And after you have toiled, you will come to realise "The pen might be mightier than the sword, but the plough is mightier than all."