Working hard at something is an art. Or is it a science? Or is it a mentality? I recently finished reading a Larry Bird book. He is the former basketball player who, along with Magic Johnson, are credited with saving the NBA in the 80’s. He attributed most of his success to his work ethic. He said that his father worked hard and he just followed suit. I guess that is what I am asking. Do you have it? Do you get it? Or does it get started early?
I once read an article about how teaching/telling kids that they work hard at things is more valuable than telling them they are smart. The article goes on to address a study of subjects, the focus group that was told they were hard workers fared better in the study then the subjects that were told they were smart. I get it. But can we teach both?
I love hard work. I love the feeling of sweat running down my shirt because I went out and gave it the ole Puritan work ethic type of day. I love the digging in and getting something accomplished, it does wonders for my soul. But you know what? I love working really smart too. I mean the ability to get from point A to D, without skipping steps B and C, but actually finding a better way. That is really rewarding.
Sometimes we beat ourselves up if we think we got some place rewarding without taxing and laboring for it. As long as you are not cheating or skipping, but actually getting better, more efficient, more economical, more ecological, etc. then it is something you worked hard for. Work hard at working smarter.
For me it comes down to this preconceived notion that we always hear, you CAN’T really have it all. You CAN’T have financial success and happiness. You CAN’T have success at work and a happy family balance. You CAN’T work hard and work smart. Or can you? And can you teach it? Whoever said that, did they have a bad work ethic? Were they not a hard worker or not very smart? I think you CAN have it all you just have to figure out how to get there. The best way to teach working smart and hard together is like Larry’s Birds dad taught him, to model it.