Is it true that hard work pays off? If I work hard, will I get better?
Yes. Both are true.
And they’re true in more ways than you think.
Losing weight is a positive result of exercise and diet. Reading music and being able to play guitar is a positive result of practice. Having a well-manicured lawn is the result of consistent effort.
And the secondary benefit of hard work is a better version of you.
After working hard consistently, you’re now a person who understands setting a goal and working toward it’s competition. You now have an understanding of single-minded determination.
After setting a goal, learning how to do it, and showing up everyday to execute you’ve changed.
You downloaded new information to learn what you needed to learn. You ran your new program for weeks and months. You’ve upgraded yourself.
Here’s the problem.
If we don’t do it right, we’ll give back our gains. We won’t want to keep working hard. We’ll stop doing it.
You and I are also capable of completing a back-breaking task like digging a ditch. But once completed, will we ever want to do it again?
We’ve all worked hard at something only to slip back into familiar patterns or behaviors. We’ve all been guilty of losing weight and gaining it back. In the interest of avoiding the YoYo effect, we need to explore our motivations.
Why’d you do it?
What was the last thing you worked hard to get? Was your reason or motivation internal or intrinsic? Meaning, did you do it because you wanted it for yourself? Did you drop 10 pounds because you were sick of feeling sluggish?
Or was your reason or motivation external or extrinsic? Meaning, did you drop the weight because you were getting married in two months and your partner asked you to do it?
Now let’s dig deeper and position you for long-term success in everything you do. Let’s make sure your hard work will be worth it.
Let’s talk about how to properly work hard.
You see, when you understand yourself and your capacity for hard work, you can make most any change happen in your life.
Overview of what we’ll cover:
- Examine your existing beliefs and emotions around hard work
- Decide how you’d like to feel and think about hard work
- What do you want?
- What’s required to get what you want?
- Put Your Hard Work to Work
Examine your Existing Beliefs and Emotions Around Hard Work
What’s really holding you back from consistent hard work?
We all have core beliefs, whether we’re aware of them or not. Much like your phone has an operating system that’s always running in the background, our core beliefs are always guiding our decision making.
Some of them were given to us at birth, many were installed when we were very little, and some have been downloaded along the way.
When you start thinking about yours, you’ll begin to recognize what your current version is. If you’re happy with them, excellent. If you’re not, I’ve got good news- you can change them. It won’t be easy, but you can do it.
Beliefs About Hard Work
Here is a list of prompts about hard work. As you read through them, write down the first thing that comes to mind; don’t overthink it.
- People who work hard are
- Hard work makes people
- I’d work harder if
- My parents thought hard work would
- In my family, hard work
- Hard work equals
- If I worked hard, I’d
- Hard work is
- Hard work causes
- Hard work is not
- In order to work hard consistently, I’d need to
- When I work hard, I usually
- I think hard work
- People think hard work
Now that you’ve written your initial thoughts on each of these, go back through and think more deeply about the ones that we’re the most triggering.
If you find you have negativity towards hard work, it’s important to dig into your past to figure out where that negativity is coming from.
Until you confront any negative beliefs around hard work, you won’t commit to doing it consistently.
The more you can dig into your past and examine it, the better the chances of changing your beliefs from negative to positive.
To help you in this process, you can access our Values Course at no-cost.
Decide How You’d Like to Feel and Think About Hard Work
Once I’m financially successful, then I’ll embrace hard work. Once I get that car, then I’ll be happy. Once I’m married and have a family, then I’ll be happy. Does any of that sound familiar?
We have an odd relationship with goals and happiness, and too often, we think about them
the wrong way. So, instead of thinking “once I get more money, then I’ll be happy,” decide how you want to feel, then think deeply about why you want what you want.
Once you’ve done that, then you’ll set your goals.
I’ve found word association helps me to get clear on how I truly want to feel.
For example, when I hear Good Parent, I feel present, I feel fully engaged, I feel locked-in and focused, I feel satisfaction. I have really good and strong feelings around being a good parent. This is a clear priority for me.
Let’s go through some hard work word association. For each, write down your initial feelings.
- Hard worker
- Force of nature
The idea is to figure out how you want to feel. Once you’ve gone through each one, go back through them again and dig deeper. You can certainly add more as well.
To help you in this process, you can access our Goals Course at no-cost, where you’ll go deeper into this process.
What Do You Want?
As humans, our ability to create the future we desire is a superpower.
When you take the time to reflect on what you want your future to look like, when you create a plan of action, and then execute that plan through hard work, most any reality can be yours.
It’s time to create the future you desire.
For each prompt, write down what you want
- Your career
- Your finances
- Your family
- Your community
- Your physical body
- Your mental health
- Your emotional health
- Your spiritual life
- Your intellectual life
- Your hobbies, interests and passions
Be honest with yourself. Don’t judge yourself. What you want is what you want, and it’s great (whatever it is). These are your goals, this is your life, and you’ve got one shot at it.
Plan for the life you want to live.
Again, you can access our Goals Course at no-cost, where you’ll go deeper into this process.
What’s Required to Get What You Want?
You’ve examined your existing beliefs. You’ve decided how you want to feel. You’ve clarified your goals. Now it’s time to figure out what’s required to bring your goals to life.
- Your career- What’s required?
- Your finances- What’s required?
- Your family- What’s required?
- Your community- What’s required?
- Your physical body- What’s required?
- Your mental health- What’s required?
- Your emotional health- What’s required?
- Your spiritual life- What’s required?
- Your intellectual life- What’s required?
- Your hobbies, interests and passions- What’s required?
Do you know how to do the things it will take?
Do you possess the knowledge to make your desired reality your actual reality?
If not, where will you get the new learnings and knowledge you need?
Once you acquire the knowledge you need, are you willing to do what it takes?
Yes or no?
Put Your Hard Work to Work
It’s time to execute. To apply hard work to achieving your goals.
When will you do the things it will take?
One reason people fail to consistently work hard is their failure to systemize.
Your SOP (Standard operating procedure)
A standard operating procedure is a set of step-by-step instructions compiled by an organization to help their people get what needs to get done, completed.
If it’s for an organization, why would an individual have one?
If you have a simple, straightforward and uncomplicated life, you probably don’t need one. Odds are, you have a complex life with a lot of moving parts. The more you can systematize and put structure around the things that need to get done, the better.
Keeping on top of everything that needs to happen on a daily, weekly and monthly basis is important.
- Checklists. One day, perhaps many of the things you need to be successful will be second nature. Until that day, make a checklist for everything that needs doing. For example, having a morning checklist for your routine can help ensure everything gets done.
- Calendar. What gets scheduled, gets done. If you don’t put all of your important activities into your calendar, they’ll get bumped by some other “emergency.” For example, schedule your self-care and workouts into your calendar.
- Automate. The more we can take our hands off the wheel, the better. For example, set up automatic bill pay and automatic contributions to your saving and investment accounts.
- Delegate. Get a financial advisor, coach, or join a mastermind. If there’s an area you lack in, find someone or something that can support you in your change.
Hard work pays off.
If you work hard, you will get better.
Here’s a harsh reality: No one cares.
Your hard work may go unrecognized. It may go unrecognized for years.
For too many of us, this reality stops us from starting, or it stops us from continuing.
Here’s a mantra I urge you to embrace: No one cares, work harder.
No one cares about your success more than you do.
No one is more invested in your success than you are (with the exception of your loved ones).
You have choice.
You can choose to tap into your superpower and to create the future you desire.
Will you accept personal responsibility?
What’s your first step?
Success is available to you, get started.
Connect with one of our Certified Partners to get any question answered.
Stay up to date by getting our monthly updates.
Check out the LifeBlood podcast.
Connect with one of our Certified Coaches.
Invest in one of our Courses.
LifeBlood is supported by our audience. If you purchase through links on our site, we may earn an affiliate commission. Learn more.