Are You Winning?
Who is keeping score of your hard work? Do those who work the hardest and longest win? How long is the game? When does the buzzer sound so we can tally up the results?
I think many, including myself at times, have a race-mindset today. Things are moving faster than we can keep up and the players in the field keeping upping their game. We are rushing to get courses made that our competitors are surely almost done with and probably better than yours and if I don’t finish my book before the topic is irrelevant I’ve just wasted months of effort.
One of my strengths from the Gallup StrengthsFinder 2.0 test was Achiever. I am motivated by doing things. There are no rest days for me. Ever. My habits and routines get done. Not a day goes by when I go to bed without knowing that I worked hard or accomplished something. I can’t explain it, but the act of doing things is a big part of me. It’s why I set daily goals that I think will help my online business because I know I will accomplish goals that are in place. It’s who I am. But, who cares? At the end of the day I feel better about myself, but does anyone really care? Am I winning? Am I competing against lazy people who may be really happy watching Netflix while I’m still grinding away? We both probably made the same amount of money, but I feel like I am the winner because I work harder and longer than most. I have work stamina that rivals Gary Vee (well, maybe not quite, but…). The problem is Gary Vee makes money and I just work to up my game and be the best version of myself I can be.
And the winner is…
The one who is happy and fulfilled. I work extremely hard all the time and really believe I am headed in the right direction, but I still have nothing to sell or offer. I work really hard on my podcast and Instagram and daily writing and my newsletter, as if patting myself on the back and having friends notice my efforts is enough. It’s really not and I know it. I need to work smarter. While my daily habits and hard work is helping me leaps and bounds, there comes a time when you must pivot or shift into another gear.
The bottom line is working hard is a requirement for success, but the hard work must be with intention and purpose if you want to win the game. I have struggled with this my whole life. In college, I pulled all nighters all the time but out of 10 hours of staring at my books, I may have only studied for an hour. Being in the library all night made me feel better because I was trying and everyone around me knew I was the most diligent and focused student ever, but I was fooling myself. Falling asleep on my books was no better than watching movies with my college friends, but it was the act of working that motivates me. Foolish really.
We are not in this world to work without purpose and direction. At least I’m not. I want to impact people, be happy and make a living. This will take hard work, but working for working is not the goal. You may get accolades from your family and friends, but take a look in the mirror and determine if you are really moving forward or if you are just riding around the rotary looking at Big Ben & Parliament over and over. You know what Albert said:
Insanity: doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results — Albert Einstein
There is no scorekeeper and no prize for hustling. Keep trying things until something works and then go deeper, not wider. Wide is where we work and work with minimal results. Deep is where we will see progress and rewards. My relentless creative habits and daily goals are helping me find my voice and narrow my focus so I can do work with purpose rather than just work because I feel better about myself.
Keep working hard, but make every second count because all work and no play makes Johnny a dull boy.
If you want to get to a better place, get going.