Call me old-fashioned, but I enjoy a good sweat, getting my hands dirty and digging into a project; whatever that task or chore may be. And my contentment is not a byproduct of merely completing a job or solving a problem, I also derive great pleasure in the doing, the effort.
In a way, we are victims of our technological successes: email, instant messaging, texting, cell phones that connect us to every form of electronic media and communication…especially the Internet. While these amazing innovations have made our lives somewhat easier than they used to be, in return they may have also created more problems than they’re worth.
Maybe it’s just me, my generation? Or better put: my generation’s generation gap.
“Oh, these kids today!” Every generation has adults offering up that lament, for as many diverse reasons as freckles on the sunburned face of a fair-haired teen.
But I see it all the time, from my perspective as a leader at my workplace, to observing my soon-to-be-college-graduated son.
What do I see?
An aversion to that age-old rite of passage in ones life when the youth of the day must pay their dues, start from the bottom and work for peanuts, with the hope and goal, through arduous effort and some luck, of getting somewhere. Hopefully a well-paying job, a satisfying career, but mostly the gratifying feeling of accomplishing something that was worth rolling up those sleeves and breaking a sweat for.
Call is sweat equity or the school of hard knocks. Or how about that good, old-fashioned sensation one derives from enjoying the journey, no matter how long it may be, despite how dire the odds may seem, pursuing a goal that you may or may not attain?
That’s what I mean by old-fashioned. Because today’s generation looks at me like I suddenly sprouted a third eye in the middle of my face whenever I talk about not just the necessity of effort, but the satisfying feeling said effort brings.
Hold on, I’m getting a text…
Okay, what were you saying?
This: No success gained without effort, real effort, is worth having.
And this: No successful individual got that way without first failing: more than likely several times! You can look it up.
SUCCESS IS IN THE EFFORT
And if you discover someone who somehow appears to have attained greatness unscathed…look again! Somewhere in that so-called successful person’s past, or future, failure lurks.
AND THAT’S A GOOD THING!
Without failure we never learn.
Without failure we do not grow.
Without failure we do not try.
Without failure we do not succeed.
And without effort you will never fail, thus you will never succeed.
All I’m really saying here is:
HARD WORK NEVER HURT ANYONE.
And working hard at something that occupies your mind (and body) in a positive, creative, interesting, challenging, altruistic, humane, productive, and worthwhile way, is the only way you, or anyone, will every become successful. Or fulfilled. Or content.
Or, ultimately, happy.
Work is an integral part of life and without effort you are not alive, not living.
Roll up those sleeves, put your nose to the grindstone, and don’t be afraid to get your hands dirty. It will be worth the effort, in more ways that you can imagine.
Until next time…