One of the pieces of advice about life that many young people hear is, “If you want to be successful and get ahead in life you need to work hard.” That advice means to get a good job and put your nose to the grindstone by working hard at it, and doing your best.
A lot of young people start out doing just that. They really put forth a great effort and work hard, sometimes working long hours and weekends too. They believe that being successful requires hard work, and they are willing to work as hard as they can so that they will be successful.
When things are not going as well as expected, many think that it is because they aren’t working as hard as they should, so they begin to work even harder. Many people in their 40’s and 50’s have taken on a second job. It certainly is a lot more work when you have two jobs than when you have just one job. That is definitely working harder.
I remember someone once saying, “Learn to work smarter, not harder.” What great advice that is.
I have nothing against hard work. I enjoy working hard, putting all of my effort and energy into the project at hand. And, it is true that if you are going to be successful you do need to work hard. But, if you look around you, it is evident that many people who have worked hard all their lives do not have enough means to enjoy their sunset years.
Plenty of people who have worked hard their whole lives are now struggling to support themselves. So, they still work a job. I’m willing to bet you that most of the over 60 crowd you see pouring your coffee at Denny’s, or greeting you at Wal-Mart, are not there by choice. And yet, they worked hard all their life. What happened?
Is there a deeper issue to consider? It is very obvious that just working hard will not bring you success. It is true; working smarter can be very advantageous. But, it seems that something vitally important is often overlooked or dismissed.
The picture that you carry of yourself will determine the course you take in life. If you have no specific, clearly defined goals or desires, you will not just wake up someday in nirvana, with a well padded retirement account.
Yes, we work hard to be successful, but we also have to choose to be successful. It is a decision. It is a conscious effort. It takes mental discipline. It is a deliberate mindset.
It takes consistently evaluating our thoughts and then changing those thoughts when necessary.
It takes specific goals and desires that we must pursue with diligence. It is up to us to reevaluate and reformulate those goals and desires as life changes. A lot more is needed to be successful than just arriving at a job and working hard all day!
In addition, we must remember that negative, defeating thoughts will always produce defeat. Fears and worries will bring failure.
It is through positive, successful mind processes, that we come up with ideas for success. When we keep our mind focused on our desires, opportunities become very obvious to us. That is a big part of the “working smarter.”
Our culture has really changed in the last 40 years. Working for one company and then retiring with a nice pension has become almost obsolete. Staying at the same job for a long time is becoming a novelty. And social security will not pay you enough, even if it’s still there when you retire.
So, work hard at your job, but work even harder with your brain. Stay clear and focused on where you truly desire to go in life. Stay clear on the things that you really desire to see happen, and then, act on those desires.
Look for and expect opportunities to come your way. Expect to have more ideas for your own personal success. And, never forget that the Creator has promised to give you the desires of your heart.
And by the way, the next time you’re in Denny’s and a grandmother waits on your table, give her a ten or twenty dollar tip.