How many times have we heard this phrase?
In the past, this was a great motivator to get me back to diligently working. Wait…I was already working diligently. Maybe I should say it was a back-handed question to get me to work harder. I would eventually come to resent this completely overused phrase.
As I started to work with Strengths and working on what is right with me and those I coach, I started to appreciate this phrase but in a whole new way. Work is meant to be fun, meaningful, purpose driven and exciting. We all know what it feels like to work “in the zone.” Those are the activities where we work hard in and yet feel like we are hardly working. We complete our work with a smile and with ease. Time flies, energy is drawn from the intense effort left in the project, celebration is had when there is impact on those around us. This is our sweet spot.
Working hard OR hardly working no longer is a “this” or “that”. Hardly working will appear when you are working hard in activities you are called to do. Here are a few things to help you Work Hard so can you be Hardly Working:
1) Hard work – are you struggling at a project or activity in your work? Does it take far more energy to focus and complete it? You know you can do the work but it just isn’t as natural for you as you know it is for your co-worker or even manager. Ask for help. Partner with someone who has the natural talent to help you work on this. If there is even a way to delegate it to someone who loves this work, do it! You are serving them and now freeing yourself up to complete an energizing task for yourself.
2) Working Hard – Take it from me, you can’t be successful if you don’t work hard. You have to put in the time and effort to get to where you want. Sacrifices will be made and time will be spent but the key to working hard is working on things that come natural to you. I spent many years working in jobs that weren’t natural and some were even down right soul crushing because I wasn’t good at the job. These were roles I was ‘told’ I would be good at or even felt I ‘had’ to do to prove something. I felt like a failure but once I started putting my energy into things I was good at and really loved working on, I became successful. Focus on the things that you are drawn to, that people notice you for and the things that light you up at the end of the day.
3) Hardly Working – Your sweet spot. As a facilitator, I am absolutely exhausted at the end of my sessions but somehow always manage to be on cloud nine when participants thank me for the class, the content or the revelation they had. Standing, speaking and engaging adults can be extremely hard work but knowing that I am able to change their lives and be in the work I love, its hardly work at all. Finding your sweet spot that leaves you drained but fulfilled, complete but craving more, challenged but engaged is what working hard but hardly working is all about.
So ask yourself, are you working hard and hardly working?
Make it a great day!
Strengths-based Development (SBD) is our passion, commitment and life. Team reCreate is devoted to work that creates transformation, meaning and purpose in the lives of those we serve. This space is meant for you to get to know us, learn more about Strengths and hear from others in this line of work. Thanks for being on this journey with us!