My three old son, Jack, loves to work. He calls himself a “working man” and he gets upset if we don’t let him help us vacuum, move furniture, drive the forklift, change light bulbs, etc. He loves projects and he begs me to take him to work with me because he “just loves meetings.” At three, he already loves to work hard.
This warms my heart and makes me proud. The world needs more people who work hard.
I cultivate this love to work by showing him that I work hard, too, and that it is enjoyable and rewarding. I make work fun (even if that work is folding laundry or doing dishes) and never do it begrudgingly…rather I find something to appreciate about whatever I am doing at the moment (except spreadsheets…it’s hard for me to find joy in building spreadsheets and I am grateful to those whose talents lie in Excel).
Being a hard worker is a quality that I admire in people. I appreciate those who go the extra mile, are committed to quality, engage in what they do every day (no matter what the task), and drive themselves to be great at their job/passion/life. To have (and be part of) a successful organization, people who work hard are needed. And it’s helpful being around hard-working people…their sense of pride in what they do is contagious.
So why is working hard so enjoyable, at least to me?
Because my self-confidence increases through my efforts.
Self-confidence is gained by achieving something and it’s hard to achieve something unless you work at it. Confidence builds upon itself and comes through the commitment to do the work that needs to be done (and then some), persevering even when you are tired and want to give up and quit. The more you accomplish, the more confidence you gain.
For example, when I built my own website, I felt a huge sense of accomplishment (I am a non-techy person and never imagined in a million years I could do it myself). It gave me the confidence to start writing my blog. The more I write, the more confident I feel. I’m several steps closer to making my dream of writing a New York Times Bestsellers List book possible.
Now that feels pretty dang good (even though it’s not easy) and feeling good is enjoyable.
An important thing to note, though, is that being a hard worker does not mean you always have to be working. To be at your best, you must have downtime. It’s easy to burn out and damage your health and relationships if you don’t balance work with all the other important aspects of your life (read my blog on why being successful means having a balanced life here). Every day you should make time to relax, unplug, have some fun, play with your kids/dog/cat, engage in a meaningful conversation with your significant other, and laugh (aka don’t take yourself so seriously).
And then get you can get back to work!