This phrase is a mantra with my teenager who has intense desires, but often wishes it didn’t take so much (or any?) work.
But it’s not just my son. I have dragged myself through getting my house ready for sale. I had to do it anyway, my resistance made the process worse. I often procrastinate in digging into the details of a client event (don’t worry, I’m working carefully on yours). I sometimes write-off someone who annoys me, even though he or she is important to my results.
The work might be actual physical or task work, but often it’s a relationship (or lack of) work, a complex organizational change or dynamic, a strategy that really requires hard thinking (that’s work), and more. The two most common pieces of hard work that my clients struggle to make time for are:
- Thinking deeply about their key stakeholders as individuals and as players in dynamic play.
- Their career-life plan, with alternative paths forward and threads back into the present.
Why put off the work or take a surface dive? Because it’s hard work and you have to put the time aside to do it. And, time is precious and often consumed by the immediate.
Sometimes the hard work has to be sustained well beyond what feels reasonable. Even worse, because we tend to want (not instant) but quick results for things that seem so do-abel or logical.
Everyone reading this post has done and is doing hard work. What I’m talking about is the stuff that matters that you are putting off or pretending you are doing or you are staying mostly unconscious about.
This week ask yourself two questions:
- What do I desire that requires me to do the hard work that I don’t want to do?
- What complaint could be turned around if I dug into the work?
If you still feel the resistance rising inside, ask yourself: “How badly do I want the outcome?”
Let me know how this post strikes you.