I will occasionally speak with someone who's busy. By "occasionally" I mean almost every day, and by "someone" I mean everyone between the ages of 11 and 71. It seems everyone you speak with has double or triple the responsibilities of those very same roles two or three decades ago.
I've shared my thoughts on our society of busy-bodies in the past. Our children have two or three practices or rehearsals, in hopes they'll become more successful, well-rounded adults. Many adults have more than one job, family needs and personal goals to balance as we aim to become everything for everyone. Even the elderly have learned that complete retirement, with it's lack of activity, can be detrimental to their physical and mental health.
This all adds up to a society that never sees a red light. Keeping our foot on the pedal, at any stage in life, can quickly add up the stress mileage. But is all the activity truly necessary? Or are we mistaking activity for accomplishment? Are we really going about things in the smartest way possible?
For the sake of this article, I think we can categorize people into three groups. Those who don't see the value of hard work, those who have become addicted to hard work, and those who understand when hard work is needed because they also work smart.
Having the willingness to work hard and understanding the benefit of working smart is my second core value. It's important to emphasize both hard and smart work because once we identify the value of hard work, we can quickly become addicted to simply being busy, rather than preferring to be productive.
My first core value, which I shared last week, is having a positive outlook. Identifying my first two core values was easy once I understood how to set them. I wanted to help, work with and associate with people who understand that change is possible (optimism) but they also know a fair amount of effort (hard, smart work) is required.
Both goals support each other. What's the point in being optimistic if you don't want to work for the higher aspirations? Being lazy and optimistic is a fool's combination, a recipe for unfulfillment. But on the other hand, working hard without a positive outlook on life will surely lead you to a life devoid of meaning.
If you want more out of life, ask yourself, "Am I optimistic about my potential to change?" Further, also ask yourself, "Am I willing to put in an intelligent and diligent effort towards my happiness?" The answers to these questions can easily give shape to your future health, happiness and level of success.
The takeaway from this week's article is that hard work needn't be a mindless, tedious, nose-to-the-grindstone experience. But if we're not taking the time to plan our work out, that is exactly what it can become. If we don't develop an overarching strategy to guide us, the chances of becoming an automaton quickly increase.
By now, you should expect a blog to be partnered with this article. This week is no different. Head over to www.FreshEvolutionFitness.com, click "blogs," and click "How to work hard and smart to win big." I expand upon the topic while offering up some great tools, useful quizzes and awesome info for your brains.
To wrap the week up, if a sophisticated old guy holding a beer wished to summarize this article, he would merely say, "I don't always work hard, but when I do, I work smart." Stay optimistic my friends.
Andy Frisch, NASM CPT, CES, PES, WFS, IFT, NESTA FNC, is a successful personal trainer and nutrition coach who enjoys working with clients of all shapes, sizes and ages. He currently train clients at Sports Village Fitness in Lebanon, works with clients online at www.FreshEvolutionFitness.com.
What's your goal?
I've yet to hear an athlete say, "Oh, I dunno, I just went to the gym, worked out all the time, and blammo! I won the gold." No, there is a high amount of smart work required, as well. The saying, "practice makes perfect" is wrong. Rather, "perfect practice makes perfect" is much more appropriate.
Take the quiz
Are you a workaholic? Take the quiz online at freshevolutionfitness.com under the blog post "How to work hard to win big."