How exhausting. Hard work is a necessary part of life. How many times have we been counselled to work hard in order to achieve our goals? To just push on, give more, put more effort in, sounds like a recipe for being ‘Worn Out’ maybe even ‘Burnt Out’.
It certainly does take a concerted effort to progress in anything whether it is sport, music, academics or our career. Even more so when we don’t feel like it. But, ‘working hard’ is an incomplete message.
Alone, it isn’t necessarily going to get you to where you want to be. Working hard is meant to be coupled with, working smart. That’s where you get success.
When you set a goal, whether it’s to become fitter or get better grades, working hard alone won’t achieve the measure of success you’re looking for. Instead, a much better use of all that energy is to make a plan to help you reach your goal.
For those striving to become fitter a balanced approach to diet and exercise is going to be much more fruitful than eating whatever you want and then heading to the gym when you remember to go or because you’re guilt ridden from that donut you had after lunch, or that gym membership you paid for that keeps staring at you.
Likewise, the student that is wanting better grades will benefit more from setting a study plan and addressing the areas in which they need to improve, and sticking to it rather than just doing more study that does not take into consideration the areas for improvement.
Once you have drafted your plan of attack, that’s when hard work and perseverance has to come in to get you through to achieving it. Enter, discipline.
The dreaded discipline. If you’re like me that word sounds like such a drag, like doing chores when you were a kid. Do the dishes, sweep the floors, take the trash out… and actually, it might feel a bit like that when you start, like a chore. But over time, discipline becomes a habit, making it easier for you to focus on the more important things in life whilst maintaining a healthy home whether that be your environment, your mind or your body. It’s not a bout rigid rules, it’s more about living a smart lifestyle, one that incorporates your priorities and helps you reinforce those priorities regularly. This works across the board like health, relationships, study, and work, even our relationship with God. Our motivations initially take us to the gym, or to our desk, but they don’t last. Discipline carries the task through, to STICK to it.
So TOP TIP: Ask yourself – What do I want to prioritise? And how do I serve that priority’s best interest?
As a Christian, our top priority within the Virtue Ministry team is our relationship with Jesus. Every one of us on the team know that we can’t serve each other to our best ability, we can’t minister to the people we meet, and consequently our work isn’t fulfilling when we’re not in relationship with Christ. Having this priority is all well and good, but the reality of serving this priority is hard. It does take hard work, but it also means making plans, and putting that plan into action daily to grow in relationship with Him. Making intentional time for reflection, meditation and prayer. Work hard, yes, but work smart.
My love and prayers assured,
Stina was born and raised a Norwegian and completed her Bachelor of Psychology and Master of Social Work in Australia. She currently works in both the post-separation sector and supporting families with children diagnosed with cancer and other life threatening illnesses, whilst also being the current Young City Female Ambassador for Wagga Wagga, NSW.