Why I Don’t Believe in Hard Work

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Working hard.

For a long time in my life, I thought I had to work hard. I thought I had to sacrifice. And put in my time now. And do things—all kinds of things. Obligations and chores and grunt-work and tedious stuff. Until I earned my keep. Until I earned my way to the top.

It was a system of “strive now, enjoy later.” Except it never made much sense to me. Because if I strived and strived and strived now, who’s to say that I’d be able to enjoy when this elusive “later” came along? And why am I waiting to start living, to start enjoying? Until I feel like I earned it?

I remember when I first left my PR career. People thought I was nuts. I was a co-owner of a very successful firm. I made great money—especially for my age. And, when I said that I wanted to slow down, relax, and heal myself, dozens of people said to me, “You’ll have time for all of that later. Now’s the time in your career to bust your ass and make money.”

But I couldn’t. I couldn’t keep “working hard.” Even in that term is the implication that it has to be hard and painful and miserable. That it can’t be easy. That it can’t be working intensely or working determinedly or working persistently. No, it’s specifically working hard. And we’re a culture of hard workers.

So much so that I couldn’t relax. I remember when I first left my job, and I ended up sitting on the couch for two weeks straight. I hardly had the energy to get up. And I felt so much shame and guilt. Like I was doing something wrong. Like if Garrett caught me he’d think I was the laziest person in the world. And I thought maybe I was. Since I didn’t want to work hard, maybe I was lazy. Maybe my dream life would be to do nothing.

So I resolved to find out. I sat on that couch until I felt the urge to get up and create something. And exactly two weeks later I did. And that was the first time I realized that I can do things because I want to. Not out of obligation or guilt or internal pressure. I could let my life be easy.

And let’s just say it hasn’t be an easy journey every step of the way. But it hasn’t been hard either. Because I refuse to let it be hard. I just do what feels right to me all hours of the day. Some days I only have the energy to work a few hours. Some days I want to work all day and night.

And the craziest part of all is that even those days I only work a few hours, I get a ton done. A ton. Because I actually want to do all of it. Like yesterday—I managed to do eight loads of laundry, sweep and steam the floors, run the dishwasher, and make the bed—all after running my latest round of the Circle and typing up all my client notes.

Sure, it was a lot. But it felt easy. Because it was what I most wanted to do yesterday. So I did it.

Not because I felt like I should. Or because I somehow owe something to Garrett. Or because people were coming over. I cleaned the whole house because it was just what I felt like doing. Because I deserve it. And that’s enough.

I remember once—maybe six months ago—my mom said to me, “Well, you deserve all the success you’re getting because you worked so hard for it.” And I thought for a moment. And then said, “Well, I deserve it just because I am—regardless of how ‘hard’ or not I’ve worked. But I have done a lot of great things, so thank you.”

Because I’m sick of this myth that receiving is somehow equated to giving. That the amount of success can be measured by how hard the work is. That striving and pushing and forcing are the keys to abundance. That there’s no place for ease in the world of business.

Because, in my experience, none of that’s true. And I refuse to work hard. Maybe I’ll work passionately on days that I feel like it. Maybe I’ll work intensely on projects that I’m invested in. But you’ll never catch me working hard. Because I deserve better. I deserve to have my gluten-free flourless chocolate cake and eat it too. I deserve to enjoy my life now and later. Because—guess what—it’s all my life. And I don’t know how long I have of it. And I’m not willing to waste an ounce of it on living a life I don’t love.

So I can have it all. We all can. It’s scary. And it takes some unlearning. And some relearning. And some self-trust. And a little bit of faith. But we can let go of the struggle. We can let go of the hustle.

We can let it all be easy.

It amazes me constantly how much I resist letting it be easy. But we can all do it.

My life is really, really fun and easy. And I’m not going to be ashamed of it anymore. And—you know what?! It’s going to keep getting easier and easier.

And if it’s possible for me, it’s possible for you too. Let’s let life be easy. Let’s let others help us. Let’s let support in.

And let’s give up on thinking that hard work is somehow more noble.

Because, at the end of the day, the only thing that matters is if you loved your life. And you deserve that more than anything else.

2 Responses to "Why I Don’t Believe in Hard Work"
  1. Yes, yes yes! Love this.

  2. Chelsea says:

    I have some good ideas and I know that life is supposed to be enjoyed. I am into spirituality and the more I go further the more I know I cannot continue the job I have. I literally typed I don’t believe in work, and here you are. I could use alittle guidance.

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