Why Are You Working So Hard?

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-by Matt Leedham

Hustle, hustle, hustle. Busy, busy, busy!

Do you ever stop for a moment and ask yourself how you got so busy? I don’t know about you, but when look back on my life, I’ve exponentially gotten busier and busier. Yet I have not exponentially increased anything – not wealth, not happiness, not fulfillment, not meaning or purpose.

So what’s the deal? We work harder and harder, push ourselves farther and farther, and spread ourselves thinner and thinner. But for what?

We all have choices. Sometimes we convince ourselves that we don’t by saying things like, “I can’t just work less,” or “I can’t completely change directions after all these years.”

Actually, you can. But you choose not to.

What’s the “why” behind that choice? That’s the question. Are you staying busy because of a value or priority, or are you doing it for someone else? Are you doing it to feel important, or are you already important, regardless of what you do?

Some people work hard because they need the money. I look at the cleaning staff that comes into my office around 5:30pm to pick up trash and tidy things up. I know that it’s their 2nd, or in some cases, 3rd job. They’ve got families to support, and working multiple jobs brings in the money they need to make ends meet.

But when you think about it for a minute, even those that “need” the money, are making a choice to work that hard. They could choose to have one job (or no job), and not make enough money to feed and clothe their families. Instead, they choose to work hard. Their choice is not about staying busy or feeling important. It’s grounded in their values and priorities. They sacrifice their own personal enjoyment so that their kids can have a good education and have even more choices. That seems like a motivating and inspiring reason to work hard.

What’s your inspiration for working so hard?

Who are you doing it for? What are you doing it for?

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