Years ago, I heard a very wise man make a statement that has shaped my philosophy on work. It was the kind of statement that was so strong I only needed to hear it one time to remember it for the rest of my life. The gentleman said, “Hard work has never hurt anyone, but trying to decide which work to do has put a lot of people in the grave!” He went on to explain that all of us can handle hard work. In fact, most of us have more to do than we can accomplish in a day’s time, so we know what it means to work hard. We understand that if we expect to succeed in any endeavor, it will take going the second and third mile to reach our goals. So, working hard is not really the issue.
The real issue (and the most challenging part) is trying to decide which work to do. We need to find work to do that we are qualified and gifted to do and work we will enjoy. If we do not do that, we will experience a lot of stress associated with what we do on a daily basis and stress can kill us! If we do not love what we do, our body and our mind will be at war within us to keep us from reaching our full potential. And, while we may be working hard, we may not be doing the work that is right for us.
Much has been written over the years about what kills people. Bookstores are full of books devoted to the subjects of eating proper kinds of food and getting the right amount of exercise. All of that is well and good, however, there is no conclusive evidence that either of those activities really cause a person to live longer. I am sure that most of us have heard of someone who had a terrible diet and lived to an old age. On the other hand, we have all read about young, healthy athletes who dropped dead while exercising. Don’t get me wrong; I believe those things are important and we should take care of ourselves. I believe we should be good stewards of our bodies by feeding them correctly and keeping them as healthy and strong as we possibly can with proper exercise and rest.
However, like my mentor, I also believe that work stress is the silent killer among us all. When we are under severe stress, it causes us to feel down, discouraged and depressed which can cause all kinds of emotional and physical ailments. That is why the gentleman encouraged us to find the hidden talent that lies within each one of us in order to do something that we love and enjoy.
This is not something that the majority of us find early in life. It often takes us many years of “trial and error” before we find what we really love to do. But, if we do not set our minds to discover that hidden talent within us, we will never find it. I am a firm believer that once a person finds what he or she loves to do, then the stress level decreases and productivity increases. Besides that, someone once said, “If you love what you do and you do what you love, then every day is a vacation!” I have found that to be very true. I was 42 years old before I found my life’s calling, so don’t be too hard on yourself if you have not found yours yet!
Let me encourage you to continue to work hard at whatever you are doing. I would not suggest that anyone haphazardly “jump ship” on their current occupation – especially if they do not have any money in the bank or a backup plan. However, I would encourage everyone to search their heart for that one thing they really have a strong desire to do. Finding love, passion, and genius inside of your own heart for what you were created to do will increase your life, your health and your success rate. If you spend your whole life doing something that you hate, you really are not living life, you are only enduring it! When you live with that kind of stress it will only be a matter of time until you depart from this world earlier than you would have otherwise.
Hard work and the right work do not have to be in competition with each other. I do think, however, that once you find the right work that fits your heart and style, then you will be able to work harder at it because it just will not seem like hard work any longer. It will be something you enjoy doing.
Take these words of wisdom and give them some time to sink deep into your heart. I have found them to be a guiding force in my life for many years and I trust they will work their wisdom in your heart as well!
Tip: Hard work or right work – it’s up to you.
Have a great week! God bless you!
Dr. Robert A. Rohm