What’s the Problem With Work?

If you follow my blog or know a little about me, you may know that I love investing resources into ways to enjoy the outdoors and stay in shape. That said, my brother-in-law and I both have an interest in fat tire bikes. These bikes allow you to ride on a variety of surfaces; perhaps most notably in the snow and also on the beach, making it the perfect bike for all seasons where I live in the Northeast.

My family and I vacation near Lake Michigan every summer. At the start of one of my recent trips, my brother-in-law and I took the bikes down the Lake Michigan shoreline. On the ride, we encountered three different people who made comments regarding the amount of effort we needed to exert to ride our bikes on the beach. They all mentioned something along the lines of how “it looks like too much work.” I responded, of course, with how it was a lot of effort and that is exactly why it was an amazing way to get exercise. This experience has been one of many that I have witnessed in our country’s paradigm around “work.”

Work seems to have developed a negative connotation. “Don’t work too hard.” It’s the new four-letter word.

There is a common paradigm in our society that in order to “get ahead,” (What the hell is that anyway? Are you behind? I digress…) you must put forth a high effort. For some it is a matter of deservedness. People feel they cannot have nice things or success unless they have “earned it.” Each level of worthiness can be different.

So what is the problem with work? Well…there should not be any problem with it. Work is effort, and effort is not a bad thing. Yet, does the idea of hard work flow like a river? Or do you picture water beating against rocks that eventually wear the rocks down after centuries of effort?

If you started studying Karate with me, I wouldn’t work to teach you to be rigid in the heat of battle. Imagine tightening all your muscles and then committing to physical movement like a punch as you maintain the rigidity. How fast would you be able to move? How well would you be able to flow from technique to technique? You would not be able to. Rather, you would be choppy and slow.

What do you believe about work? Do you often use the adjective of “hard” in the same sentence when you talk about work?

If you have to push through and force your way to the outcome, then resistance must be evident. Where is this resistance coming from?

Consider this question: What would achieving results feel like if you could do so with less effort?

I’d love to hear your answer.

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