The Super Fantastic Leadership Show: Working Hard?

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067: Working Hard? You’re Doing it Wrong

self-awareness

This week on The Super Fantastic Leadership Show we are talking about “hard work” and why you don’t need to do it. We have a big myth about work and the idea that if it isn’t hard, you ain’t workin’. We are talking about why we think work needs to be hard in the first place and what the difference is between giving effort and being effective. So, why do we think work needs to be hard? Well, some of it might be likely due to our culture but the other underlying belief that keeps us thinking that work has to be hard is that if it isn’t hard, we can believe that it isn’t valuable. If you recall the myth of Sisyphus, he was the God who was condemned to push a rock up a hill only to have it roll right back to the bottom again. This is a perfect example of working hard and not being effective. So, you want to work a bit more easy, you’ll want to listen to this week’s show.

Beyond our cultural underpinnings and the continued persistence and vigilance it took for our ancestors to come to our country, we can look more deeply at how we might continue to live those myths too. One way to approach this is to consider what we can do to allow us to give “effort” at the same time that we are increasing our effectiveness. Two constructs that can help us understand the way we can engage work differently are known as grit and flow. Grit is the perseverance and passion for long-term goals while flow is another way of describing being “in the zone.” When we are in the flow, time seems to stop and we find that we are giving just the perfect amount of effort to create results. Interestingly enough, most people report their greatest flow moments while they are at work but they tend to dismiss them because most people that they “have to” work versus the activities being a voluntary act. The other reason that we might not value work being easy is because when we find something that we do so easily, we can’t see that this might be one of our greatest strengths that we are using and we dismiss it. For sure, doing work that comes easily to us can have us dismiss some our greatest gifts. The good news is that we can cultivate grit and flow in our life by reaching the right level of challenge for a skill in which the skill is being stretched while the challenge is still feasible. Cultivating grit involves us setting long-term goals taht align with who we are and sticking with it; stamina and passion. So, find a long-term goal that ignites your passion and give your full attention to what you’re doing and see if work gets just a bit easier for you…and if you have more gritty flow too.

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