We’re working very smart but is it working?
I connect with some successful people. They’ve worked very hard and they’ve worked very smart to get to where they are. By most people’s standards they’ve made it – although they may not always feel that way themselves because there’s so much more ahead of them.
But there’s a problem which especially affects smart, capable people who have a big vision and want to make a meaningful difference in the world.
If it takes so much hard work and such a huge level of smart decision-making to create regular business success, what’s it going to take when you’re also challenging the status quo, doing things differently, educating people, taking them on a journey and stretching yourself into new territory all the time?
In the past it’s been pretty normal for gamechangers to struggle in the mainstream. Buckminster Fuller never had more money than he needed, which can feel like a precarious way to live. Nikola Tesla died a pauper, having invented some of the most significant technologies of his generation. Like being an artist, changing the world is generally seen to come at a huge price.
But there’s a different energy around now where people of all generations are asking for more. They don’t want to sacrifice themselves for years on the altar of hard work – although most of them work very hard while they figure out how not to. They don’t want to make money and ignore their greater purpose – although most of them keep working at making money while they figure out their purpose. They don’t want to limit their connection with their kids because of their ambition to achieve their potential – although most of them struggle to be present with the kids because their mind is so busy with business.
So we have to find a better way.
My parents used to say. “You can’t have your cake and eat it.” “You have to compromise.” It drove me crazy when I was very young. I couldn’t understand the point of giving up the cake this way and compromise always felt like a failure in every direction – a lose lose outcome.
So my view is that we need to find a better way to work because this trend of wanting money + purpose + family connection + (insert whatever you want) is a good thing. In fact it’s one of the healthiest trends I’ve seen in a long time.
Millennials are often accused of being lazy and expecting everything to be handed to them on a plate. My sense is that they’re in touch with this new energy but they just don’t know how to put it into practice.
This is the sign of a generation struggling to embrace a sense of abundance in the world. They know at a subtle level that it’s possible and their parents weren’t cheating them when they told them “You can have anything you want.” It’s just that their parents weren’t great examples of having your cake and eating it. They were working far too hard for that. They didn’t know how to deliver on their promise.
But that doesn’t mean it isn’t possible. It means we need to double down on finding a better way to work.
So I’m creating a course called “Working Light” and it’s designed to solve this problem.
I’d like to ask you for some help, especially if you can tick any of these boxes:
- You’ve ever found yourself working too hard and not getting where you wanted to
- You feel you’ve paid a price for all the hard work you’ve put in over the years
- You’ve learned how to work smart but you’re still too busy
- You regularly have too much to do and not enough time to do it all
- You worry that you’re wasting your life by working too much
- Work stops you from having fun
- Work stops you from doing your purpose
- Work gets in the way of your family life
If you’re any of those, please could you give me 2 minutes and reply to this email by answering any or all of these questions:
What are the thoughts that go round in your head when you’re overdoing it or working too hard? What’s driving you to keep going? What are you afraid might happen if you stop, take a break or slow down?
I’ve been asking similar questions on Facebook and so far I’ve had 18 completely unique responses. It’s quite fascinating. I’m collecting them all and will use them as stimulus for designing a course that really addresses the biggest issues people are facing in this challenging area of life.
So please, if you have a couple of minutes, I’d really appreciate your input. it can be past experience or present. I’m not going to quote your name anywhere. I just want to understand what goes on in other people’s heads because otherwise I only know what’s in mine.
A date for your diary
A Conversation About Working Light is an online event where we will explore this topic on more depth. We’ll be talking about:
- – What’s really useful about working hard and working smart (and what’s not).
- – How you can save time and energy and get better results by working light.
- – How you actually expand your impact when you experience more ease, grace and fun?