Lost to most via access to endless distraction and the on-coming urgencies that arise day in and day out.
The ability to be aware is largely underrated.
Observation brings about awareness and moments pass us by when we’re not present. Our minds allow (or plague) us to actively play out scenarios from the past and future as if we lived in an ever-present movie theater issuing old reruns or new feature fantasy films. These distract and keep us from our awareness.
Turning off the film and just observing and looking deeper around us can not only be refreshing but also fill us with an inner gratitude for the extraordinary beauty that surrounds us, of which, becomes ever so camouflaged amongst the day to day.
Being present, in the moment, allows us to best see things ‘as they are’. This is real awareness. This is where change happens. In fact, it’s the first step. Observing yourself committing or acting in a way you know you dislike is a great place to be – this is change in it’s infant stage. Small actions over a period of time around this type of awareness is change in motion.
The best shift I’ve adopted more recently looks like this: Don’t judge or resist any outcome you experience. Embrace it. Observe it neutrally. Drop your plans, agenda and otherwise – take a deep breath, step back and just observe.
The intersection of three things: joy, fulfillment and a high value exchange is the sweet spot. It’s a work in progress, a quest or a hero’s journey. Perfection isn’t welcome here. There is no black and white nor a right or wrong. Every path works, but not every path will work for you.
If your work doesn’t inspire you, actively excite you and stretch your skills & capacity then you’re probably not on your sweet spot yet. That’s perfectly fine. This is a moving target, an inexact science at times – your awareness to moving towards this ideal blend of joy/fulfillment/value exchange is like anything worthwhile in life. It takes time, life experience, consistent effort and throw in a dash of luck.
The trick is to keep inching your way towards this end; the universe certainly appears to reward those who actively seek.
Having grown up in entrepreneurship through the “personal growth” space people tended to LOVE to throw the term, “don’t work hard, work smart!” It sounds great, I mean who could argue with the beautiful simplicity of such a common sense statement? The absurdity of it only became magnified for me the longer I’ve pursued my own path.
Why is this worth shining a spot light on it?
This statement more than most HURTS new aspiring entrepreneurs much more than it helps.
Here’s a few things worth considering before you take up the Work Smart mantra…
- When you’re new to your craft you don’t know your ass from your elbow. Working smart would require you to actually have a volume of experience to pull from, experience you certainly don’t have when newly embarking on your journey.
- Stop demonizing hard work. Easy come, easy go. Work that isn’t hard doesn’t challenge you to improve, which happens to be one of the biggest requirements of entrepreneurship. If you aren’t improving and advancing your skills constantly you’re not an entrepreneur, sorry. Take pride in being someone disciplined enough to do work most people fear.
- Stop looking for shortcuts you’re not entitled to them, no one is. Shortcuts RARELY if ever present themselves unless you’re an experienced veteran (see item 1 above). You must learn by experience and the only way to learn is to fail (try) and adjust, to get the door slammed on you and to immediately go knocking on the next door. Those looking for shortcuts seek to rob themselves of the greatest opportunities.