Working Hard vs Making Hard Work of Things
No one denies that hard work is usually needed to get things accomplished, to reach goals. But have you ever noticed that sometimes the joy goes out of just doing one’s work for its own sake? Working hard morphed into making hard work of things.
It’s not always obvious when it happens, either. Let’s say you’ve acquired the habit of gratitude: you’re grateful for recognizing your calling, and for the opportunity and means to do it. The work draws you in; you learn the craft and you learn to hone it, you learn to recognize how it could be better and you are driven to make it better. And then one day it feels like you’re not getting anywhere, progress comes at a snail’s pace. You don’t sleep well, your neck and shoulders become stiff and painful–
–it stopped being fun. It became hard work.
So what happened? Could it be that your skill has enabled you to spot areas that have problems, and so you work and work at the solutions, only to find more problems–and still more problems–or the solutions don’t quite do the job? Do the words not come? Are the colors never quite right? Does the melody elude resolution?
Focusing on the problems instead of the process is stressful. Sometimes it is necessary, but when it becomes a regular thing, it isn’t any wonder the sense of gratitude and enjoyment fades.
The solution could be as simple as recognizing what has happened and adjusting one’s perspective, to stand back and appreciate the overall positive whole instead of the problematic parts. It might require a long break–but it might only take a few minutes. Step back from the problems. Remember the purpose. Reset.
The best part is when, after resuming your work with gratitude and a sense of fun–the problems often sort themselves out.