All I have ever known is hard work. It started as a kid when I was:
- attempting to perfect songs at piano lessons to prepare for recitals and/or exams
- playing sports
- washing dishes at a buffet restaurant, or working at a golf course
I was never the most talented at any of these things, but my hard work, dedication and commitment set me apart from others over the years.
My wife and decided to rip out our old flooring on the main level of our home in the spring of 2012, and replace it with new hardwoods. In the kitchen, the old hardwood came out rather easily, but underneath was a bit of a surprise! There were two layers of linoleum, with an unimaginable amount of staples still stuck in to the sub floor. As I hummed and hawed about actually getting down on my hands and knees to take out the staples, I had to take a moment to reflect and remind myself how I had completed many other undesirable tasks in the past.
There have been many projects that I have completed over the years, and during each journey wanted to quit many times. Below is some of the “fun” that I have engaged in:
- I shovelled my two-story roof over a period of three days in hip deep snow. I would be up there for long periods of time, and even had to call my wife on a cell phone to pass me up food and water on occasion!
- We decided to get smaller pieces of sod once when we cut down shrubs in our back yard, rather than the traditional long strips. This tripled my effort, but saved some money.
- I tried to salvage my poorly finished basement ceiling, by scraping off very old stipple, and then tried to repaint it.
- I removed a large flower bed of 10 to 20 lbs rocks to landscape the front of my house.
- I painted the interior of my 900 square foot condo & the interior of my two-story 1700+ square foot primary residences, both in short turn around times.
Being in the sales profession for well over a decade now, things like call reporting (and using CRM software), forecasting & handling services issues were certainly not things that I jumped out of bed to do over the years. Early in my career, I was lucky enough to wrap my head around the fact that this was all part of the process. Keeping up with required tasks allowed me to focus on more enjoyable parts of the roles like engaging customers and making sales.
I suspect that you don’t want to be on your boss’ radar for becoming known as somebody who does not keep up with reporting and other administrative tasks. Make this part of your daily routine. Trust me from experience. DO NOT wait until Friday afternoon to do all of your administrative work for the week. Use it as a time to tie it all together.
Oh yeah, back to pulling out an “endless supply” of staples from my kitchen floor last spring. I just kept my head down, and pulled those staples out, no matter how much my body hurt, keeping the vision in my mind of how awesome our home would look when it was all done.
You can read all the books, and study all the theories about what motivates people to do what they need to do to be successful in life. But it all comes back to you – you and your will to get through the “not so fun tasks” is the key so you can look forward to the fun parts of your job and of your life.
Accomplishing a task is the satisfaction, and that is my primary goal every time I work towards completing something that I really do not want to do.
- How do you motivate yourself to complete professional and personal tasks that you don’t like to do?
- How deep do you have to dig when all you want to do is lie on the couch sometimes, and avoid all the undesirable things on your “To Do List?”
I stumbled across David Kanigan’s blog “Lead Learn Live” this morning and I really enjoyed it. I can’t wait to read more posts over the next few days. One caught my attention in particular – “Do What You Love”. It is a real eye opener for those trying to find their way with respect to their career. I strongly recommend that you take a few minutes this weekend to immerse yourself in the message. Thanks David!
We’ve all either given or received the career advice: “Follow your dreams.” “Do what you love.” “Love what you do.”
Recently, there have been an increasing number of counterarguments making the case that if we were all going to “do what we love,” we’d starve doing it.
I came across a 2006 post by Paul Graham: “How To Do What You Love” that offers what may be the best thought-leadership on the subject that I have read.
Graham is an essayist, programmer, and investor. In 1995, he co-developed the first web-based application, Viaweb, which was acquired by Yahoo in 1998. He has an AB from Cornell and a PhD in Computer Science from Harvard, and studied painting at RISD and the Accademia di Belle Arti in Florence. Graham’s blog is one of the most followed in the blogosphere.
It is an essay (longish for those of us with…
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