Yes you read it correctly. Work harder not just smarter. So many of us are obsessed with making a quick buck. It has become an international obsession. There are so many books written about it. But I believe that the Western World is suffering a global financial crisis because we want to create something out of nothing and we want something for nothing. We borrow and borrow and consume and consume and think that somehow it will all pay for itself without having to work hard. This negative mindset is having dire consequences not only for the economy but also on our health and happiness. So much so that work stress has become one of the leading causes of anxiety and depression. So obviously working smarter is not working for us. What is the answer? I put it to you that we must work harder to get healthier. This may sound odd but hear me out.
The most energetic, enthusiastic, and happiest people I know work really hard. They are always beaming with a smile. They have a healthy appetite for food and life yet they are chilled and comfortable to be with. Why is that? Well we spend many hours at work, so it goes without saying that if we approach work with a positive mindset, it will have a big impact on our happiness.
So how do you change your mindset? Before I answer that question, allow me to first clarify what I mean by ‘working harder’. It does NOT mean working long hours. It does NOT mean having blind ambition. It does NOT mean chasing the almighty dollar. Changing your mindset simply entails you making a decision to love what you do.
So how do you choose to love your job? Work harder. Here’s how:
- Become really good at your job. Know it inside and out. Keep learning. The way human psychology works, we start liking what we are good at. Immerse yourself in your daily tasks whatever they may be. Laying bricks, reading a contract, writing a song, listening to a patient etc… Give yourself to that moment. Don’t watch the clock.
- Serve people from the heart. Make a connection with how your work directly or indirectly makes a difference in people’s lives. My hairdresser is a perfect example of that. I notice that he gets great pleasure when he holds up that mirror to a customer. Their happiness is his happiness.
I have a saying in my business. I tell my staff, ‘Treat customers like you would your own mum and dad.’ I believe that is the only standard you ever need in your working life. It will get you to work harder and that will get you to love what you do.