Working hard: What does this mean? Does a successful life require that we work hard?
I think so. When I read any Working Hard quotes from the famous movers and shakers, I can read the sincerity in their words. They believe that they have achieved what success that they have because they worked hard. But the one thing I am also reading in their words is their devotion to and passion for their work. [Truly, there are an equally amazing number of quotes linking passion to success.] These famous and accomplished people all seem committed to high standards, long hours, and the personal sacrifices that reflect their passion for their life work. And they are having fun while they are working hard. A great combination in anything: a good sweat while having fun.
When I saw la Cathédrale Notre Dame de Paris for the first time, to describe the experience avec le mot incroyable is a huge and holy understatement. I returned to it several afternoons — just roaming around and absorbing the grandeur. It took over 100 years to build and the architects, sculptors, and builders remain anonymous. Wow. The history of this cathédrale’s construction, destruction, plunder, rebuilding, and ongoing maintenance is amazing. Its delicacy has survived because of a commitment and vision to preserve its story and its testimony to Passion . . . keeping the beauty and the spirit of Notre Dame de Paris alive.
We are inspired by the most monumental of things. Edifices. Sacrifices. Generosity. Selflessness. Grace under pressure. We notice the grandeur and the beauty and the passion in others’ work, and we are sometimes intimidated by what appears to be overwhelming effort, vision, and success. We question if we could ever create something so amazing or be someone who is considered to be a laureate.
From a young age, we are taught to set noble standards and high expectations. But what of the infinitesimally small things? The tiny little gestures that vaporize upon expression yet mean so much in the moment?
Some days seem to require much from us and other days seem to require less. These less-demanding days, I am content to shake my feathers and take a look around and see what opportunities of need are around me. Simple things like leaving a sticky note with a positive message for a stranger to discover on campus or bringing someone coffee or telling someone that they look so nice today in salmon pink. Little tiny things. Do they make a difference? I don’t know. A smile in return is a huge reward for recognizing another’s uniqueness . . . his or her potential for coming alive.
“Don’t ask yourself what the world needs . . .” This quote summarizes so much simple genius. Very inspiring: Go do that which makes me come alive. How could I not want to Work Hard? It’s a privilege to Come Alive.
What makes you come alive? Today, what is that one bit of inspiration that makes your day turn from cloudy gray to sunny blue?
Tell that special someone that you love him. Listen to that friend who is going through a tough time. Maybe write or draw or paint or play some music or shoot some hoops or bake some chocolate chip cookies. Maybe take the time to look out over the water at the sunset and thank the heavens for the message of hope and affirmation. Maybe laugh until your sides hurt. Focus. Never underestimate the power of a smile. Work it, shake it, bust a move. Re-direct a challenge. Discover your passion. Re-define success. Believe in miracles. Work hard. Come alive.