“We work to become, not to acquire.”Elbert Hubbard
Hard work alone doesn’t get you wherever you want to go. In fact, all that hard work your doing doesn’t ensure anything if you are working towards the wrong things *and/or* doing it for the wrong reasons.
I know because I’ve done it. I worked a long time on the wrong things for the right reasons. Why were they wrong? Because they didn’t align with my goals and vision for my life. I was putting in work for a company that I thought I needed but didn’t see that it was a one-sided deal without real reward or enjoyment—aka they needed me more than I needed them.
It’s easy to get so worked up with the day to day of what you’re doing that you don’t notice that you actually don’t want to do it. And because you are in it, and stressed and tired, you keep going because that’s the thing in front of you.
The first step to smart work is knowing yourself and what you want and periodically checking in with those desires and comparing it to reality. Just like money how money is impossible to manage unless you are tracking it and paying attention to where it’s going, it’s difficult to bug e happy and creating fulfilling work if you aren’t paying attention to who you are and how you are living.
The next step to smart work is focusing your efforts on the *right* things.
As a small example. Say you want to be Instagram or YouTube famous. Well, you’re off to a rocky start because you’re already focused on the wrong things. Being a star on an online platform is a byproduct of doing great work. That comes from loving your craft and connecting with likeminded people. (Fame has its perks, but I’m sure it has its downsides as well. For one, not being able to leave your house without someone wanting a selfie. Fame replaces your anonymity and pricy. Regardless, if fame is what you want, seeking it isn’t going to be how you get it.
Smart work is a win-win relationship. It’s worth it to you (to put in the time and effort and worth it to the people who consume it (worth their time and attention).
Another great smart work strategy is making sure the work you are doing is truly necessary. There are a countless number of great ideas that have never been started or never been finished because some little fear or todo got in the way. Don’t get caught in unnecessary work that keeps you stuck in a loop. Ask yourself,
Is this necessary?
Is there a better way?
Has someone else done this that I can emulate?
Lastly, smart work is also choosing purpose over immediate gratification.
Don’t let little wants and distractions keep you from what you really want.
If your dream is to start your own company, then why are you spending all your money on booze and fancy toys?
Ask yourself, is this thing (item, person, habit, another idea/ goal, want) moving me towards or away from my dream?
If it isn’t — pass on it.
If it is — full steam ahead.
STAY BOLD, Keep Pursuing,
— Josh Waggoner | Daily Blog #920