"Freedom from effort in the present merely means that there has been effort stored up in the past." Theodore Roosevelt
Confession time: I work for the most difficult boss ever. She is demanding, constantly pushing improvement, continuously challenging me to learn new things. She expects me to do more with less, work hard, do whatever it takes, and be 100% accountable. There is just no hiding from this woman. She is committed to excellence, hates excuses and is obsessed with making sure clients and those we interact with gain maximum value.
So, why do I put up with all of this, you ask?
For those of you who may not know, I am "self employed." That makes me "my own boss" so to speak. She is me. I am she. The Quality Coach! is my company, along with my partner, Coach Hank. It's a conundrum, alright.
I have quit on occasion. She has even fired me a few times. But there I am, back the next day, rolling up my sleeves, ready to rock 'n roll. And, somehow I have magically decided that "she" is the Best Boss Ever, for giving me the time and space to sort things out.
This scenario plays out day after day, throughout our country, perhaps the world, for small business owners and entrepreneurs. We business owners tend to ask way more of ourselves than we would ever imagine asking of others. Not that there's anything wrong with that, unless, of course, it is taken to extremes.
Relaxing after an intense week, I came upon a little article written by Ernest Holmes about "working easy," and it really caught my attention. Holmes said "the one who works the easiest, accomplishes the most." Holmes suggests that when we relate to our workload as hard, the work will be hard. When we relate to our workload as "easy," we will flow from one task to another with a sense of purpose and ease, rather than a sense of stress and strain. And, we will be far more productive. I am thinking that "working easy" may be a keystone to working smarter. Holmes was quick to point out that "working easy" does not mean that we aren't giving our best. Quite the contrary.
We've all been taught the virtues of working hard. We've built our identities around being hard workers. We say good things about "hard workers." We don't say good things about "easy workers." We feel we have earned our keep when we "work hard." What would we talk about if not for how hard we work?
Is it possible that we humans are making our work more complex and challenging than it really is… than it needs to be? Just so we can work hard? Just so we can feel better about ourselves.
I am planning to sit down and have a little talk with my Boss about all this.
What if I could get more accomplished in a shorter period of time by working easy? I think she would go for that. And, then I could work hard on my bicycle to prepare for some easy riding this spring.
Your coaching challenge should you choose to accept it:
When working hard isn't enough… consider working easy. It's all in how you relate to it. Work hard? Work easy? You choose.