I posted about Seth Godin last week and over the weekend about the decision I am trying to make. I think Seth’s post really converges everything I have been working out in my head:
The future is not about time at all. The future is about work that’s really and truly hard, not time-consuming. It’s about the kind of work that requires us to push ourselves, not just punch the clock. Hard work is where our job security, our financial profit, and our future joy lie.
It’s hard work to make difficult emotional decisions, such as quitting a job and setting out on your own. It’s hard work to invent a new system, service, or process that’s remarkable. It’s hard work to tell your boss that he’s being intellectually and emotionally lazy. It’s easier to stand by and watch the company fade into oblivion. It’s hard work to tell senior management to abandon something that it has been doing for a long time in favor of a new and apparently risky alternative. It’s hard work to make good decisions with less than all of the data.
Hard work is about risk. It begins when you deal with the things that you’d rather not deal with: fear of failure, fear of standing out, fear of rejection. Hard work is about training yourself to leap over this barrier, tunnel under that barrier, drive through the other barrier. And, after you’ve done that, to do it again the next day.
If you haven’t read it yet, you really should. The things that have been making this difficult for me: fear, stubbornness, ego, even a tinge of reverence for the status-quo, don’t stand up to his spotlight. That’s the thing–we put up all sorts of delusions and exceptions and “but for me it’s different” instead of just manning up and doing what we need to do. Godin and Ferriss too, are saying that HOURS are meaningless. What matters is results and balls. And that clears a little up for me.
I always live by the moto don’t work harder, work smarter. Godin tells companies this every day. I used to hate the people in college that studied for 1 hour and aced the tests, while I studied all the material, they just studied what was going to be on the test. Now I am one of those people. We only have 1440 minutes in a day. How do you want to spend them? This year I am taking a new approach inspired by Chris Anderson’s (Longtail) Secret to productivity
“Don’t watch TV. Especially college sports.”
Damn, that’s gonna suck. OK, maybe just the bowl games… That labor Day post of Seth’s is a quote that is going right into the quote page. Thanks for the heads up Ryan!
I loved that post too. I’m also in the middle of reading The Dip. I kepp asking myself why did I not finish it in one sitting even though it’s the most concise, easy read business book ever? I think it’s because simple though it is, it’s too challenging to take in all at once.
Valuable work isn’t just difficult – doing work the hard way is valuable – because most people don’t do things that way anymore.