Growing up we are all told to work-hard, excel in school, get a job, be responsible and we were reminded that successful people postpone gratification with the idea they will have some great success later. Presumably this postponed gratification makes up for years of drudgery. This kind of thinking tends to take the joy and inspiration out of life.
Having been parents, Teresa and I doled more than our share of “work ethic” speeches, especially me, but we always had a strong tendency to have a great time so we knew there was a bigger picture than just hard work. We learned very early as young parents to have real fun and inspiration as part of raising a family. And not just the kind of fun where parents think they are tricking their kids into learning some valuable life lesson about work and responsibility. Kids always figure that out and are often defiantly bored by their parent’s idea of fun. We had more than our share of real adventures, fun and inspirations that didn’t really have a life lesson other than making us want to do more. That continues today for our family.
For a young person or for that matter, anyone to have the drive and ambition of creating a better life, there has to be real inspiration. Inspiration is rocket-fuel for our work-lives, and when we come to associate our work with having the opportunity to do more things that inspire us, there is a virtuous cycle that starts, our work inspires us. Once our work inspires us, there is really no feeling of drudgery, and we look at our work with optimism and then perform at a higher level. This leads to success and the ability to go outside of the office and do things that inspire us.
Whenever I hear someone say “I have to go to work”, it is a giveaway this is a very limited performer and very likely they do not have real passions outside of the office either.
The great news for all of us is that having more fun than we ever imagined unlocks inspiration that leads to a greater life, career, closer families and being a more fulfilled human being.
I hope you had an inspiring Summer.
Kurt J Long