Western culture worships a false idol. It’s called hard work. Look around. So many people on average spend upwards of half or more of their time awake working. Some dedicate far more of their waking hours to working hard.
Americans in particular are known for their workaholism. A client of mine on vacation in Spain talked with someone, a Spaniard, who described her opulent and leisure lifestyle. In doing so, she said “Americans live to work. We Spaniards work to live.“
There’s no honor in Americans venerating working hard. If we knew more about how life works, our work life preoccupation would dramatically decrease, with no corresponding decrease in production, believe it or not.
Indeed, the easy life carries far more productivity potential. That’s because when one takes it easy, following both intuition and passion instead of doing what others expect of them, remarkable things happen. And they happen because them happening expresses nature’s grace for all living things.
Runaway success is natural
Take a look at the paradox described by “working hard“. Many people work very hard in their lives and barely get anywhere. The working poor are a great example. But so are many of the middle class. Many people in the middle class struggle mightily working hard and just barely cover their means. Or they get far enough to amass material pleasures. But since many middle class people finance such things, they end up working even harder to pay off credit cards, big mortgages and car loan debt.
Others enjoy a smattering of success evidenced by promotions, vanity titles or a real supervisory role. But those “successes“ usually lead to more work as well.
And when it comes to runaway success, an even greater paradox exists. Some of the most successful put in hardly any work at all and find success near immediately, while others work very hard in the same field and get comparatively nowhere.
Take the case of Sir Lewis Hamilton, the first brown-skinned Formula One driver. He is described as a “prodigy“ race car driver. From a very early age, his parents saw his instinctual attraction to racing. Everyone saw it. So everyone supported him as he rose far beyond others. Others working equally hard, and some working even harder.
Hamilton could easily do behind the steering wheel what others rarely or never could do. Indeed, his “hard work“ was more about further developing his natural gifts, his passions, not struggling to achieve “success “ or accomplish anything.
Something else must be happening
I was just about to write “not to diminish the effort Hamilton put into becoming a skillful driver”. But my desire to write that evidences my own indoctrination into our collective distortion; the distortion that “hard work” is the key to success. If it were the key to success, if it were instrumental in things going the way we want, why are so many working so hard not successful?
Which leads me to the following. Something else must be happening that allows some people to succeed with little effort and others, despite lots of hard work, hardly ever get anywhere. This is the case for something larger having more influence on one’s success than how much effort or action one dedicates toward that goal.
Why is it some people who work so hard achieve comparatively little?
I assert the answer has nothing to do with their hard work. Instead, it has far more to do with their attitude.
But even that is too superficial. It’s less about “attitude“ and more about resonance, or lack thereof, one feels for whatever it is one decides is “success“. One’s image of oneself, what one believes is possible, and what one chooses to do from those perspectives shapes everything.
Action of any kind means comparatively little.
The easy life for all
That resonance giving rise to inevitable success feels a certain way. And that feeling indicates a gradually emerging life that, initially, feels better than what it feels like when working 40 or more hours a week. It feels like freedom, adventure, positive expectation and empowerment on a consistent basis.
Most people experience such feelings infrequently or not at all. Such experiences explain why so many struggle or live mediocre lives or lives of compromise. Such people haven’t cultivated a resonance atmosphere within which success comes easy. They’re too busy trying to get there by copying what others do: trying to get there through action and hard work. They won’t slow down and get in touch with that which will make their life easy. They think the easy life is being lazy. So the Charmed Life I describe eludes them.
We all enjoy free will. All That Is wants us focusing our time and action living the easy life. That’s because doing so adds to or fulfills that which we each as individuals came to fulfill. And in that fulfillment, All That Is becomes more.
People who struggle contribute to more too. But how many of those people – were they in their right mind instead of the mind that has them indoctrinated into hard work – how many of those people would trade what they have for the easy life? I would argue that, in their right mind, everyone would make that trade.
Nature wants you happy
Instead, so many of us choose lives of struggle. We all have free will, as I’ve said. We are all also eternal. So eventually, each of us, as individuals, learn to give up the hard life for the easy one. For many, that takes several lifetimes.
But for a select few, it can happen in this lifetime. By “select few“ I don’t mean to imply that someone else, like some god, blesses the lucky ones. The select few select themselves. They are those who connect with paths such as the one offered here at Positively Focused.
And when those people plug-in, their life becomes the easy life. In time, they leave hard work behind.
Many of the struggles we see in the world stem from people working hard and in doing so becoming discouraged and bitter. They’re disconnected from who they knew themselves to be. I suggest we give up all of that. And when we do so, we will realize a global society based on the Charmed Life I advocate.
When that happens we can give up worshipping the false idol that is hard work. Then get on with living lives we came to live.