Photo Credit: Quincy College
“Choose a job you love, and you will never have to work a day in your life.” – Some Silly Person
Last week, I attended a veterans’ luncheon at a nearby college. One of the speakers was US Navy Veteran Allen Lerner, owner and operator of a local Chick-Fil-A restaurant. Allen was offering advice to the students on choosing a career.
“Some of you may have heard the saying, ‘Choose a job you love, and you will never have to work a day in your life.’”. Allen continued, “That’s a myth.”
My face broke into a smile at Allen’s words. I’ve never understood that saying. I love what I do, and I know that I’m lucky to have a job that I love in an industry that I love. I also work hard – very hard. Sometimes that means working seven days a week. I enjoy it, but it’s still work – hard work.
The same was true when I was a long-distance runner. Five to ten hours a week pounding the pavement. Even longer when I attempted my hand at ultramarathons. I looked forward to my workouts (okay, most of my workouts), but pushing my body past previous limits was difficult. The soreness after a race was a reminder that arduous efforts were the only way to achieve my goals.
Sometimes, it’s not the work that we enjoy, but the result. I don’t like cleaning out the garage. However, when the tools are put away and the shelves are organized, the garage is more functional. I appreciate how it looks and the ability to back in the car.
Hamilton Holt wrote, "Nothing worthwhile comes easily....Work, continuous work and hard work, is the only way to accomplish results that last." Too many people are looking for a shortcut, or to use the term of the moment, a “hack” to reach their goals. The uncomfortable truth is that achieving success requires you to be uncomfortable.
In the middle of your arduous work, you also need to get lucky. I know that I was lucky to be born to parents who raised me in a loving home and valued education. I’m lucky to have served in the military, and that I completed my service without being in combat. I even consider my injuries lucky – reminders of what is most important in my life.
Other times, I’m lucky that the right client needs a consultant with my team’s skills. Of course, that luck is only helpful if we’re prepared. We can’t be considered experts unless we publish blogs and articles that demonstrate our knowledge. And we can’t write without putting in the time to remain knowledgeable about the industry and postal affairs.
The same is true for any field. Successful athletes and musicians put in thousands of hours of practice. Famous scientists and historians conduct years of research. Popular writers struggle at their keyboards every day. Prosperity is a product of determination and labor.
At least 99.99% of us won’t win the lottery tomorrow. Instead, we’ll wake up in the morning and head to a job. If we’re lucky, our efforts will be in a field or function that we enjoy. If we’re very lucky, we’ll be successful – after putting in a lot of hard work.