Hard work is a form of thanks…

“There may be people that have more talent than you, but there’s no excuse for anyone to work harder than you do.”

Derek Jeter

Who works harder than you? Do you know anyone whom you respect that constantly and consistently puts in a degree of effort and brings an intensity to their work that you admire? What is their secret? Have you ever asked them? We all have the same 24 hour days, what causes some people to push harder and get more out of those same hours than you do? What prevents you from asking them, and finding your own way to do more and maximize your talents?

I believe that talent is a gift from God. We don’t control how much of it we receive but we can control how much of it we put to use. I view hard work as a form of showing my thankfulness and appreciation to God for the gifts He has given me. If He gave me a talent to use and I am lazy and don’t put for the effort to maximize it then I am dishonoring Him. I am reminded of this verse:

‘Whatever you do, work at it with all your heart, as working for the Lord, not for human masters, since you know that you will receive an inheritance from the Lord as a reward. It is the Lord Christ you are serving.’ Colossians 3:23-24

In some ways I guess that the ability to do the hard work, no matter what, is a form of talent in itself. Another verse that reinforces this principle is:

‘Whatever your hand finds to do, do it with all your might, for in the realm of the dead, where you are going, there is neither working nor planning nor knowledge nor wisdom.’ Ecclesiastes 9:10

Doing the hard work isn’t about getting the reward, it is about honoring our gifts. Find someone whom you respect for their hard work and ask them why and how they do it. Then find a way to do your hard work yourself.

Get up and go…

“The only person holding you back is you.  No more excuses.  It’s time to change.”

Tony Robbins

What do you want to accomplish? Who do you want to become? Where do you want to go? How do you want to live? Who do you want to serve?

Answer these questions, plan your work and then work your plan. We can always come up with a long list of reasons “why this or that won’t work” or “why this happened to me.” I am a firm believer that the only difference between ‘reasons’ and an ‘excuse’ is an action plan and the will to do something about it. Otherwise we will just wallow in our own self pity and our dreams will turn to dust. Get up and go. If you don’t you have no one to blame but yourself so make it happen.

You don’t win on emotion…

“No excuses. No explanation. You don’t win on emotion. You win on execution.” 

Tony Dungy

Execution is everything. Without great execution nothing else really matters. The greatest idea or plan in the world is worthless without relentless execution and a focus on getting the work done.

One thing that stands out for me on this quote is the “you don’t win on emotion” sentence. Emotion can be great fuel for winning and can be a tremendous catalyst for action but it won’t be the reason you win. Without intense focus and direction all the emotion in the world won’t create great execution.

Too often, myself most certainly included, emotion has been an excuse or a “reason” for poor performance. Things like “I am just not passionate about this,” or “my emotions got the best of me” are just excuses for not executing the game play properly.

Look in the mirror. The only person that prevents you from getting the work done is yourself. “No excuses. No explanation. You don’t win on emotion. You win on execution…”

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