In writing more of my Heart-leadership book this week my focus was on joy. Today’s post part of what I wrote.
Several years ago my wife and I completed the restoration of a 100 year old property that took us several years part time. We cried as our friends and family shared the joy of the finished product. It was amazing to see the old house with a fresh coat of paint they said.
What was unmentioned was the untold hours of back breaking work and the preparation to get ready to put on the finishing touches of a coat of paint on that made our home look so grand.
All great work is like this.
Often we feel joy at the end of something rather than recognising our joy throughout as well as on completion.
My wife and I, even when exhausted, were in the habit of stepping back and admiring our progress even when such still looked like a mess. We grew accustomed to finding joy even when the work is hard.
We have a crest adorning a wall in our home. The Latin words underneath translate “Nothing without labour”.
We believe this was the creed of our family from a very, very long time ago. Marketing people never invented tag lines!
Whether it is our families credo or not I certainly learned the value of hard work from an early age.
Barely a teenager with my brother four years younger, we built our family home (all except the bricks and tiles on the roof) with our parents and with our bare hands. I remember once my football coach saying to my Father “Your boy has a great work ethic.” My father surprised at the remark simply replied “He knows the value of hard work.”
I do know the value of hard work. My real learning though has come through ensuring that the work is joyful even when it’s hard.
Having a great work ethic is important to being a person of value and to delivering and exchanging value. What is key however is finding joy in the work.
One of the most profound statements I have ever heard comes from the great book ‘The Radical Leap’ by Steven Farber. It’s a wonderful fable with a great message. Steven says “Do what you love in the service of people who love what you do”
What an insight eh?
I woke up this morning as I do every morning ready to work hard. I know that nothing of value is created or delivered without labour.
Above all though today like every day I’m seeking to do what I love in the service of people who love what I do, and to find personal joy in such work.
Are you doing what you love in the service of people are love what you do?
And are you radiating joy even when your work is hard.
Do Your Work.