You have to Work Hard first, then you can hope for Success!

Hard Work

I always seem to hear inspiring thoughts and quotes from many people around me. For some time now I’ve been getting this feeling that I could be doing more than what I am now. People around me keep telling me I shouldn’t discount what I’ve already accomplished, but still I feel I should have more. I wrote about this in a previous post, how the pressure from my family and background has left me feeling like I should have accomplished more in my life. You can find my previous post here: “Taking a Stand to find my Happiness. I was browsing Facebook yesterday and came across a post where Mike Rowe, the guy from Dirty Jobs and various Ford Trucks commercials, answered a few questions from a fan about finding the right career. The fan seemed to have a question most of us can identify with, how do you find the right career, take a look at the full response: “A Fan Asks Mike Rowe For Life Advice…”

Stop looking for the “right” career, and start looking for a job. Any job. Forget about what you like. Focus on what’s available. Mike RoweGet yourself hired. Show up early. Stay late. Volunteer for the scut work. Become indispensable. You can always quit later, and be no worse off than you are today. But don’t waste another year looking for a career that doesn’t exist. And most of all, stop worrying about your happiness. Happiness does not come from a job. It comes from knowing what you truly value, and behaving in a way that’s consistent with those beliefs.
Many people today resent the suggestion that they’re in charge of the way the feel. But trust me, Parker. Those people are mistaken. That was a big lesson from Dirty Jobs, and I learned it several hundred times before it stuck. What you do, who you’re with, and how you feel about the world around you, is completely up to you. Good luck – Mike Rowe

This last part of Mike’s comments really got me thinking, perhaps this is part of what I’m experiencing. Success seems like such a loaded term, but in today’s age of things being fast and instant, could the idea of “Delayed Gratification” be a lost life skill? I want to find success now, but do I have to put in the hard work too? Why can’t life just give me what I want? I’ve been here long enough, I deserve to get what I want! I want to put in as little work as possible and reap the max rewards, I’m entitled to that am I not? Ok so I’m being facetious about all those things, but it’s still a hint of truth behind it, I want to do as little work as possible but still expect or even feel entitled to get more than I’ve put into it.

Here are my takeaways after reading that article about how to find a perfect career:

  • Success isn’t’ about the perfect … landing in your lap. Sure there are stories out there about someone finding the perfect job after just a short search. But those stories are the exception not the rule. Success for most people comes after long years of hard work, so if you want to reap the benefits, you’ll have to endure the time it takes to plant the seed, watch it grow, nurture it, and then wait for it to bloom.
  • In life the reality is that anyone who has something good, has worked hard, very hard for it. Whether that’s a relationship, a job, or just life itself. An ex-girlfriend told me once “sometimes you don’t find the perfect person, but someone who’s willing to put in the work, to make it work.” Now what I’m not saying is that you stay in a situation that is completely wrong for you. Instead find something that works, something that with time and the right resources will eventually turn into what you’re looking for. Princes and Princesses only exist in Disney Movies, and for those select few who are Lucky, they’ll find the perfect match. Perhaps that’s why it’s called “Luck” not everyone has it. So don’t look for the perfect … instead find the one that has potential to turn into something that’s great. Ok now I hear what you’re saying, sorry it took so long to sink in.
  • Life is a mix of working with what you have, and putting in the work to get what you want. There are people that say “I’m a screw up, I’m not good enough…, I’ll never achieve …” That’s a lie they tell themselves so they can remain in that state. As humans it’s in our nature to constantly improve and work on both things and ourselves. If this wasn’t’ true, we would not have evolved, and there won’t be a new craze or device to do things bigger, better, faster. Self improvement is part of our DNA, so if there is something we’d like to improve about ourselves, we’ll have to put in the work to accomplish it.
  • It’s easy not to put in the work when faced with a challenge. So what if you face a new challenge, do something about it. Although success is relative, meaning that each person has a different definition of success. Successful people do have one thing in common, they worked hard, and with time and lots of hard work, they were able to accomplish their goal. So if I’m to be successful I’ll have to put in the work, that’s whether it’s my career or my relationships, I’ll have to work hard to get the kind of future I desire.
  • Despite what I learnt for this article, I still believe one thing though, sometimes some things aren’t meant to be accomplished. Sometimes challenges are meant to show us that we have limits, and they humble us. Although we’d like to keep people in our lives, some people are only here for a season. Sometimes some people and jobs aren’t right for our soul, they will only bring us heart-ache, and those are the ones we have to learn to let go of.

Although this doesn’t radically change my view of life, it has made me think about the way I approach certain things, especially a career. For some time now I’ve questioned whether I’ve actually put in the work, or am I just thinking that I’m entitled to certain things. I’m not completely convinced that I haven’t been guilty of just sitting back, and hoping that something will fall in my lap; feelings of entitlement have made me lazy.

What about you, how would putting in the work change the way you look at your life and relationships?

Would that radically change your life, or is it the slight course correction you were looking for?

Time to get my MOJO back!!!

motivation 2


It seems funny, but in an attempt to get motivated, I asked a friend if she can yell at me like a Drill Sergeant; I think she took me seriously too. I don’t talk about my Undergraduate Degree much, but I have a B.S. in Business Psychology. One of the things I’m most proud of with that degree, is that I got a chance to complete an Academic Paper. I interviewed participants, conducted my own original research, and stoped just short of the getting published part. It shouldn’t come as much of a surprise that my topic was on Motivation, specifically Workplace Motivation. I’ve written in previous posts that I feel like my life is in slow motion right now, I feel stuck and I’m not sure how to get out. I know that I’m moving in the right direction, but I feel like I’m getting passed my a snail right now. In my effort to get out and get some sunshine on this first day of spring, I thought about my research paper, since it’s on motivation, perhaps there’s something in there I can use.

In my research leading up to my paper, the first question I looked to answer is what is motivation. In their research Eccles and Wigfield (Motivational Beliefs, Values, and Goals, 2002), described motivation this way: “The Latin root of the word “motivation” means “to move”; hence, in this basic sense the study of motivation is the study of action”. In other words, motivation is what drives us to action. So one of the first things I thought of was that in order to not feel stuck, I will have to be moving, to act, to not sit on the sidelines. In another article Sinha and Sinha (Personal Growth and Training and Development, 2009) thought that the best way to become motivated, is by proper training. They believed that learning and practicing effective strategies was a good way to find and maintain motivation. So motivation is not something static, it takes practice, and it requires continued effort to maintain. The first topics ALL pointed to one outcome, in order to be motivated, it will require ACTION.

So action and practice is the outward manifestation of motivation, but what’s the source. In their research Cameron and Pierce (Rewards and Intrinsic Motivation: Resolving the Controversy, 2002) believed that motivation originates from within. They believe that the most effective tool for motivation is it’s intrinsic value, meaning that the real effort comes from within you. Whether its a coincidence or not, it seems that no study on motivation doesn’t find a correlation with Maslow’s (1943) Hierarchy of Needs Theory. Nair (Organizational Behaviour, 2010) conducted a study involving large corporations, and found that there were several indicators to high motivation, and they were comprised of Maslow’s hierarchy of needs theory which are: psychological, safety, social, esteem and self-actualization. Nair’s research concluded that as we accomplish the lower needs on Maslow’s pyramid, we gain higher levels of satisfaction. For me I feel as though I’m still working on my safety and social needs; I’m still looking for job and financial security. Therefore until I’m able to accomplish those needs, I will continue to feel as though I’ve more to accomplish. For me I find that I’ve always had a pull to find meaning in my life, and to be able to feels as though I’ve somehow contributed to humanity, or at least those close to me. Seems that I’m seeking to accomplish my esteem and self-actualization needs. One thing this last researcher has shown me is that at the bottom of the pyramid, it takes a lot more of those needs to feel satisfied, than it does with the ones at the top. Thinking back to my time in the Marines, I’ve always felt as though I was doing something that made humanity, or at the lest my country better. Now that I’m out of the Military, I find myself wondering “what now? how do I maintain that feeling?”

Knowing where you want your life to go is a good first step, but how do you get there. Setting goals for themselves was one of theMotivation key factors for motivation described by my participants. A good way to set goals would be by using S.M.A.R.T (S-pecific, M-easurable, A-ttainable, R-ealistic, T-ime sensitive) goals. Sorry I don’t have a specific reference for that one, learnt it in one of my Communication classes. For example making $1 million in the next year when you only make $12/hr is not a good goal. In contrast saving $1200 in the next year, by putting away $100 each month, because you have $500 left over each month is a great goal to set. Additionally my research found that having a strong support system also was very instrumental to accomplishing goals. It’s key to surround yourself with people who will encourage rather than criticize you, and help you when you fall down. A strong support system lead to higher levels of satisfaction with my participants. It’s important to emphasize that a strong support system means people who are capable of helping you, it’s pointless and frustrating to have people around you that you lean on who can’t help you.

Ok so what does all this research mean? First of all, motivation is action oriented, to be motivated you must be moving towards something. It requires good proven strategies. There are some lower level needs that you must accomplish first, you need to have certain safety and physiological needs met before you feel satisfied about social or esteem needs. In order to get to the end, you should have specific goals set. Although I have my work cut out for me, I’m confident that I’ll make it. The next chapter of my life isn’t going to be easy, but I have some good strategies to follow. Now comes the hard part, getting off my butt and actually doing something, you know the ACTION  part. I’ve learnt a valuable lesson this year, and that is you will always have people around you who are capable of helping you, you simply need to ask for help. I can’t do this all on my own, it will require dedication, specific goals, and accountability.

What about you, what helps you when you feel in a rut? What strategies have you found to be effective? I’d like to hear about them.

P.S. Oh by the way if you’re thinking that my references weren’t formatted correctly, you can’t dock me points for that, I wanted to show that I didn’t pull info from space!!!

You only see as much as I let you See!!

I’ve always felt a bit hesitant to share my thoughts, writing a Blog is one of the scariest things I’ve done. It tells you how I’m doing, where I am in my dark corner and what are my thoughts. I’ve always been a private person especially when it came to my emotions. Whether it was my childhood, or my time in the Military, sharing my feelings isn’t easy for me. This year it’s about being more authentic, and also being vulnerable, letting people see the real me. I’ve been a bit hesitant to share my blog especially on Facebook. I think sometimes especially with social media, people tend to only show their best, you don’t see them when they’re in the trenches. What you see is only their best, the fun times, the laughs the cute pictures of their adventures. Of course that’s never the whole picture, you’re seeing it through the lenses they’d like you to see. It’s like taking a breath-taking picture of you at the Top of Mount Everest, we didn’t see you crawling to get there, and we’re definitely not going to see you fighting for you life to get back down.

I’ve been following The Daily Love for some time now, and I’ve found it to be a great inspiration. I especially like that the writers tell you aboutKathleen their struggles, you get to see them battle daily just to get where they are. For me that’s encouraging because I see an expert having a hard time, I’m no expert, so it makes sense why I would also struggle. In reading about their quests for happiness, I find that I’m not alone, we’re ALL struggling to make sense of our lives. Some people are just doing it for all the world to see, WOW and that’s extremely brave. One of my favorite writers by far is Kathleen Chelquist, I love reading her posts because she always seems to bear it all, she’s not afraid to be naked, and show who she really is. She published something today, it gives a bit more back story about who she is. I think she’s incredibly brave, and thought I’d share it. Here’s her newest entry in her blog: “Are You HERE Kathleen?”

Kathleen again gets to the heart of why I write, YES I’m struggling with the things I write about, however that doesn’t mean that what I have to say doesn’t have any efficacy. I can’t say that I’ve suffered with depression as she has, I have my moments when I don’t want to talk to ANYONE, and just stay in my room; yes I make a great roommate! I think it’s also important to let people in, life is about choices, I’ve chosen to live the way I do and for the most part I don’t regret my life. I write because I don’t want you to struggle if you don’t have to, have you ever said “I wish someone had told me this!” Well that’s what my writing is about. If you find that you’re focusing on who I am, rather than the message I’m passing on to you form God/The Universe (you believe or not believe in the things you do, the choice is your), you’re going to completely miss the message.

Inspirations comes from the Least unlikely Source!


Today I decided to forgo my usual Sunday Hike/Run, it’s the best way for me to reset and get ready for the week ahead. I decided to spend some time writing instead. Got outside and even found time to spend with a friend I hadn’t seen in weeks. These past weeks haven’t been as great as I’d like them to be, I’ve been struggling to figure out my life, and my future. Although I’m doing really great with my spiritual walk, and learning quite a bit more about myself as a person. I’ve been feeling like my career hasn’t jumped off as I though it should by now. Don’t get me wrong I believe that there is a greater divine plan for my life, although I don’t want to stand in the way of that; trying to stay patient hasn’t been my strong suite.

I’ve read a lot of posts lately that tells me I’m not alone, I feel for many of you who are going through actual real problems. I think I was a bit caught up with what’s happening to me, and I haven’t been focusing on anyone else. That being said, sometimes I feel that this is the season for really good, or really bad in many of our lives. I’ve had friends that have been through some tragedy with people close to them. I’ve had ones who have had paradigm shifts, and those are not easy to deal with; basically everything that you thought was your life is uprooted. I’ve been spending time trying to nurture those relationships, and let those people know that they have people around them who will love, and help support them through this time. So I guess it’s not a surprise that I needed to spend some time contemplating my future.

box surpriseAs I’ve contemplated my future, the biggest issue for me is my career. I’ve looked for spiritual guidance, and I feel that I’ve been getting the signs out there in the Universe wherever I turn. But like many others, I’m sometimes stubborn, and don’t always heed the signs; “hey what’s that one sign know right?” I’ve even gotten a really good suggestion from a friend, but the one that I got today that blew me away was from a most unlikely source. I had to laugh about it, because here I was fearing what the future held, and the person I least expected  offered me what might be the most promising option. It really confirms that sometimes things come in a package that you’re not expecting. It also affirms for me why it’s good to talk to others about what you’re going through. I used to be one of those ‘fixers’, I don’t need anyone’s help “I’m a man I can fix EVERYTHING.” I’m not even going to worry about pointing out how wrong I was about that, I guess with life comes new perspectives. Along with a great option I even got some words of wisdom to go with it. It think you will be my new Inspiration  (you know who you are, don’t worry I’m not going to reveal your secret identity)

“Don’t wait until everything is just right. It will never be perfect. There will always be challenges, obstacles and less that perfect conditions. So what. Get started now. With each step you take, you will grow stronger, more and more skilled, more and more self-confident and more and more successful.”

I would have been ready to take on whatever challenge was coming my way, then she backed up the first inspiring quote with yet another.

“Success is no accident. It is hard work, perseverance, learning, studying, sacrifice and most of all, love of what you are doing or learning to do.”

Wow talk about inspiring someone to action, that got me ready to jump on any challenge that was coming my way. I think I’m going to cut those two out and frame them, I think they’re that good!

So what challenge are you facing in your life? Is there a specific challenge that you might be facing? Think of all those great athletes or famous figures, they didn’t get to where they are because they’re special. Although some of them do posses a special brand of courage and bravery for standing out. Imagine what they told Mark Zukerberg when he talked about this “Facebook” idea, they probably didn’t just open a door for him. I’m certain that he had hundreds of challenges just getting funding for his idea, not to mention all the rest building the company. So my take away is this, so it will be hard starting a new career, so what? I already know I’m not motivated by money, or external pressure from my manager. The thing that matters to me the most is the satisfaction I get from helping others, so why not be bold. Go after what I desire, and don’t let others tell me what I can’t do!

Stay tuned, I anticipate that the next few weeks will be interesting, but in a good way! I can feel the excitement and anticipation building, I’m feeling good about all the options I have ahead of me. And just to think, all of this was made possible because someone read my blog. Hey wait someone actually read my blog, and it moved them to action!