I believe I am a very hard worker, but I hate “the grind”.
This is a term that has become popular to use to show that one is putting in the necessary work in order to achieve something, but, in my opinion, this is the wrong perspective.
“The grind” is simply something you tolerate, not something you learn from. If you hate the process then you are simply doing it for the results and the results are not always under your control, so you are being used by your sport, job, or activity.
What happens at the end of “the grind” if you don’t get the results you want? Only 50% of the people involved win each game. What if two competitors have grinded an equal amount in practice and an equal amount in the game? Someone is still going to lose.
Someone who is doing it for the enjoyment will be more motivated to stick with it. Someone who is learning is going to have a better chance to improve and win the next time around. Someone who is always alert will be ready to pivot in life and seize opportunities that present themselves rather than having tunnel vision and keep grinding into a situation that is limiting them from realizing their full potential.
Alertness will also allow us to work smarter.
There is a story about the owner of a lumber company who needed to hire someone to fill an open position. He had two men who were interested in the job so he told them that they would have a contest and whoever won would get the job.
Each man was given an axe and assigned 10 trees to chop down. The first man to chop down all 10 trees would be given the job.
The first man was 6’8”, quite muscular, and weighed about 275 pounds. The second man was 5’10”, possessed decent strength, and weighed about 150 pounds.
The larger man said this would not even be a contest and there was no way the smaller man could beat him. He started chopping down the first tree and was making progress pretty quickly.
The smaller man walked away with his axe. The larger man laughed and said, “See, he has already given up because he knows he will not win,” and he continued chopping.
After the larger man had chopped down two trees and was on his third, the smaller man returned and began chopping.
He quickly started knocking trees down at a faster rate than the larger man. By the time the larger man had chopped down his sixth tree, the smaller man had chopped down five trees!
Soon the smaller man passed him and finished his ninth tree when the larger man was still on his eighth tree.
The larger man was becoming frustrated and started swinging as hard as he could and at a faster rate than ever before, but it was no use as the smaller man finished his 10th tree.
The larger man, exhausted and nearly out of breath, threw down his axe in disgust and said, “I don’t understand. How could a little guy like you beat me?”
The smaller man smiled and said, “I sharpened my axe!”
Hard work with a purpose is important, but sometimes you have to work smarter, not harder.
In addition to working smarter, I want to encourage you to start doing things out of love, rather than just simply because you are trying to get to a destination.
Do you grind through a relationship with someone you love?
Do you grind through a date with your husband or wife? Do you grind through a vacation with your family? Do you grind through a visit with your grandma in the hospital? Do you grind through a church service?
Are you grinding through life just so you can get your spot in heaven?
Life is too short to grind. Enjoy what you do or find something else. If you are in a situation you feel you cannot get out of then use your experience to learn everything you can and mold yourself into the person you want to be.
Everything that happens to you is an opportunity for you to learn and grow.
Quit grinding and start learning!
Quit grinding and start enjoying!
Quit grinding and start living!
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