The Work


Sometimes we don’t realize what “the work” of a situation or task is. We often like to see the results and want it without doing “THE WORK”.  We like to see what feels easy, the green grass, without seeing the pain point or challenge (ie water, seeding, weeding, etc.) to get green grass. As humans, we can feel entitled at times, as if we have already done our time, paid the price, done the work for a result we feel we deserve.


  • The startup company CEO feels they are working their tail off and the investors should allow another round of funding. The team member for the startup feels they are working harder and at the work site more than the then CEO and should have a raise. The investor feels they are backing the operation and should be seeing a return by now.
  • A person who works at home feels they should get perks like the office people do. People who work in the office feel that they should have flexibility like those working from home.
  • The employed person feels they have a hard job with set hours. People who are self-employed feel like they are always working and never have time off.

The mindset that feels shorted and jipped is natural and can easily set in.  It is a scarcity mindset that sees the lack and focuses on the need for more and not having enough.

Those who really do “THE WORK” operate differently

The Work

In contrast, those who really do “THE WORK” operate differently. They do not spend time in the scarcity of comparing what they should have (i.e. how the grass is greener or how they are deserving and how the world has somehow shortened them).

Rather, they focus on digging in, seeing what needs to be done to close the gap, focusing on what will get the return they want rather than wondering why it is not here already.

They are willing to do “THE WORK” because they don’t really see it as work. They see the challenge, the opportunity, the necessity.

They know it is work, but they are not dwelling on the work, rather concentrate on what is needed to get it done.

They are focused on CREATING the result rather than just GETTING the result. In return, they get the result.

“THE WORK” is usually the toilet scrubbing work others prefer and hope someone else will do. It is the planning at 5 AM or 11 PM. It is the networking, marketing, and failing forward 100x. It is the investment or cost without return. It is the sacrifice, the undesirable grit that is required to get to the other side. It needs a clear vision of what is needed. It requires determination, discipline, perseverance, and resilience to do it even when you don’t want to, don’t feel like it, and certainly don’t have time for it. It is the willingness to go over, under, and around obstacles, not seeing them as obstacles rather just things to figure out.

It trusts that “THE WORK” is worth it; that it will pay off. It is confident and believes that “THE WORK” matters and is relentless to do what it takes to win the prize and make it happen. It is not deterred, overwhelmed, or discouraged by the challenge of “THE WORK”. Yes, there may be moments of fatigue, a moment of question, or a crabby spurt, but it is quickly recentered and refocused on doing “THE WORK” which takes us back to the grid that makes it happen.

To do “THE WORK” requires foresight, a plan, proactive measures, re-evaluation, accountability, and endurance. It does not assume it would be easy or should be handed on a silver plate because some work has been done. It does not expect rewards or participation medals after each game. It is committed and invested in doing what it takes. When the going gets tough, it has resources to refuel, refocus and relaunch. It knows when to rest because it is strategic to “THE WORK”.

“THE WORK” is a muscle that is flexed at challenge and opportunity

“THE WORK” is a muscle that is flexed at challenge and opportunity. It is the gap between where you are and the dream or goal you have. It matters. It is possible. It can happen when you do “THE WORK”.

  • What are the results you want? What is your goal or dream?
  • What is “THE WORK” you need to do to get it?
  • What is “THE WORK” you have not been willing to do or have deferred or deflected?
  • What support do you need to really stay in “THE WORK”?
  • What is your commitment to “THE WORK” to get the results you want?

(Picture from www.goalcast.com)