Would You Test Positive? | Part 2 | Work Ethic

Continuing the theme, and trusting that the title makes this obvious...


If you were tested, would the results come back positive for having a good work ethic?

I think about this one a lot, especially when I'm staring in the face of not getting what I want out of something. Usually, when I'm disappointed with the results I get angry. I think that's natural. I've learned, however, that anger by itself is fruitless. So, I use it to push me into an intense pursuit of answers.


Man I want to be right. I think we all do. We like to be right. It feels good. But I never want to be right when it's obvious to everyone but me that I'm wrong. That's just embarrassing. So, after my marriage fell apart and I found myself in those exact circumstances, one core philosophy I gave to myself was that I would pursue being right even if it meant being honest about being wrong. This way, I can truly find where I'm mixed up, make an adjustment, and feel good about being right again.


So what does this have to do with having a good work ethic?

...Everything.


See, often when it comes down to not getting what we want...we begin to blame others. Or, perhaps we blame ourselves, but that can spiral into self-deprecating and self-abusive mindsets. All of these things turn the dial down on productivity. It's good to take reflection time, but when I stay stuck there because I get lost in my feelings, I notice that my results that I was crying about, continue to suffer.


Many of us want things in life. We have expectations - big or small. When it comes to our relationships, our families, spouses, kids, friends, co-workers, our jobs, our pay, our down-time, our work-life balance, our dreams and goals, etc. That's fine. It's good to have a vision of what those things are or can be and where we want to go with them. I want to be thinner. I want to be healthier. Or I want to be athletic. Or I want to make more money. Or, I want to have more time with my family. Or I want to be better at guitar. I could go on.


But often we have the dream, without a working concept of what it takes to make those things a reality. And without that mapping, of course we don't arrive where we want to be. Ultimately, we end up disappointed and sometimes despairing.


"Without vision, my people perish."


The real question isn't whether I want those things. I wanted them. I just hadn't taken into account what level of effort, resources, timing, etc. I needed in order to make them a reality. And now I'm disappointed with the failure of it. It's like I'm trying to go to the bank and get what's mine out, and the ATM says, "insufficient funds."


I'm trying to reap the dreams in my life, and life keeps answering back, "insufficient work ethic."

There's been times in my life where, when I'm truly honest with myself, I can find areas where I slacked that are linked to my results. I didn't want to see them. But they were there. I didn't need people to tell me that I was ok. I didn't need someone to save me out of my circumstances. I needed to grow. I needed to learn that I can do more, I needed to determine that I will do more. And if I was honest with myself about wanting what I wanted and being willing to do what it takes, then I needed to commit that I must do more. Then walk it. I've failed on this, and sometimes it's a harder honesty to grapple with than others. What about you?


If you were tested today, would your test come back positive for a good work ethic?


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