Remember how Carrie’s Sex and the City articles always used to finish with a question? Well, I’m starting mine with one…
Should we be working harder?
With the new year looming, I’ve started thinking about everything I want to achieve, both professionally, personally and physically in the next 12 months. And it is a lot.
I want to run a BQ. I want to successfully complete my two dietetics hospital placements. I want to strengthen my relationships. I want to continue growing and expanding this blog…. And how am I going to achieve it or strive to reach those goals?
By working harder…?
Two non-athletes I am most inspired by are Casey Niestat and Gary Vaynerchuk. One, a prolific Youtuber and film maker with over 8.6 million subscribers, the other, a business mogul, who shares his entrepreneurial spirit via daily vlogs, podcasts, regular social media posts. (sidetone – actually Casey does run, and is smoking fast!)
One thing they both have in common… they focus on hard work to achieve greatness. Hard work above all else. You work harder than everyone else and you will succeed.
Casey even has ‘work harder’ tattooed on his arm.
This idea that we simply need to work harder, that I need to be working harder, has got stuck in my brain.
Should I, could I be working harder to achieve more? Or would my life be out of balance if I do? Maybe, at this time, that’s not a bad thing.
What does working harder mean to you?
For Casey, the thing he uses to quantify progress in his career is the amount of work he produces. His advice is to ‘work hard, and I mean that in the most literal way possible’ . ‘The truth is, any success in life – especially in the creative field – requires a tremendous amount of work’, so ‘work hard, and be brave. Work hard and take chances’.
For Gary, it was working every weekend during his teens and twenties. His advice is to ‘work harder and faster. There’s really nothing else to it’. He explains that he is working eighteen hour days, and working fast as hell in those eighteen hours, prioritising what’s important and what’s not. The answer, for Gary, is ‘More hours. Faster. Better. Stronger’.
For me, it’s striving to do it all. To write down a list of things that I need to do, that I want to do, and work towards achieving them. Whether that is in my uni work, blogging, the new podcast, freelancing, nannying, running…
I like to work, especially when it’s something I enjoy. I love blogging, I like learning more about nutrition and diet and the effect it has on our health and athletic performance.
For me, working harder is about making the most of my downtime rather than just meaningless time in front of the TV. It’s about making my time count. It’s about taking small steps towards achieving my big goals.
The influencers (sorry, even I cringed at the word) that are killing it out there, are the ones that work the hardest, or appear to. Girls like Hazel Wallace (The Food Medic), Alice Liveing, Zanna Van Djiik, and Carly Rowena. And it’s not just in the fitness world. I read that Anna (The Anna Edit) says that she grew her audience by blogging every single day for years. Similarly, there are Youtubers that have amassed millions of subscribers by publishing a vlog everyday. 365 days a year. That is an incredible amount of work.
Those succeeding are the ones that are giving their all, and haven’t given up at the first sign of defeat. Or complaining about how hard things are. Maybe they’re not the ones waiting for opportunities to come their way, but going out and asking for them, earning them, making them happen.
I recently saw a product the other day that shows a 365 training wheel, like an advent calendar, where you peel of a square every day building up to reveal a inspirational message (sadly I can’t remember which company it was from now but will update when I do!). It’s not about working out everyday, like a run streak, but the fact that every day adds up to your overall training. The rest days are just as important as the hard track days, the nutrition just as key as the foam rolling. The marathon is not just the 26.2 miles, but the sum of all of it’s parts.
So confusingly, while I may be talking about working harder, I don’t actually believe it should necessarily mean more, perhaps, unlike Gary and Casey. I think we should be working harder on the aspects of our lives that matter to us; investing more in our relationships, wasting less time on our commute but utilising that time to read, work, learn. Prioritising sleep and recovery to improve our efficiency and ability.
Maybe we should actually be working smarter, not just harder in 2018?
I know that I’m going to be working my butt off for the next 12-18 months to finish my dietetics degree, including two hospital placements, coupled with all the awesome stuff I have coming up with The Runner Beans. But personally, I wouldn’t have it any other way. 🙂