Labor Day started as a celebration of American workers. To recognize the laborers that built – or at the time were building – our country, they took the day off work.
Monday will be 140 years to the day of that first Labor Day. (September 5th, 1882) Let’s commemorate that. We can do that by pledging to quit working so hard.
Most of us have heard about the differences between working hard vs working smart. Upon reflecting on client coaching calls this week, multiple client conversations centered around working smarter, not harder.
When I think about working harder, I think friction and resistance. The more friction & resistance we experience, the harder we must work to achieve our goals. This week, clients experienced resistance ranging from taking the best actions to mental & emotional friction.
Let’s look at taking action. If you had a goal of getting to the top of a big hill and there was a path already cleared and marked to get there, would you take it? Or would you meander through the forest navigating downed trees, brush and wild animals? You’d take the path. The path isn’t necessarily easy… the hill is still big… yet, the friction is much less.
Here’s a fact: someone has already accomplished what you want to accomplish. And very likely many people have. That means they created a path that we can follow. We do that through modeling.
This week, I asked a client to find people who have already achieved a goal he wanted. Next, I asked: what were the steps they took to achieve the goal? In addition to the physical steps, I asked my client to note mental elements… Why did they want their accomplishments?
When we want to model someone else, we need to learn what they did and how they did it. The how is just as important to understand, because it encompasseses their thought strategy as well as the steps they took. Understanding how something thinks makes their model more malleable in different environments and situations. It’s the smartest way to model and makes the path all the less hard.
Next resistance is mental & emotional. When we feel mental & emotional resistance, a common culprit is our energy. More specifically our flow of energy.
Clients this week allowed their egos to create energy. When energy flows from our ego, it flows up to create meaning. Most of the time, the meaning is negative since our egos are easily threatened. That energy flow feels constricting, causing the clients to push past negative thoughts to take action.
This is more common than you think. Have you ever compared your business to another business? When you did that, did you feel a sense of stress because they made more money, had a larger team, had more accolades, etc.? That was your ego flowing energy up to create a meaning that your business wasn’t good enough. Made work hard that day, didn’t it?
Instead, we want energy to flow down from a higher Self, spiritual source or higher purpose – whatever most resonates with you. Our egos are not attached to this energy. It’s pure.
Some clients tapped into this energy through intentional meditation and prayer. Other clients connected their actions to their purpose. The common denominator is that these exercises tapped into resources beyond themselves.
The result is less friction and resistance to doing the activities that create the results and success. With less resistance, the work becomes easier.
This week, if you’re unsure of the best path to hit your goals – find a model from someone else that you can follow. If you’re resisting the action that you want to take, connect to an energy bigger than yourself to discover the inspiration to move forward.
Make your labor easier this Labor Day.