• Bill Petrie

Laboring on Labor Day

What does the word "work" mean to you?

Today is Labor Day – a day created to honor and recognized the value of the American worker. Unfortunately, however, the word “work” gets a bad rap these days. Even as we all know that the main ingredient to long-term success is hard work (and a lot of it), many continue to burn calories finding a non-existent shortcut because they don’t want to put in the effort necessary for prosperity.

Ask any parent who has had to assist with homework, and they will tell you horror stories about how that activity can drain every ounce of energy out of the body. At that age, it’s difficult to see the value in any work – especially homework – which means quite a bit of cajoling (or begging) to finish any objectionable assignment. I certainly know that I had that perspective during my early educational years. However, as I grew older, I realized that work is a privilege. Too often, we get sidetracked by meetings, busywork, paperwork, conference calls, and handling the crisis of the moment to understand how the work we do matters. From where I sit, the absolute privilege of work is achieving success by helping others reach their goals and dreams.

Many will tell you that if you “love what you do, you’ll never work a day in your life.” To me, it goes beyond this because that adage doesn’t take into account other, far more critical words relating to work like pride, self-confidence, accomplishment, dignity, and service. Sure, loving what you do has a tremendous impact, but there are aspects of any job (or life) that require “work” we don’t enjoy. It’s those feelings of self-eseem that allow you to power through the daily drudgery and focus on the positive results your efforts have on others.

Have you ever met anyone you consider to be successful who continually grumbles and groans about their work? I haven’t, and I doubt I ever will. To produce work that matters is truly an honr. People who can revel in the process and deliver exceptional results in service to others will consistently achieve the highest levels of happiness and prosperity.

Today, while you’re enjoying a cold beer and conversation over your barbecue of choice, take a moment to reflect on the work you do and how it matters to your clients. Enjoy today; tomorrow, you’ll have another opportunity to show the world how and why your work matters.

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