You’re probably already reading him, but Seth Godin talks about loving what you do and taking real risks in your work (instead of just “working hard” and punching the clock) in a recent post. It’s some powerful stuff.
Today, working hard is about taking apparent risk. Not a crazy risk like betting the entire company on an untested product. No, an apparent risk: something that the competition (and your coworkers) believe is unsafe but that you realize is far more conservative than sticking with the status quo.
Here’s why it resonates: most of us still don’t get it. We know that work success is more about what you produce (tasks, relationships, connections, results) than the hours punched, but we revert back to the “stay busy for eight hours and go home” mindset when pushed. What if you work to do what you love and then see how to improve it like crazy?
The people seeing the most success aren’t necessarily the ones working the most hours. They’re the ones making the tough decisions, taking risks, and inventing something new. They’re putting that “something new” into practice and shaking things up instead of sinking into the status quo.
A lot of people still look at life through the “more hours of work = more rewards” lens. Sometimes the best thing to do is improve the quality of work within those hours…