Working hard at something is probably one of the universal rules for success and happiness. It's been said countless ways by countless people that if you work hard you will accomplish everything you want. Every variation of work, through study or practice, done intentionally and with passion and drive will put you on the road to success.
What we hear less about is that if you really love what you're doing, then the hard work you put into it doesn't feel like hard work.
I remember when I was in high school, I was encouraged to play football by my parents they said things like “do something physical… make friends… play football” (okay, that last one was just my dad). So I did I played a season my freshman year, and I worked hard. I was early to every practice, I listened to my coaches, worked on my craft. I hated every minute of it, it was terrible. Not only was I in Tucson, AZ, outside in August, I was wearing pads, and running around in the sweltering heat. I was jealous of my teammates because they looked forward to practice and games every day, but I dreaded them. I didn’t want to do it, so it felt like work.
Later on in life, I found that I love marketing. I can spend hours in front of computer or with clients and only stop because I can't physically keep my eyes open anymore. It’s a different kind of hard work, but it is hard work just the same. The difference is now I am doing something that I love. I am working towards a goal that I want to achieve and that I care about. (I think football was more for my parents than for me)
So there are two lessons to be learned here. The first is find what you're passionate about and learning how to make a living doing what you love is one of the greatest feelings in the world. Second, finding a way to love what you are doing is probably even more of an accomplishment than finding a way to make money at something.
You see, at the end of the season, when others had quit the team, I stuck it out, I took pride in the fact that, although we never won a game that season, I stayed for the whole season. My attitude changed and I began to enjoy the practices, not because I suddenly became stronger or enjoy running my butt up and down the field (the weather did cool down) but simply because I found a sense of pride in them. Sure, it wasn’t love, but the fact that I did not dread the practices made it that much easier to complete them.
Find a way to do what you love. Life is too short to be miserable at work. It seems nonchalant to say, but it really is true. You might have coworkers who all hate their job, and all they do is complain about it. That does not have to be your normal, there are plenty of people wake up Monday morning excited to go to work… its probably because they love what they do.