Hard work is virtuous.
We are taught from a young age that we should work hard.
The hand of the diligent will rule, while the slothful will be put to forced labor.
A slack hand causes poverty, but the hand of the diligent makes rich.
There is no substitute for hard work.
There is no shortcut to success.
The fact is, it is important to work hard. Hard work can be very rewarding, but it can also seem like it’s all for nothing.
We can work hard for stability, for security, for significance, for money, for fame, and for fortune. And we might never, ever find our pursuit truly fulfilling.
But there is a kind of work that is always fulfilling.
The kind of work I’m talking about is heart work.
While in the physical realm there are the ABCDE Steps to Prevent Heart and Vascular disease (Awareness, Blood Pressure, Cholesterol, Diet, Exercise), in the psychological realm I introduce to you the ABCDE of Heart Work.
Heart Work is Accepting Who We Are
Accepting who we are is the ability to unconditionally value all parts of who we are.
That means we acknowledge all of ourselves – the good and the not-so-good, our strengths, and our weaknesses.
For many people, accepting who we are can be hard. We tend to be critical of ourselves. And we cannot forgive ourselves for the mistakes we have made.
Try to view our mistakes not as failures but as learning opportunities.
There is no failure; only feedback.
When we see the situation as feedback, there will be a new perspective. Instead of being wrong we’ve learned something. Instead of feeling bad, we are free to form a new plan of action and try again.
Heart Work is Believing in Ourselves
Believing in ourselves means having faith in our own capabilities. It means believing that we can do something — that it is within our ability.
When we believe in ourselves, we can overcome self-doubt and have the confidence to take action and get things done.
We recognise our ability to accomplish goals. We’re optimistic about the future as we set goals and achieve them. Deep down inside, we know we can do anything.
There are no unresourceful people, only unresourceful states.
Heart Work is Continuous Growth
We are not perfect. But we should be constantly striving to be a better version of ourselves.
As a coach and consultant in the financial industry, it doesn’t mean my life is smooth sailing.
I too have many blindspots, and there are people whom I may have accidentally offended because of my blindspots.
For example, I have an anger issue. I get triggered easily, and I would snap at people close to me. I am proud and egoistic. I will seldom ask or accept help from others. I tend to be calculative and unforgiving. I am self-centred and will want things my way.
I have invested in many self-development programmes in the past and have continuously discovered more and more blindspots in myself as well as achieving more and more breakthroughs.
I am grateful that this continuous growing journey has made me into a more empathetic person so that I can potentially help more people holistically.
Heart Work is Developing Others
Life makes sense when you realize it’s not all about you.
We live in an interrelated, interconnected world. Every move of ours affects every other individual in society.
The basic rule of life: What we don’t want others to do to us; we don’t do that to others.
And the next step is to use our lives as a living testimony, to inspire and impact those around us.
If your actions inspire others to dream more, learn more, do more, and become more, you are a leader.
As coaches, this is what we are constantly doing, and it is heart work.
Even if you are not a coach, you are still an influence to people around you, be it to your spouse, your children, your parents, your siblings, your colleagues, and your friends. They are in your life for a reason, and you can be there for them.
Heart Work is Embracing Change
Change is the only constant in life.
Whether you perceive it or not, everything is constantly changing – the environment, the weather, the economy, technology, society, culture, your friends and family, your body, everything. And the better able you are to embrace change in what is happening in your world, the easier it will be for you to live your best life.
Embracing change allows us to adapt better to change and become more flexible. Change can be a lot harder on someone when they resist and reject it. Accepting change makes dealing with change a lot easier. The more we deal with change, the more used to it we become, the easier it becomes to deal with it.
Change asks you to:
- Learn new things.
- Acquire new skills.
- Master new qualities
All of which ultimately results in you becoming a better, more capable person.
We often avoid heart work because it feels like too much.
Where do I even begin?
How do I even start?
And that’s why so many people quit, out of a sense of discouragement, and settle for mediocrity.
But here’s the beautiful truth. We have a lifetime to get this done. And we get to pace our life one day at a time. And we get to grow an inch at a time.
Never forget that the hardest and most rewarding work you’ll ever do is the heart work required to become the person you’re supposed to be.
Start your journey today.
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I LOVE LOVE LOVE this article Junwen! Thank you so much.