Jim Rohn is one of my favorite self-development teachers. I’ve been mentored by him over the past few years through his writings and recorded seminars. I have never met him. He died in 2009 after a full life.
Some time ago, I heard him dispense this nugget, worthy of wrapping one’s head around:
“Make rest a necessity, not an objective.”
Now that’s a new and powerful way of highlighting the importance of working hard.
Rest is something we earn. This sounds foreign to American ears. We are used to the “standard” of a forty-hour work week. But forty hours of labor over a seven day period—as enough to get ahead–is distinctly Western and recent. Our grandparents didn’t think like this.
I’ve heard it said that if you’re only working forty hours a week, it’s not likely you’ll get ahead–certainly not as far ahead as your dreams, goals, and ambitions.
Even God worked six days out of seven when He created the cosmos. He wasn’t done on Friday afternoon at 5:00.
I have family members who are doctors, attorneys, investment bankers, hedge fund managers, Federal officials, and much more. They’ve all gotten where they’re at the old-fashioned way: They worked their tails off. Nobody handed any of them anything.
Here are just a few benefits that will return to you with greater effort and longer hours, as you create a life:
- You will certainly grow in your chosen fields of vocation and avocation.
- Your sense of accomplishment will increase as you tackle and master more skills and meet goals.
- You will run far ahead of the pack simply because many, if not most, are content to put their expected time in, satisfied with “working their forty hours.”
- Your earning potential will undoubtedly increase, especially if the extra effort is focused and you strive for greater levels of excellence at all to which you put your hands to.
This isn’t a paean of praise to workaholism, far from it. But in a culture that lives for the weekend, for partying, for good times and leisure, one tends to get an unrealistic picture of what it takes to win at life and realize your full potential. It’s simply a matter of adjusting your perspective to accord with reality.
So my advice is this: See work and labor not as a curse, but as a blessing. Some of the most successful people in recent memory got that way, in sizeable measure, because they love working: Donald Trump, Gene Simmons, Jack Welch, Bill Gates, and Oprah Winfrey. Look for lots of increases in many different ways as you likewise work harder toward fulfilling your destiny.
And, when you have striven and exerted and are tired, then rest.
You’ve earned it.