by Lynn Kim Do

Work hard? For What?

Why do you work hard? Why work to the bone? Why do you consciously choose not to sleep, to arrive early and leave late, to commit so presently and fully, to give your all in your job or gig or profession? Why? I mean, have you even ever had the chance to sit down and think about it?

My soul has been working this question out for some time now. Logging in the hours, putting aside friendships and relationships, sacrificing sleep and comfort. For what? What’s the right intent? Why do that? I know why through a decade of experiencing, of taking every and all opportunities, soul fueling ones and random af ones, bad ones and good ones, the kinda hard work that led to burn outs and soul burns, years of wasted time and time giving back more than I can ever hope for. So let me lay it out if you ever catch yourself thinking about the same question I do. Here are three reasons why one should work so fully, so hard, so desperately:

1. For the dream
Have your dream or dreams been identified? Have you narrowed down the vision in this long and trialing and exhausting dream-journey? Even if you haven’t, are you in an honest pursuit?Personally, I’m always in pursuit. If you have some idea of your dream, even a speck of glimmer of what feels right in the dream vessel, then hard work comes naturally, instinctively, and willingly. Those hours and yawns and sweat feels full to your soul, just maybe not your wallet. But that’s okay. That’s perfectly fine. Because placing seeds for your dreams even if it’s free work or paid work in the pot of your passion is priceless. Work hard for that dream that keeps you awake at night, that gives you chills when you talk about it, that you know deep down will make that soul fueled.

2. For the money
We need to survive. I get that. I get that TOO well. I mean how can you get to the dream without a roof over your head, food to fuel your body and mind, experiences to build inspiration. That all requires money. Survival will lead one to work very hard. But I suggest you take a moment to identify that reason before you take the job. I do. Because money often times equals your self-worth. Calculate your worth. Divide that by your desperation to survive. Sometimes any pay is what you need, desperate to just stay afloat. Other times, you know that no money in the world is worth a job that degrades you, that does nothing for you, is morally questionable, AND doesn’t even pay well. Repeat after me—I am done chasing any money, but large money (unless it’s for “my” dream.) We are not in the business of building other people’s dream but our own.

3. For myself
There are times I accept a challenge just to be challenged. I will actively seek and take on an impossible gig just to prove to myself that I can do it. I want to prove to myself and myself only what my capabilities are. That I am hungry. That I am more than capable and worthy of the final dream and vision. Of the final prize. Cause I worked faithfully, endlessly, and surprisingly. People say it’s good to view your mortality. I find that equally helpful in your profession. I will agree to late nights and anxiety inducing gigs especially when the price isn’t worth it and is also inconvenient if “I” decide to do it. “I” find it to be of value to myself to show that I can do that selflessly for someone else. “I” find value in being a team player. For my own reputation, my won self-judgement. No one else.

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