Shut Up and Work

WORK! That four letter word that seems to make some cringe. I’ve been thinking about it a bit lately, so to be able to move on, I’d like to “Hop Up On The Soapbox” and make a few simple statements today regarding some observations I’ve had over the years. Keep in mind, this is just me. Simply my opinion.

There is no secret. If anyone expects to achieve anything of any significance without thought, study, WORK, and perseverance, they will eventually wake up to find that they have been a bit foolish.

Listen, I am a great fan of fun and I promote fun as often as anyone for myself and those around me. (Believe me, I have more than my fair-share.) But it sure SEEMS to me that those that work hard SEEM to have the most fun. I’ve seen it manifest over and over… and over. Those that do the least, whether young or old, are the most discouraged and frustrated by life.

The guy who gripes and whines is usually the one that turns in the worst job, is always clamoring for a raise and never seems to raise his level of performance – even if he gets the raise. He never seems to learn that the more he tries to avoid work and collect his paycheck, the more miserable he becomes.

I also see it in many youth. By taking the path of least resistance and avoiding work, they not only create bad habits, they contribute to their own feelings of inadequacy. The amount of “effort” they put in trying to avoid work, and the amount of free-time they receive just seems to add more time for them to be bored and increases their frustration with their lives.

Work is always good, noble and an effective teacher. Those that work are proud, confident, unafraid to try and more fully enjoy their free time – since it has been earned and not sacrificed at the cost of their future.

There is not a short road to accomplishment. Those who spend all their time searching for it – and avoiding necessary, HARD WORK, are most likely going to be disappointed – IN THEMSELVES.

A few years back, my 19 year-old son, called me from his cell-phone as he was WALKING his bike back from his job more than 5 miles away from his apartment. He had gotten himself in to a major College (on his own dime) a few hundred miles from our home and was paying his way through by working. The conversation went like this:

Son: Hey, Dad.

Dad: Hey, Son, how are you?

Son: Not so good. My bike chain just snapped, I’m almost 5 miles from my apartment and now I have to walk the whole way, it’s getting a lot colder, I have about 2 hour’s worth of homework when I get back, and I’m already exhausted.

Dad: Wow, sounds like you’re working hard and had a bad break.

Son: It’s really kind of miserable right now. My days are comprised of waking up, heading over to campus, studying during lunch, back to class, then running out to get to work on time and then coming home and doing homework each night. By the end of each day… I’m exhausted.

Dad: Wow, it sounds like you’re working hard and doing all the right things. I sure am proud of you Son. Think about all you’re accomplishing all on your own. You’re an impressive young man and I know it’s hard but you can do this – you’re doing great now. Oh… and you SHOULD be exhausted each night when you go to bed. That means you’re working hard and you’re tired and will sleep well. It’s good to be tired at the end of the day. It means you’ve been accomplishing. That’s fantastic.

Keep it up, Son. I know you’ll figure out a way to make it all work because that’s the kind of man you are.

Son: Thanks, Dad. I guess I knew you’d say that. You’re right. I got this.

SIDE NOTE: After this phone call, and after I told my wife I was going to send my boy some money so he could go get a car, my wife reminded me of a conversation we had prior to him leaving. We had discussed how some of the biggest trials in both our lives had taught us the best lessons. We were grateful (after the fact, of course) that no one had been able to come to our rescue and “bail us out.” We were FORCED to work and stretch and grow and accomplish.

Even still, I really wanted to send him some money to go buy a car. He is my Son, he’s working hard and he needs just a little help. Her reply was just what I needed to hear. “You DID just help him. He can handle it.”

She was right. And when my boy came home the following Summer, he had EARNED his rewards. He was confident, poised and proud of his accomplishments during his Freshman year in College. He even “thanked” my wife and I for our part in his successful year. WHOA!

I think it was said best in this quote I wrote down when I read it:


“Work is honorable. Work is good therapy for most problems. Work is the antidote for worry. Work is the equalizer for deficiency of native endowment. Work makes it possible for the average to approach genius. What we may lack in aptitude, we can make up for in performance.

If you are poor, work. If you are happy, work. Idleness gives room for doubts and fears. If disappointments come, keep right on working. If sorrow overwhelms you, work. When faith falters and reason fails, work. When dreams are shattered and hope seems dead, work. Work as if your life were in peril because it is. No matter what ails you, work. Work faithfully.

Work is the greatest remedy available for both mental and physical afflictions.”


Okay, now I can get back to work.

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