Hardworking

For some this may be a no brainer.  I believe this is an admirable trait for all men to have. In my experiences in leadership, I have been fortunate enough to see amazing examples of hardworking folks as well as very poor examples of just getting by. If your considered a hard worker, I would say that it means you do the job that’s been asked of you above and beyond and leaves those watching feeling proud to have you as part of the team.

Of anything worthwhile passed onto me by my family this is it.  Growing up 28-acre farm in Montana, there was always something needing to be repaired or replaced. Raising animals, taking care of the land and building projects my parents came up with, involved a lot of time and hard work. Most of the time the projects were difficult and time-consuming.  The only ones to complete the projects were my family and so it tool all of us putting forth every ounce of effort to make sure whatever we were doing was completed correctly.

My Dad was a smoker and despite projects took smoking breaks, I on the other hand hate taking breaks and would prefer to go full on until it’s a project is completed. Nothing irritates me more than having to stop along the way.  In almost all areas of my life I am a perfectionist. There are some areas I am not such a perfectionist; perhaps if I were I would look like Brad Pitt. I often wonder why it doesn’t cross over into all areas, but that’s a whole other subject. I am the type of person that when I do something I am fully vested in it and I give it everything I have. I am committed and will go above and beyond what is asked of me so that whatever I am doing I can be proud of it and not have to wish I had done a better job.

As a father, I find it’s a difficult balance to weigh this out with my kids. I want to push them so many times to be better than they are, but I also don’t want to cross the line where they feel they will never be good enough. I think this is a battle most parents fight to some degree. We always want our kids to do better than we did and so we push them. Hopefully we see areas of potential in them and push them forward not against them. I want my kids to understand the value of hard work, being wholly committed and not taking a lazy approach to life.

As a husband I apply these same things to my marriage and relationship with my wife. I am working hard at building a great marriage and want my wife to feel secure in that. When issues or problems arise I want to deal with them correctly head on. Marriage is the one thing I always wanted and desired the most; it’s the one thing I have to work the hardest on. I can’t for a moment become passive in this area, or it will fall apart.

Ephesians 6:7Rendering service with a good will as to the Lord and not to man,

 

Being a husband, father and friend and all that I am involved in, believe me, there is A LOT. I have no time to be lazy or passive. I go to work every day, give my all to my job and as soon as I come home I am giving my all at home to my family until I my head hits the pillow. I am not the type of Dad that comes home and lets life pass me by while sitting a chair with pipe, slippers and a drink. Men if that’s still your goal today, you better take a long hard look at yourself and your life. Put down the drink and smokes and get busy. I am cleaning, helping kids with homework, making dinner, responding to e-mails, writing and planning events at church and generally busy with my next project. In all these areas I am 100% present and engaged and working very hard to make sure that what I do is my best.

As men there is a lot required of us and so many men just choose to get by in life. A few years back I talked with a man retiring and he said to me, “You know I have worked all my life and I have earned the right to just sit back and do nothing now.” I was shocked at this. Really, I don’t know where it’s written we just get to sit back and take it easy and we are owed something. I believe he missed the bigger picture by a long shot. He is now available to devote his time to things he was never able to do before, and I am not just talking playing golf or moving south. I would have hoped he might have considered volunteering and mentoring, those are some great ways to give back. Investing in the lives of young children, especially boys who need strong role models are a great alternative.

 

Proverbs 6:9–11 How long will you lie there, you sluggard? When will you get up from your sleep? A little sleep, a little slumber, a little folding of the hands to rest— and poverty will come on you like a bandit and scarcity like an armed man.

There are so many areas in our lives I believe we let things slide. We intend to come back to it later and yet never return. Hurts and pains, or because we aren’t willing to put the hard work in.  This leaves us wounded and ineffective. Men are wounded and dying because of circumstances and events. They just give up and stop trying; it truly saddens me to see men like this everywhere I turn. At one point they had hopes, dreams and were full of passion and desire. Somewhere along the line that changed for them and little by little they lost their way. Is this really the type of man you want to be? I hope not. Step up to the plate and start swinging. Start the hard work that needs to be done and reclaim your life. Find someone to help you. Whatever it takes, do it and do it now. Time is off the essence. Laziness and apathy are not characteristic real authentic men should even have as part of their vocabulary.

Life is about choices that we make. You can choose to just get by, that’s a choice, not an honorable one in my opinion, but it’s a choice. You can also choose to give all of yourself and more in all areas of your life. Hard work is just that, hard, but the rewards are as they say in the commercials “Priceless”. Whatever we choose to do, let us do it with the hard work it truly deserves.

How do you rate yourself? Are you letting your wounds from your past hold you back or are you pressing on? 

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