Two thoughts about work

I know two great quotes about working, one from an author, one from my dad.

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The best advice I got from Eric should be on a bumper sticker on every car in America: 'If it feels like work, you're working too hard.'"

Christopher McDougal
Author of
Born To Run

And…

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It's called work for a reason.  If it wasn't work, they'd call it vacation."

Roger McMullin (my dad)

It might seem like those two ideas are in conflict, but here's how I think they work together. 

Every successful person, from an Olympic marathoner, to the owner of a successful business, to an "A" student in high school accepts that to be successful, sometimes you have to do things you'd rather not do.  Some mornings, the marathoner gets up and runs when he'd rather sleep in.  The successful business owner sometimes stays late when she'd rather be at home relaxing.  And there are probably lots of nights where the "A" student studies when he'd much rather watch TV or go out with his friends.  It is, after all, called "work" for a reason.  

But the most successful people still love what they do.

Elite runners will tell you that there's no better feeling than finishing a good, hard run.  Successful entrepreneurs love being in charge of their own professional destinies and making their businesses successful.  And "A" students like challenging themselves, learning and mastering material.  The success feels good, and once someone has a taste of it, the work it takes to get there is part of the enjoyment.

So yes, work hard.  And accept that to be successful, you're going to need to do things that you might not always want to do.

But work shouldn't make you miserable.  It shouldn't be a gut wrenching, soul crushing experience.  If it feels that way for too long, you're working too hard.