Working hard at life

When speaking about their ongoing fight with cancer, a friend said this to me the other day – “We all are afflicted by a terminal disease. We just don’t know the end date.”

I’ve been pondering that comment and the big accompanying question – “how will I measure my life when that happens?”

“Working hard at life” is the response that inevitably comes back to me. I love going to bed knowing I’ve done my best in every aspect of life that I deem important.

There’s a lot of talk about working smart and how some people manage to do it all with minimal effort. I’ve just never seen any evidence of that in my life.

Everything worth having has taken effort. Everything worth having has also involved trade offs. Sure, I’ve gotten better at doing some of these things, making some of these decisions and weighing the trade offs. In some cases, I do work a lot smarter than I used to. But, even that came after putting in the hard work first, reflecting on the process and intentionally getting better. And, all of this while having access to unique privilege – being born out of poverty – and being blessed with adequate mental capacity.

Maybe there are a select few who can manage to work smart and do it all. But, for the rest of us, we have a limited amount of time and a reservoir of energy (that can, thankfully, be replenished with activity, food and rest) to work hard on whatever we choose to work hard at.

We have an opportunity to recognize that we have the power to choose, to choose and to work hard at whatever we choose. This opportunity is a privilege. It is on us to choose. And, in time, learn to choose well.

I choose to work hard at life.

I hope you choose what matters to you too.

Together, I hope we make this privilege count.