When I was studying for the LSAT, I went home to MN. As my family hung out by the lake, I studied away.
On day three of studying basically every hour I was awake, my dad walked over.
Given that my dad is a very hardworking guy, I remember thinking he’d be impressed at my commitment and prepared myself for a compliment.
Instead, he asked if I needed to study this hard. I said I did so I could get into the “best” school.
“Well,” he said, before walking away, “make sure you don’t go to a school where you have to study this hard all the time. It’s still three years of your life.”
It’s still three years of your life.
That small statement packed a lot of punch then and has had ripple effects on lots of chapters of my life.
I’m someone who will work hard just because I think it’s what’s expected and, candidly, is glorified/rewarded in our culture. I have a tendency to think that I should get more credit if I’ve martyred myself a bit. (hey – self awareness is the first step right)
Hearing someone whose hard work I respect tell me to also focus on enjoying life… well, it had a big impact.
Over the years, I’ve taken two main things from this:
❶ Hard work IS important. My dad would be the first to tell you that.
But it has to be worth it.
And I don’t just mean worth it because of a salary or prestigious title. You have to genuinely want the day-to-day life of whatever you’re working toward.
❷ Even when you decide the hard work IS worth it, it is still “three years of your life,” so try to make at least parts of it more enjoyable – whatever that looks like to you.
Do your best to hitch your wagon at work to people you genuinely enjoy spending time with so the hours are more fun.
Get more childcare so that you can enjoy early motherhood more.
Use a meal prep service or hire a college kid to run your errands/returns if this is a season where you want to crank at work.
In whatever way makes sense to you, make sure your hard seasons are worth it and that you make them as easy as you can on yourself. They are, after all, “still three years of your life.”
If this resonates with you, come try out my time management program where we’ll talk about how to support the life you want.