Letter #5 – The truth about hard work

Posted on 15. Nov, 2011 by in Wrk

Letter #5 – The truth about hard work
From: Brett Trapp – Nov 14, 2011
To: Brett Trapp – Nov 14, 2001

Dear Brett,

Well, you turn 20 in four days and I turn 30 in four days. Crazy, huh?

Last thought on work as we come down the home stretch with these letters:

You need to work really hard in your 20s.

Really hard. Exhausted-every-day hard. Collapse-on-your-bed hard. Feeling-like-you-have-no-life hard. Cross-eyed-tired hard. Think about this: If you work twice as hard in your 20s, you’ll enter your 30s with the experience of a 40 year old.

The notion of “hard work” is quite the cliché in our society. Everyone likes it as an idea but not so much in practice. Hard work can be exhausting, annoying, and stressful–a three headed beast that most kids in our generation would rather not tangle with. It also requires sacrifice, making us pass on things we really want to do. Did you get that, Brett? You won’t get to do everything you want to do. You’ll have to keep working long after everyone else stops.

I don’t mean to make it sound all bad. It certainly isn’t! If you love what you do, then hard work, though exhausting, is deeply fulfilling. One of the greatest joys of life is flexing your God-breathed gifts at work. No job is always fun–it’s still work–but work ought to fill the well of your soul, not deplete it.

Of course, as with most things, if not kept in check, working hard can quietly morph into a toxic workaholism. Big difference. There has to be balance, but I believe that if you live a little imbalanced in your 20s, you can live a lot more balanced in your 30s, 40s, 50s, and beyond.

Now go get to work.

Remember, this Brett.


P.S. Hate to break it to ya but for your first job out of college, you’ll be earning $10/hour while making coffee and copies for your co-workers. They’ll laughingly call you the “mecretary.” Smile!

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