by Sheila Viers | Featured Contributor
The American Dream. We all know of it. Most of us have seen the movie with Will Smith and his son, where through his determination, sweat, and tears he succeeds in creating a life of financial abundance for himself and his family. If you remember, the movie was called The Pursuit of Happyness.
Wikipedia says that the American Dream is a set of ideals that tells us we have the opportunity of freedom, which includes prosperity and success. It says we can achieve that freedom through hard work and dedication.
I think over time we’ve all gotten a bit disconnected from the true meaning of the American Dream and “the pursuit of happiness.”
You see, nowhere in those ideals does it specifically say that “blood, sweat, and tears” are necessary for achievement yet people use this phrase all the time in reference to the road to success, specifically when it comes to transforming our business. It simply refers to “hard work.”
So what’s your definition of hard work? In this day and age, hard work is often equated to sacrifice, pain, and an uphill battle.
We pat ourselves on the back for the number of things we can cross off our to-do list, our level of exhaustion at the end of the day, and how busy we are at any given time.
But who says that in order to succeed—in order to pursue our happiness—it has to be a struggle?
For sure, overcoming challenge and showing ourselves that we are capable of more than we ever thought possible feels really good but I don’t believe that pain, sacrifice, and all around unhappy times must precede happy times. What sense would that make?
An unhappy journey does not lead to a happy ending.
Yet we are taught that it does.
What if when the idea of the American Dream came about, “hard work” actually meant “smart work”?
Because if the “blood, sweat, and tears” definition of hard work was actually true, then why are there a whole lot of people in this country and in this world that are working reeeeeally hard, but are far from the prosperity and the success they dream of?
And many of those hard workers are pining for the day they can retire and be done with it all.
What if the American Dream, the pursuit of happiness, and frankly the pursuit of any goal could challenge us, yet also bring joy, peace, and excitement to our lives all along the way, not just at some arbitrary point in the future?
We deserve a life where we can creatively pursue our dreams and enjoy ourselves at the same time.
We deserve time with our family, time with ourselves, and time to rejuvenate our spirit so that we return to our efforts with a full cup and the energy to perform to our fullest capabilities.
But mostly, that’s not what happens. In our society, we are rewarded for busyness, chaos, and overwhelm. We wear it as a badge of honor.
So how do you peel back the layers of deeply engrained “hard work” and replace them with “smart work?”
Here are the three things that have helped me the most.
3 Steps To Working Smarter Instead Of Harder
1. Clarify How You Want To Feel
Danielle LaPorte’s book, The Desire Map, was the roadmap that helped me get clear on my Core Desired Feelings, i.e. how I wanted to feel. Rather than chasing goals I thought would make me happy, I started designing my life around feeling the way I wanted to feel right now.
2. Be Present
We waste so much energy worrying about the past or the future. Worry takes us out of our power and zaps our creativity. When we are fully present in our now, we are engaged, open, and ready for opportunities as they arise.
You don’t have to do everything, even when you are just starting out. It’s taken me some time, but little by little I’ve allowed myself to “let go of control” and get the help I needed in order to grow my company.
Bringing on help for the tasks that I hated doing or was terrible at so that I can spend more time in my zone of genius was one of the best yet toughest things for me to do.
I had to let go of my fear that things might not being perfect at the micro level in order to allow the big picture of the business to continue to grow and thrive at the macro level.
In what ways can you begin working smarter rather than harder?
Holistic Life Coach & Weight Loss Expert – Sheila Viers, The Non-Diet Approach To Weight Loss
Healthy living advocate Sheila Viers is the CEO of the premium fitness and yoga bag brand, Live Well 360, and Creator of ROCK Your Dream Body. Renowned for her practical and intuitive self-love philosophy, Sheila’s healthy living journey began a decade ago when she decided it was time to end her struggle with emotional eating and self-sabotage for good.
After years of yo-yo dieting, over-exercising, and issues ranging from food sensitivities to hormonal problems, she learned how to get out of “body jail,” lost 35 pounds, and now teaches women how to create this freedom and ease in their own lives.
Today Sheila’s passion is to help women feel amazing in their skin along the way to the greater vision that they see for themselves. Her vision extends far beyond weight loss and her unique ability to inspire women to step into their potential, by ROCKIN’ their dream body and in turn, their dream life, is catching fire.
Sheila believes that together, women can change how we view ourselves and each other so that we can embrace our perfectly imperfectness, shine our light, and allow ourselves to experience the love and happiness that we all crave and deserve.