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Ease, the Myth of Hard Work

Posted on 2015.05.30 at 13:26
Tags: , , , , , ,
This is for all the hard working people out there. We come from certain thinking, thinking that places the value of a human being on how hard that person can work and earn their keep. It's taught as a great work ethic, but it sure sounds like slavery to me, (all races and cultures suffered for that, not trying to bring anyone down). So we only value ourselves when we work hard. We work so hard that we wish things could be easier. We beg for easier while being driven to work harder.

When something easy comes, it doesn't feel right. We distrust how easy it is. "It's too easy," we look down our noses and say. We take offence when someone else perceives that we've got it easy, thinking our grass is greener than theirs. "I worked my ass off for this," we defend our good fortune (right before a storm hits, ripping my new house apart, or a raggedy car rear-ends the shiny new one that I've only had for a week. Yes, this happened). We defend 'hard' as much as we curse it because that's where our values lie.

We can't have anything easy, and resent 'easy' at the same time. This pits our focus and energy against itself, creating a frustrating stalemate that can last as long as we continue to accept it without examination. If things are going to be easy, then we must value 'easy' more than we value 'hard'.

Hard work was, and sometimes is, necessary in certain situations. But we've blown it out of proportion, using it as our "go-to" motto, when it isn't necessary for all situations. A lot of times, hard work can really be nothing more than consistent work, done easily, over a lengthy period of time, but our label-happy brains have learned to assume that hard work is always exactly that and nothing deeper. We don't want anyone thinking we're lazy. Hard work has done great things, no denying it. But that's not to say that great things can't be done in a smarter way. Like I said, I think hard work, in essence, is a throwback to ancient slavery, which every entity on this planet, has been touched by. It's a throwback to a person only being as valuable as what they can produce, or the work they can do. The inability to perform could've meant being rejected by the much needed tribe, which entailed a much worse fate. We are hard-wired now, to work hard (those who do). But being able to see this, can allow us to reroute the wiring simply by giving ourselves a better deal on an emotional level.

Think about it, if I'm convinced that I need you to do the work for me, then I'm going to benefit when you give me all of your power, physical or mental. It would be in my best interest to make you think, and your children's children think, that hard work is what life is all about. And I will always have more for you to do. This has been so ingrained in our thinking, that it works against us.

Hard work presupposes that anything of value must be difficult to achieve and must be very hard to do. It sets us back before we even get started, in terms of our thinking. It has us getting our self-worth (worthiness) from the amount of hardship that we face. Yes, we do value fighting for what we want, and struggle, over peace and ease. We say we don't, but we really do. We claim we want 'easier' but then we couldn't take pride in all that hard work we did and all that pain we suffered. People are proud of their pain. They say, "I wouldn't be who I am today, if I hadn't…" (gone through that terrible ordeal). Well, I think they would still be the essence that they are, but it took the ordeal to make them realize how wonderful they are. They didn't believe they were that wonderful to begin with, they needed the "earning ordeal" to prove it to them.

If we're going to have an easier time of things, it must be pure in thought. It must be 100 percent acceptance of ease, without a hint of resentment for things that come easily, or towards people who seem to make them happen easily. (I always resented people in movies who looked like they had it "too easy". My bad.) It must be without the need for something to be hard, just so that we can have the satisfaction of saying we "earned" it.

Earning is a self-deception. The person who spent years taking steps to get what they wanted, and didn't get it, has earned as much as the person who tried once, and got it. As far as reality is concerned, 'earning' is not as valid as we try to make it. It's only valid inside beliefs that we cling to, not to hard-bed reality. Reality does not give a s**t how hard you worked on something. But you do, and rightly so; it's your private integrity. But use it knowingly. (For a fuller discussion on reality and effort, I recommend, The Nature of Personality by Jane Roberts/Seth). Earning is just a way to grapple with your self-worth. And if that has ever come into question for you, if anyone has ever made you feel unworthy or ungrateful, then yes, you are grappling with that.

I'm not saying that effort is to be eliminated. Effort will simply be what it needs to be, without the burden of difficulty that's placed upon it. Effort, in the right balance for each individual, can actually feel good. So good, that you want to just keep doing things and staying active, but that's another discussion. I woke up this morning and had this on my mind. Thanks!


talullahred at 2015-05-30 18:58 (UTC) (Link/)
Sometimes I think something along those lines, especially as I grow older and especially after reading a few things that Pope Francis said about how self-worth cannot be tied to ability and productivity. But, I need money, so I can't think about that too often lest I get depressed. ;)

Anyway, glad to see you around.
ca_tharsis_ at 2015-05-31 01:48 (UTC) (Link/)
Hey Talullah!

By all means, make your money. But while you're doing it, if you're unhappy, it's ok to plan a happy strategy for yourself. One that allows you to work on your terms and no one elses. The key is valuing yourself enough to believe that you can do what naturally satisfies you, and still make money. If you believe in yourself this much, your life will construct a way for this to happen. You will put forth something that others will be happy to pay for. They will get more out of it than the amount that you charge. This will be shakey at first, but it gets sturdier and more reliable the more you do it. It's just like getting better at anything you've learned to do well.

Time and practice builds trust in your abilities. Start now and dedicate yourself to your satisfaction. (Even if you're making money in a way that you don't like, this will protect you from feeling depressed about earning money).

If you truly know what makes you happy when you're free to do what you love, you're halfway there. And you can't hide behind happiness for other people, like your loved ones. It has to be yours because the foundation will come from your essence and your efforts. The rest is keeping yourself focussed and listening to the wisdom in your soul. You deserve to have all the money and joy that anyone requires. Good to hear from you!
moth2fic at 2015-05-31 11:34 (UTC) (Link/)
I think that almost desperate puritan work ethic is mostly an American mindset? Not saying we don't have it over here, we do, but there's a great deal of admiration for people who have found either smarter or alternative ways of living. Plus an intense drive to emulate them. That's particularly the case today, as opposed to about fifty years ago.
ca_tharsis_ at 2015-05-31 13:47 (UTC) (Link/)
Hi Moth, mid and low income Americans are filled with this thinking, but I spoke with a person from Portugal who identifies with it also. We, as Americans, know there must be a better way, but working class people don't know how to create it in practical terms. The fear of poverty is just too strong and there is no system in place that supports "less work-adequate money" thinking. Basic needs being met are a huge problem if you do not work for the money and are not wealthy. Other countries may think that we're just greedy, but if you don't work, you don't have anything to form secure daily living with. (People who recieve government assistance must often try to compensate in other ways).

I wrote the article above because my thinking has changed enough to bring me good fortune and I want to help other people dissolve the old thinking that has them stuck in unhappy situations. Thanks for commenting. Feel free to tell me more about how this is managed in your culture.


ca_tharsis_ at 2015-05-31 13:47 (UTC) (Link/)
Love the cat in glasses!
moth2fic at 2015-05-31 14:02 (UTC) (Link/)
Have a geeky cat again!

Obviously the social welfare system in UK helps. It's intended as a safety net so everyone, in theory, contributes when they are working and everyone in theory, benefits at time of need. That frees the average person from the terror of not having enough money for e.g. medical or educational issues. Though the current government are intending to reverse the situation as fast as they can.

Portugal should have the same mindset - they're in the EU and their health service and education are as good as UK, sometimes even better. But this has only been the case since the revolution of 1974 and of course the country is desperately poor so older citizens will be harking back to the Salazar days and passing on their fears to their families. As you know, we live in Portugal part time and we are very aware of the differences between various strata of Portuguese society. I think attitudes are quite different depending on whether the family relies on land (still a mostly peasant culture), government employment (hospitals, police, schools, etc) or individual businesses such as shops, builders, hotels, etc. It's possible that the pervading Catholic church beliefs in Portugal influence things too. UK is supposed to be a 'Christian' country but only because a lot of people put Church of England on forms by default and not because they actually believe or attend any kind of church.

Originally, the attitudes you describe were known in UK as the Protestant Work Ethic because they stemmed from the various Protestant church teachings. As religion lost any real hold on the majority of the population, so did the 'ethic'.

I'm about to go offline till Friday (travelling back to UK) so if you reply to this and I don't respond, don't think I'm ignoring you!
ca_tharsis_ at 2015-05-31 14:34 (UTC) (Link/)
Thank you, that was wonderful and informative. Enjoy life without the net!
aliensouldream at 2015-05-31 22:52 (UTC) (Link/)
I really applaud and agree with this. We often hear 'life is unfair' but what is really meant is that life is uneven, inexplicably random, variously difficult or easy. We have to go with the flow much more and realise our efforts do not always or often control the outcome.

Edited at 2015-05-31 10:53 pm (UTC)
ca_tharsis_ at 2015-06-01 04:25 (UTC) (Link/)
Thank you. People don't understand themselves. They know what they feel, but they don't understand how those feelings react in time and space to become events. So it all seems painfully unfair. But once you learn how your mind works, you see that
you have a better deal than you thought.

I highly recommend the book I mentioned, The Nature of Personal Reality. It was one of the first books to help me question what reality is, and provided more satisfying answers than anyone could give me. People may not be able to control reality, but they have a lot of persuaision over it, if they will only study this. Thanks for your comments.
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