Reflection: I spent much of last weekend in the garden. Raked the leaves out of the beds and corners. Mulched them with the mower. Added them back to the soil. Trimmed last year’s dead foliage from around the new growth on the perennials. Picked up the branches the winter winds stripped from the trees. Hauled perennials, buried in their pots, from the beds where they’d spent the winter. Hosed the spring dust from the trees and decks.
Do I love doing this stuff? Not really! As much as I try to approach it in a mindful way with an appreciative mindset, in truth, it’s dusty, dirty, back bending (sometimes back breaking) work.
What I DO love, though, is the result. It’s rewarding to see things set back in order once more; and it’s energizing to know that I’ve set the scene for good things that lie ahead.
I love the fresh growth, the new shoots, and the blatant optimism of bulbs which, having weathered the winter, push through bravely the ground. Most of all, I love the promise of color and beauty that lie ahead. And, that’s why I do the work.
I’m pretty sure – even if you’re not a gardener – that you’ve got plenty of grunt work in your world, too. Maybe it’s the demolition before a renovation. Could be something physical like a kitchen reno, or something cerebral like a remake on your business website. Maybe it’s the research legwork before launching a new product, designing a new program, or entering a new market.
Grunt work is rarely glamorous or engaging in itself, but it’s an investment that can take us someplace we really want to go.
Action: How do you pull yourself through the obligatory grunt and groan to the eventual great and grand? These four strategies can help:
- Paint a gloriously detailed picture of what you hope to achieve.
- Carve the job into bits to create more manageable chunks.
- Cajole someone else into giving you a helping hand.
- Celebrate your piecemeal progress along the way.
PS – Don’t forget to bask in the glory of the end result! A little basking goes a long way in seeing you through the next round of grunt work that is sure to lie ahead.
Quotes Of The Week: A couple of William Eardley IV quotes for you:
Ambition is the path to success, persistence is the vehicle you arrive in.
Lord, bless me with the ability to achieve all that I can, and the wisdom to realize it doesn’t all have to be done by tomorrow!
Resource Of The Week: Just for fun – a link to a Ziggy & Friends cartoon with a message about persistence.
Readers Write: Here are a couple of responses to last week’s message, “So, Are You Happy?”
Pause reader KE writes: This is a great article, Pat. I love your reminder to change it up when interacting with others. I do seek more meaning, and your open-ended questions are a great way to open the door to a deeper level of conversation.
Pause reader ML writes: This is an absolutely awesome blog. I love the energy and the question suggestions that you wrote about. It’s really great to focus on the positive in each other’s lives. Thanks for the ideas in such a concrete form.