Why would anyone want to do hard work when they could just chill? I mean, think about it. You're sitting on the couch, actually even better, lying down. You've got an iced mocha extra, extra within reach. Your head is leaning on a pillow. Your legs are covered by a blanket. There's even a bag of tortilla chips within reach. Oh, and the Celtics game is on. It's all good. It'd better than good. It's heaven.
Okay, so now, your dad comes into the room. He wants you to leave your cozy station and put the trash out. Then he wants you to sweep the garage and vacuum his car. You ask him what he's smoking (in your head, of course). You keep looking straight ahead at the game, hoping he's only a bald-spotted hallucination that will disappear as quickly as he appeared. When he doesn't, disappear, that is, you try to engage him in the game. Maybe he'll want to watch it with you. It will pass, this chore thing. Just don't breathe.
But, he's not going away. He's more persistent than that fly that landed on your lunch today at school. Only, he can't be swatted away as easily. So, you look up at the ceiling and ask, why me? Face it, the last thing you want to do is get off the couch and start working--hard. So, why get up? Give me one good reason. Actually, give me three.
One--because he said so, and there's probably some uncomfortable consequence to telling him to take a hike.
Two--because the work needs to get done, and it's the right thing to do to get up and help your parents. You know that already. But, it doesn't make it any easier.
Three--Hard work is good for you. What???
Do you know that feeling you get after you run five mile, or finish a forty-page term paper, or clean you room? It's the return on sweat equity, and it's called accomplishment. The feeling of accomplishmwent goes a long way. the harder the work, the better the feeling. It may make your body feel tired, but your head will feel good. Hard work keeps you healthy and makes you happy. It clears your head and your heart. It can bring you the answers to problems you were struggling to figure out. When you do nothing, you get nothing. When you do something hard, you get a return on that investment. Maybe you won't see it right away, but it's there. You stack three cords of wood, you end up with muscle to show for it. You're building yourself, physically, mentally, and in a lot of other important ways.
You feel happy because you did the right thing. You feel happy because you accomplished something. You feel happy because you challenged yourself and because you contributed to your family. Your dad's no longer frustrated with you. In fact, he's thinking you're pretty cool right about now, and he's bringing you a bowl of popcorn to devour while you finish the game.
And, think how good that cozy spot on the couch will feel now that you're done!
Read: Do Hard Things by Alex and Brett Harris