Challenge Number Three – You Can Be Slow and Steady or Fast and Furious, But Working Hard Is Mandatory

Brian and Alisa Murray

Brian and Alisa Murray

It’s always interesting when you get to talking with people about success. Some think the person who shows up and does what they do and repeats this every day is more worthy of it than the person who is always changing and moving around. I think it boils down to what people can see and are able to eventually understand about each other. Whether you are a high energy person or a steady, even keel type, it is important to realize it is all about working hard.

As a mother of two versions, I am pleased to inform you and your deep psyche that part of your get up and go ain’t ever gonna have anything to do with you specifically; you are a product of your genes here. I know this because I have seen firsthand the transferal of all of it. With that said, the good news is we all can get there, and how we find ourselves naturally going about the task of it is not our fault!

Working hard starts, I would argue, in one’s temperament. And, I have come to this conclusion both with a sense of satisfaction from observations in both myself, my husband and now, our children. Yes, some of the “fire in the belly” or desire to be “only the best” is somewhat born in one’s soul. For some, this will come as an astonishing surprise and might mitigate at least to some degree a tiny bit of disappointment, while for others, nodding their heads with a smile, it has been the most obvious thing they have ever experienced.

Take the toddler who is very busy. To some, and I am referring to adults and educators, the child might appear somewhat out of sorts; since they run on a slower speed, let’s say they feel the need to slow the child down, requiring the child to take naps, sit still and focus on a somewhat boring toy. This whole process of being pulled down to a common current happens often and happens early. I remember my own father after some episode of excited gibber gabber exclaimed, “Can you please just shut up?” I would, of course, stop talking, but after all these years, I have not forgotten his exasperation. Some of you should take note of this.

I married, for the purposes of this illustration, a slower, more calmer version of a human being. He is happy guy and totally cool with the status quo.  He has been this way since birth. Sitting quietly for hours, I am told to play quietly and not necessarily needing to exude any force in his universe. In fact, the very thought of having to exude forceful anything would very much rock him out of his so very comfortable zone! He does, though, work hard and steady. The difference is there’s a methodical calm to his working, and you can see it stop and start each day. This is the kind of hard working that the teachers and parents like, because they can see it!

I, of course, was the busy child with her hands on and into several things at once. It is not a better way of working, but just different. My work starts each day and stops and moves and sways and changes and changes again.  I am on a forever moving platform of creativity, design and innovation. I see big things better, and sitting and thinking is most often misunderstood by my peers as doing nothing, when, in fact, I am quite busy.  You just can’t see it. I am over the ridicule and sometimes secretly take score of what I have accomplished in a day that my love and counterpart cannot measure. Often, although I shall never admit it if you mention it in front of him, I am at least, in my mind, more productive, even if to the onlooker I do not appear so.

For a long time, well into my thirties, I was bothered by all of this. I was befuddled as to how I could get up at 3 am and be obsessed with a new idea, a new column, or a new painting, while my sweet husband could, and did, and continued to sleep soundly to, say, late morning? I would find myself incensed at the laziness and the pathetic acceptance of a methodical daily rhythm. I did not appreciate the differences until I became a mother and old enough to realize that there is, as Nana used to say, “more than one way to (you fill in the blank).” Here, appropriately, it is beneficial to say there is more than one way to work hard, and working hard, after all, is what gets you where you want to be. There, I said it. I am no longer keeping score. I promise!

So, there you have it. Lesson number three is to work. Working hard at being the best is a task that some take on with a “carpe diem” sort of fancy while others do so steadily and perhaps a little less chao-

tically. Neither is better than the other. Here’s a tidbit from my own gallery of life lessons:  labeling those creative types as ADHD is only going to make you feel better about the steady temperament you got dealt.  It will never change us because we are not paying attention to your boxes. In order to be a success and to find your true calling, work at it slowly, or blaze through fast and furiously. In the end, all of it boils down to really hard work!


Take Care of YOU!