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Why Do You Work So Hard?

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There is a very good chance you are not living your dreams. In brutal fact, you might not even have tangible dreams to reach. You might be what I call a scratcher: someone who fervidly scrapes the system like a chicken, yearning to find that one additional piece of cornmeal to help make the next car payment or nearly delinquent credit card bill. Oh yes, you have dreams; however, your focus on short-term gain and maintaining an ever-escalating standard of living preclude any hope of long-term satisfaction. More specifically, you lack the focus and discipline that will enable you to realize your dreams—dreams that are attainable, but only if you treat them as goals and develop realistic plans to reach them.
This chapter is from the book

A Question of Control

There is a very good chance you are not living your dreams. In brutal fact, you might not even have tangible dreams to reach. You might be what I call a scratcher: someone who fervidly scrapes the system like a chicken, yearning to find that one additional piece of cornmeal to help make the next car payment or nearly delinquent credit card bill. Oh yes, you have dreams; however, your focus on short-term gain and maintaining an ever-escalating standard of living preclude any hope of long-term satisfaction. More specifically, you lack the focus and discipline that will enable you to realize your dreams—dreams that are attainable, but only if you treat them as goals and develop realistic plans to reach them.

Consider one simple question:

Why do you work so hard?

Why do you dedicate so many of your waking and sometimes sleeping hours to your job, often to the cognizant exclusion of friends, family, and other loved ones? For that matter, why did you go to school and work so hard there? Why did you invest (and may still be paying off) anywhere between 20,000 to 200,000 smackers to go to college? Why did you forsake $100,000 or more in lost salary and tuition getting a master’s or doctorate, if you chose to go that route?

One primary driver keeps rising to the surface: control. Call it curiosity, competitive spirit, whatever—you want to be able to control how much money you make, your career directions, whom you sleep with at night, where you live, where your kids go to school, and so on and so on. It’s amazing to observe the lengths you go to gain merely one or two more slugs of this intuitively uncontrollable concept. At face value, this need for control might not be a bad thing, though digging a little, control can often be a guise for dealing with something you don’t understand or you potentially fear—anything from dealing with a smart-mouthed kid to foreign policy. Regardless, this quest for control, if not managed and for the right reasons, can be excruciatingly painful.

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