I wouldn’t call myself a ‘workaholic’, but I admit, I love my work.
I love the actual process of what I do – not just outcome. It makes me happy.
So even when results aren’t immediately evident, (you mean I didn’t make the NYTimes Bestseller list on the first day??? *flips over a table*) it’s okay, because I honestly love the work.
The work energizes me, gives me a sense of purpose, and fills my days with meaning in a way that few other things do.
It’s easy to plant seeds day after day, week after week, and month after month because – to extend the planting metaphor – I love the feeling of the earth between my fingers.
I love the process of showing up every day to nurture an idea and help it grow.
I love waking up with the sun, running to the window and surveying the land to see what small changes may have taken place overnight, while the rest of the world was sleeping.
But the downside of loving the work this way is this: it can become easy to get so used to planting, that you forget the harvest is coming eventually.
And reaping that harvest feels almost…unfamiliar.
You get so in the weeds of doing the work, making tiny tweaks, and fighting off threats that you tend to forget what all your maneuvering is adding up to.
But I got a clear reminder last week. Last week was all about harvesting:
I found out that after two arduous years of pep talks, practice tests, applications, wait lists, and interviews, my children were accepted into our family’s dream educational institution – an independent school that will allow them to continue studying Mandarin and even possibly study abroad at sister campuses as middle and high school students.
A subsidiary company of Johnson & Johnson placed a bulk order of my book for an upcoming event.
Two other corporations invited me to deliver paid talks based on the content of Package Your Genius – a book I wrote and self-published only a few short months ago.
After pouring into my Package Your Genius Academy students since 2016, last week I invited one of my former students to deliver a guest lecture on the topic of his expertise to our academy’s newly enrolled cohort. He nailed it! I was so proud.
I spoke with three separate PYGA alum who are all doing inspiring things – from doubling their salaries, to landing prestigious book deals, to signing their first 12 paid coaching clients in 30 days – all because of the work we did together.
At first, I was almost in disbelief at the abundance that kept showing up in my inbox. It was overwhelming.
Because quite honestly, I had gotten used to the grind. The pep talks and practice tests and applications had become my fall routine (whoever thought they’d actually get in, lol).
I’d told myself that sitting down and writing the book had been the real work (you mean people want to buy why what I wrote???)
And I’d so fully poured myself into teaching my students that I hadn’t given much thought to how those lessons would continue to pay dividends for them.
But it finally dawned on me that *this* is the glorious morning I’d been dreaming about.
This is the ample harvest I had tilled and watered and worked my fingers to the bone for.
So while I may find joy in doing the work, I need to also learn to find joy in the harvest – to expect it, to rejoice in it, to be present to the magic of it.
Firstly because with all the seeds I’ve planted, it’s inevitable, right?
But also because what else, if not this, have I been working towards?
If you’ve put years into becoming great at what you do, you may have also adopted the identity of ‘diligent workhorse’ and given little thought to where all of your hard work is taking you.
You may have shown up consistently every day and done your best.
You engrossed yourself in the work.
You hit a major milestone, and then moved on to the next big project.
You told yourself that you weren’t doing it for the applause, but still..the applause may be in order.
And when the app