Does Hard Work Need to be Hard?

I'd just got done rewriting my query letter (after many, many versions) and perused over to the magazine aisle.  And I ran into The Rock.

He'd written an editorial and said something that peaked my interest.  "Hard work always pay."  You can see the quote on the magazine cover.

I read the editorial, which was well written, and he mentioned nothing about hard work.  People often think of hard work as being difficult.  I've come to know it as being consistent and focused.  This is exactly what the editorial was about.  Showing up and being focused like a laser.  If you look at his career, he's attained what he's set his sights on.  No question about it.

As most of you may know, the 2010 Winter Olympics have started.  One of my favorite events to watch is figure skating, both singles and couples.  Tonight, China won first and second.  The focus has surrounded the gold medalist couple, who are married in real life.  Their story is well known in figure skating circles.

Oh!  My back hurts just looking at her.

Shen Xue and Zhao Hongbo have dreamed of Olympic gold for the past eighteen years, since they first were paired by their coach Yao Bin.  Yao Bin had dedicated 30 years of his life bringing couples figure skating to what it is today in China.  He'd suffered huge embarrassment during the 1980 World Championships in Dortmund, West Germany.  He recalls people laughing as the Chinese placed last.

So what's the point?

Yao Bin was determined to win gold.  And he spent the next three decades, away from his family, honing his skaters' skills, his coaching skills, studying video of championship figure skaters, doing everything he could to attain what he attained tonight.

Was it difficult?

I have no idea.  But as I watched him on TV, his mind was highly focused and fully present.  He had to trust that all the work Shen and Zhao had put in would come to fruition.  Keep in mind that this is the couple's fourth attempt, fourth Olympics.  That's sixteen years.  Zhao, the husband, is 36 years young, and his wife, Shen, is 31.  Age was not a factor as they competed against much younger couples.

Their physical strength, pure athleticism, and grace performed under the pressure of the Olympics.  Difficult?  Sure.  But the testament to their passion, which makes difficult work to others effortless (like being in the zone), was shown at how easy it was when they floated over the ice.  They had to have practiced consistently, concentrating on every minute detail.  Otherwise, the pressure alone would have torn them down.

The key here is doing what you're passionate about.  Because it's easier to get what you want when you're passionate and energetic about something.  Imagine having sex with someone you find ugly.  Difficult?  Yes.  Now imagine having sex with someone you find hot!  Effortless?  Hell yeah!  And you'd probably show up many times.

Did I mention the throws the female skaters completed were insane?

So with anything worth doing in life, show up and focus on exactly what you're working for.  For dreams are meant to be fulfilled.

It is possible to move a mountain by carrying away small stones.  -Old Chinese proverb.