As someone who's got some pretty big goals that I'm working towards, I’ve been doing a lot of reading lately. My focus has been on some of the traditionally great thinkers in the area of law of attraction, success, positive thinking and goal achievement — you know, Napolean Hill, James Allen, Bob Proctor and the like. This latest interest arises from a desire to tweak and hone my own success, to really step into the level of difference I’m making in the world around me, particularly through the work that I do on a day-to-day basis.

One of the ideas that seems to recur in the writings of these great minds is that of “hard work” and “sacrifice” — the basic premise being that these are necessary to true success and financial gain. Personally, I bristle anytime I read variations on this theme. Why? Well, my fundamental belief -- and indeed the foundational premise upon which many of my programs and services are based -- is that life is not meant to be hard, but rather lived and navigated with a sense of ease, despite whatever challenges may exist as the context of your life. So the idea of hard work seems to fly in the face of this, don’t you think? Or does it?

As I've sat with this concept over the past few days, what I've come to realize is that hard work isn’t necessarily diametrically opposed to the concept of living with ease. In fact, I think this may be the cause of so many people’s frustration when it comes to goal achievement. Delving deeper into the writings of these great thinkers I've come to realize that, when they talk about hard work and sacrifice, their meaning isn’t that life should be a slog. Instead, it’s that life should be approached with persistence and commitment — and indeed these two concepts are also written about by all of these individuals. You see, when you interpret "hard work" as “work your fingers to the bone and hate every minute of it” — you neglect to put the concept in the greater context of the work, namely the context of love. Each of these writers also talks about the absolute necessity to LOVE the work you do. And what I know for sure is this: when you LOVE what you do, hard work isn’t hard at all. You’re still committed, you’re still persistent, you’re making sacrifices – and it all feels like fun.

In other words, if you've got a goal that you're striving to achieve, be absolutely prepared to work hard. That being said, it's essential that you be sure the guage of your “hard work and sacrifice” isn’t how tired and down-trodden you feel, but rather how energized and inspired you feel. Because it’s about how much you love your work and what you’re willing to do to make your vision a reality. That’s what it’s really about.

Bottom-line: if you're going after a goal, the sure-fire way to achieve it is to be sure you love the goal and the process you engage in to achieve it.

Author's Bio: 

Gail is the principal and founder of Stellar Coaching & Consulting, a company committed to supporting professional women in living lives with ease. All of her programs and services revolve around the fundamental premise that life is more fulfilling when lived by active design instead of passive default. Her unique insights and experiences have allowed groups to work successfully on issues related to improving team function and productivity, and individuals to work towards achieving their goals without compromising a sense of balance.

Gail is the host of the twice-monthly podcast series, Your Life, Your Way, Starting Today which can be subscribed to at as well as co-author of The Control Freak's Guide to Living Lightly: Manifesting a Life of Total Trust (