By John Sonmez April 19, 2018

Is Hard Work Really Worth It?

This question really got me thinking…

Is hard work really worth it? As you already know, I consider myself a bulldog. Someone who seeks infinite motivation and is willing to beat whoever necessary to stay on top.

And all of this requires hard work. Working hard to outwork everyone. This was my life. Until now.

But now… I tend to re-think all of this. Why? Is it not worth it?

 
Transcript Of The Video

John Sonmez: Hey what's up John Sonmez here. I got this question about is working hard really worth it? I think, this is interesting because I've wondered this sometimes, like we all wonder, is it worth working hard? Is it better to just be lazy? Let's read the question and I'll see what I got to say about this.
He says, “I've been wondering lately if the work I'm putting into bettering myself as a software developer is worth it? My wife is frustrated that I never want to go out and do things because I'm too busy and I also don't have time to enjoy any of my hobbies. I love the idea of working less hours for more money or being retired early. Are the future dividends worth the pain I'm putting myself and my family through right now? My wife understands my ambition, but it doesn't make things much easier for her.”
This is a tough one and there's a couple reason reasons why I'll say this is tough. You're asking me this question because I'm there. I worked really, really hard for a while and now, it's kind of funny, right now actually I'm in this period of my life in this time, this year where I was taking a break from work. I actually divested myself from being the CEO of Simple Programmer and have turned it over to my business partner Josh, who's running the company. I'm still involved, but not very actively involved in it. I'm doing YouTube videos, but I'm not doing much else. I'm doing some stuff, I'm managing my real estate and stuff, but I'm not really working what I'd call a job at this point. If I want to play some video games or something like that I have that opportunity to do that. I've got a lot of “free time,” I can do what I want with my time. I can travel wherever, I don't have to worry about money.
Is it worth it? To some degree I have to tell you that it's boring. It's boring, but it's not. Having that freedom it's good and it's bad. It's almost oppressive. I've actually been in more of a depressive funk since I've given myself more of that freedom than I would've expected and it just doesn't feel super great. On the other hand, having the freedom, just knowing I have it is awesome. What I'm probably going and doing, and I will end up doing is I'm going to be busting my ass working hard on something. I don't know exactly what it is yet, I don't know what my next project is, but I'm not going to stop working because that would suck.
The reason why I'm telling you this is, simply I'm starting from the end because I want you to realize that when you hit that day when you retire young, and you can work less, and make more money that's not necessarily going to be as great as what you think it is. I thought the same thing. Hell, most of my life as an adult, I was working towards early retirement and my goal, my dream in life if you asked me was to retire young and to be able to be free, and to be able to do what I want. To be able to play video games all day, sit on the beach sipping piña coladas, whatever it is. I just wanted to be a kid again, have fun, be on permanent summer vacation that's a good way to say.
Now, when I hit that and I hit the ability to do that about … What was it like? Five or six years ago. It was not quite as exciting as I expected. In fact, it was scary. It was not all it was cracked up to be. I just want you to know when you hit that it's not going to be this amazing thing. What you're working for can't be that you're going to be totally free and retire young. Some people do that, sure, but I don't think that that's going to be quite the reward that you're seeking.
Here's the thing, I'm going to try to break this down and give you the best advice I can from experience here. I'll tell you this, is that I still think it's worth it and it's because there's a reward in itself of working hard. I think I've got some videos on working hard and what not. I honestly mean this, some of the best times in life where I felt the most fulfilled have been after I've worked really hard, after I've accomplished something that I really put my heart and soul into. There's just something about that and something about the process of working really hard it's like we're built for. At least I am, I'm billed for that. I've noticed that as I've been slacking on and what not and I'm about to hit the ground really hard next week again even though I've only taken a little breather because I feel like I need to. I need to do that enough because that's what makes me feel alive.
The benefit of just working hard in itself is great, but from the bigger picture of things if you work hard now, you won't have to work hard later. Here's the thing, this is the key to this … I wasn't sure where I was going with this video

About the author

John Sonmez

John Sonmez is the founder of Simple Programmer and a life coach for software developers. He is the best selling author of the book "Soft Skills: The Software Developer's Life Manual."