They say hard work never hurt anybody, but I figure why take the chance.   — Ronald Reagan

Love this wry one-liner– thought about it all week.

Since day one of school we’ve been sent off with some version of the message: Be good. Have fun. Work hard.

And we did. And we do.

But what about the hard work of achieving your dream life– the glamorous success of climbing Mt. Kilimanjaro, retiring at age 50 in another beautiful country or less glamorous but-oh-so-meaningful-success of making a difference in the lives of others by showing up and staying around– especially when it’s tough.

Now that requires more effort than usual– the extra sacrifices of time, energy and personal discomfort  that’s hard to sustain.

Try this:

Raise your right arm over your head.

Now reach higher. (Keep your arm up!)

You CAN reach higher with more effort.

That’s what I’m talking about! (Don’t put your arm down.)

Yet that extra effort of keeping your right arm extended higher for too long hurts– it’s hard to sustain. (You can put your arm down now!)

How do you do what’s hard, sustain the extra effort, shake off limitations and succeed at living your life dream?

In this article:

You will get 2 encouraging ways to do what’s hard and shake off limitations so you can sustain the extra effort and successfully live your dream.

Hi ho hi ho, it’s off to work we go!

#1– Working hard is always smart.

The familiar phrase, “work smarter, not harder” needs revision. As I understand the way the real world works it should be, “work smarter and if not as smart, definitely work harder.”


If you’re born with boo-coo smarts, wow, that’s great! You’ve got a natural performance edge over the rest of us who don’t have those genius genes.

In the real world, if a talented person with boo-coo smarts and a talented person with not-as-much-smarts both work hard, the differences become less and less overtime. So, working hard is a kind of equalizer.

Any limiting ideas about not being as smart as someone or not as talented, etc are out the window.

Finding people who (really) work hard and put in the extra effort is more rare than you think.

Talent is cheaper than table salt. What separates the talented individual from the successful one is a lot of hard work. –Stephen King

Conclusion: If you’re talented and boo-coo smart or not-as smart– be rare– work harder and get your brilliance out in the world. Reach higher consistently- (yes, you can put your arm down occasionally)! Never forget- YOU CAN reach higher. Shake off any limiting ideas YOU can’t!

#2– Focus on the future and work backwards from there so your vision is with you always.

My client is a self-proclaimed “all or nothing” thinker. Her standards are high and frankly, relentless. She feels trapped and doubts the good changes in her relationship will last. It’s been emotionally painful for her to face her husband’s betrayal. For her, this has led to questioning the integrity of their entire 10-plus years together.

No one can blame her for feeling as she does. It’s reasonable. It’s just limiting her happiness and she’d like to shake it.

Like the athlete struggling to climb Mt. Kilimanjaro or the business owner encumbered by his own fears of keeping new business, my client can direct her limiting beliefs by changing her focus to her ideal future.

She can make a picture with people, conversations, choose colors and sounds–even smells to represent her ideal. This vision (which she is experiencing partly) of her ideal future becomes her present focus. The doubts-it-will-last thoughts move to the background.

It’s working from the future backwards to the present rather than the present to the future.

Why wait? Be the future you want today. –Mary Franz

Test this strategy. When getting bogged down with doubts and other sacrifices/challenges you’re confronting focus on your future dream vision. Don’t get bogged down with things that are outside your control.

Conclusion: Working backwards from your future vision–the dream– and leap over daily hurdles (whatever is limiting you and/or causing you hurt) so you can stay focused, sustain positive efforts and succeed.

Here’s your takeaway:

Doing what’s hard so you can succeed at living your dream life includes the extra effort to work harder and sacrifice.

Focusing on the future dream life in the present helps keep and sustain the hard work required in the here and now.

Shake off those limiting ideas.

Yes, Mr. Reagan the chance is worth taking and the hurt is likely– rewards boundless.

I’m interested… What’s your favorite way to do what’s hard and succeed?

If you’re ready to realize your dream life and future vision, then contact me now and we’ll create a rock-solid plan to work backwards, and stay on track with consistent hard work. I’ll keep you on track.