This is posting on the Friday that leads into the three day, Labor Day weekend. I hope all of you reading this are excited and ready for a great extra day off, whether that is with any big plans or just some extra rest and relaxation. That being said, though, I’m about to pull a little bit of a zig where most people zag here and spend some time in praise of labor itself.
Brandon and I talk a lot about growth mindset, which means that we don’t talk about our skills as being about natural talent as much as we do the result of effort, growth, and improvement. These aren’t empty phrases, but an actual shift in mindset to see ourselves as works in progress rather than static, finished products. If we are going to put this into practice, though, we’re going to have to put in the work. Monty Williams, head coach of the Phoenix Suns, was recorded talking to his team and saying that, “Everything you want is on the other side of hard.” I love this quote so much because it does such a good job of putting reality of our labor into focus.
Labor isn’t always fun, obviously, but it’s necessary. The rest and leisure we get to enjoy this weekend is only possible because of the work that we, collectively with those who came before us, have done. Building the nation we live in, where the dignity of workers has come to be recognized enough to earn a national holiday, wasn’t a natural occurrence.
Even the joy of our rest itself comes back to the work we’ve done. We’ve likely all had the experiences of similar days off with very different feels to them. A day of relaxation after having worked your tail off to really accomplish something is rejuvenating, it makes us feel refreshed and recharged. On the other hand, an idle day doing nothing tends to leave us lethargic, tired, and restless. Even in Eden, man and woman were told to cultivate and care for the garden. Even in paradise, we have work to do. Maybe that’s what they mean by the labors of love.