By: Stefan Aarnio

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No man questions the work of nature.


The bees make honey and no one questions them. The ants build a colony and no one questions them. The vines bear grapes and no one questions them.


But when it comes to man and his work, the noise of the mind becomes deafeningly loud!

Questions like:


“Do you enjoy that?”


“Are you fulfilled?”

“Does that make you happy?”


In recent years, with the millennial generation (perhaps the most spoiled and babied generation in history), these questions have upstaged real work and real accomplishment in the name of happiness and pleasure.


As I tell myself every day: Hope is for the hopeless and happiness is fleeting, seek fulfillment instead.


When we examine the World War II generation of our grandparents, they had no time to chase pleasure or the fleeting happiness that every twenty-something is seeking these days.


By the time our grandparents were 10 years old, they were living in the great depression. Some were so poor that they had to use newspapers for toilet paper. At 20 they were fighting a violent World War where many of their friends were killed and wounded. By 25 they came home, battle hardened, built a house with their bare hands and started a large family with the girl from high school (no internet dating, no tinder, no e-harmony or serial dating until 35). From 25 until 65 they worked hard every day, stayed married to the same person, served their families, served their country, and did their work. Some people call it virtue.


As bees make honey, you must do your work!


No one asked if the World War II generation was happy or fulfilled when they were carrying out their duties as men and women.


No one prescribed them Ritalin when they were bored or couldn’t focus (A.D.D. wasn’t invented yet). Nobody gave them water wings when they couldn’t swim…. And they certainly didn’t take time off to “Find themselves”.


Don’t take time off to “find yourself” because unfortunately – there is nothing to find!


“Your grandparents had a different word for burger flipping. They called it opportunity!” -Bill Gates.


So many of the most successful people in history started at the bottom flipping burgers, sweeping floors, cleaning toilets and doing the work of men. Just like bees making honey. Doing the work of men earns you a place in the world where success is not owned, it’s leased – and the rent is due every day!


You can’t skip steps: you can’t skip the burger flipping and the toilet cleaning.


Your rock band can’t skip years of touring through soul-crushing empty bars and paying your dues.


You can’t just quit your real job without any real accomplishment and become a speaker, author or coach.


You can’t just jump into entrepreneurship without any real skills, real products or real work ethic!


A butterfly cannot skip the cocoon stage go from caterpillar to butterfly. True change, real change comes from the metamorphosis of doing mundane duties and real work!


As bees make honey, you must do your work!


No one can run your laps or do your pushups for you.


This isn’t about your feelings and your happiness. Happiness is eternally fleeting and the harder you chase it, the faster it runs. Happiness is a moving target that you can rarely capture and if you are lucky, only kiss for a moment.


Seek true fulfillment, be excellent at flipping the burger or cleaning the toilet!


Excellence at the smallest task always translates into something bigger.


Like bees make honey, you must do your work.


Your work: The work that only you can do.


Respect The Grind,

Stefan Aarnio


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