Someone has said we are all walking bundles of habits. If you think about it, that’s pretty true, isn’t it? The important question then is this: Are we bundles of good habits or bad habits? I’m exploring how you can put bad habits behind you—the everyday habits which have far more impact on your life than you may realize. Here’s another one of those everyday habits:

  • Working Hard and Staying on Task

Maybe you have the same tendency I do: to start things and not finish; to jump from one thing to another; to get bored before the job gets done. Well, you need to work on the discipline of working hard and staying on task. In Galatians 6:9 we read, “Let us not become weary in doing good, for at the proper time we will reap a harvest if we do not give up.” And Solomon wrote in Proverbs 14:23, “All hard work brings a profit, but mere talk leads only to poverty.”

Hard work and keeping-on-keeping-on—those are about as basic as you get in everyday disciplines. Are you good at those two things? Ask yourself, Do I complete tasks well? Am I a hard worker?

I often play games with myself, set up self-rewards, and do a lot of self-talk in order to stay on task. Recognizing that as one of my weak spots, I watch for it. Often I talk out loud to myself—if no one else is listening—and say things like “If you stop now, you’ll have to come back and finish it later.” Or “You’ll have such a good feeling if you’ll just stay with it now and get it done.” And this is true: We truly do reap a harvest that is very good when we don’t give up but instead work hard.

I remember my mother exhorting me to get some rest, as mothers do. But I pointed out to her that she and Daddy set the example for all our family by working hard and staying with it, so it’s their fault that we work hard! I owe a lot to my parents for teaching me the discipline of hard work by their example, and I want to be the same kind of example to my daughter, to my staff, to people with whom I have any influence. Hard work is a wonderful discipline which brings great profit.