And by “necessary hard work” I do not mean: slogging on something you don’t really want to be doing in the first place. This is not about sucking it up or faking it.
By “necessary hard work” I mean: FIRST you commit to something that lights you up, pulls you forward, truly inspires you — the career, a relationship, a project (and YOU can be that improvement project, by the way.) And then it’s so much easier to embrace the heavy lifting required. When you’re doing the hard work in the context of joy and commitment, you tend to bitch way less about doing what it takes. So! Joy first, then the sweat is a pleasure.