There are three things that are magic about work. The first magic is that, when you do something, especially if it’s difficult, you feel better when you have done it: you feel good and successful, good and competent and able. If you do things that are too easy all the time, guess what: you feel like you’re not very good, or even that you’re not worth very much. Strange, isn’t it? But it’s really true: when you do something hard, you feel much better about yourself.
The second magic thing about work is that the more you do it the easier it gets; you know this from your own experience with almost everything but you may not know why. The first time you tried to read a book: that was hard, wasn’t it? But now, if you have kept up reading books, you find reading so easy and so fun. The first time you learned how to skate or ride a bicycle or a horse, it was hard: you didn’t know what to do and so you had to learn, and learn, and learn some more. But after a while your body did all the remembering for you: you didn’t have to think about riding or skating or dancing: you just did it! So the second magic, that your body remembers what you’ve learned with it, is why things get easier with time. In fact, after a while you and your body love to move, to work, to swim or jump, run or ride. Not only is it easy it’s fun!
The third magic about work is that you can make even hard work easy if you just think about it a little bit. When some people work, they sing or whistle; they work with someone else so that they can talk to the other person. An old American saying is, “Many hands make light work,” ant that is often true. Two hundred years ago, people plowed fields, built barns, milked cows every morning and so many other things, and they knew all these three magic things about work.