Don’t Work Too Hard

Before my wife Zhannie emigrated to the United States from China, she always ended her messages the same way: “Bu yao tai nu li gong zuo.”

Translation: “Don’t work too hard.”

This statement always bothered me. I didn’t like it because I honestly believed that “hard work” was the key to success in anything. Today, I have a different way of looking at the “hard work” principle, and I’ll explain it in a moment. But first, what did Zhannie mean when she said “Don’t work too hard”?

Years ago, Zhannie’s good friend was working hard in the assembly line at the aluminum factory in her hometown.

Suddenly, an explosion.

The lady’s beautiful face caught on fire. She suffered third-degree burns and was instantly scarred for life. She didn’t leave the house, other than to see a doctor, for more than 10 years.

And with the communist system, you can imagine the health care she received for her wounds.

Shabby at best. Until the doors opened to capitalism and doctors arrived who could perform the complicated surgery she needed.

Under China’s non-capitalistic system, there were few high-level doctors – and no money to pay a specialist if there was one.

Why no high-level doctors?

No icentive. They all got paid the same, no matter what.

Another worker my wife knew lost his arm while working hard. Others lost their lives. In fact, my wife saw so much death when she lived in China that she became numb to it. Life was not precious. Everyone was the same. Just an eggshell to be discarded.

So my wife’s refrain, “Don’t work too hard,” meant the same as the Chinese saying, “Yi lu ping an.” Travel safely.

Safety was valued far more than hard work. Don’t take a risk. Don’t do anything where you could get hurt or injured.

When Zhannie came to the U.S., she no longer believed in “Don’t work too hard.” She believed in taking risks, in doing whatever she could to make life better for herself.

At one time, she held three jobs. She worked part-time in three different restaurants. She went to a school to learn English. Later on, she attended a junior college to learn more.

And she encouraged me to take risks – to write books, to give seminars, to increase my income. She never said “Don’t work too hard” to me AFTER she moved to the U.S.

Years later, when I began teaching Psycho-Cybernetics and Zero Resistance Living on my website, in my products, and at live coaching programs, Zhannie dived into the subject with enthusiasm.

From me she learned that the key to success is the proper use of your imagination and something I call the Law of Practice.

Dr. Maxwell Maltz called it “practice, practice, practice.”

But not hollow practice.

Enthusiastic practice. Putting your body, mind, and soul into what you’re doing – but doing so in a relaxed way.

All great achievers do what they do in a spirit of calm and relaxation. They may pay lip service to the slogan “It’s ALL HARD WORK” – but the reality is that when you work hard and are not relaxed, you’re not very effective.

The best of the best understand this. So next time you hear “It’s all hard work” coming from the mouth of a champion athlete or successful businessman, ask for video footage of him in action.

While watching him, you’ll discover an amazing fact: Even in the heat of battle, even when time is of the essence, even when a life may be on the line – the winners are those who make what they’re doing look easy.

Two summers ago, I watched a man in Xinjiang Province in China walk a tightrope. I also watched him run on the tightrope. And I watched in awe as he stood upon a chair on the tightrope. He made the seemingly impossible look easy.


First, he imagined being the tightrope walker he became.

Second, he practiced more than anyone else until he became that person.

Relaxed, enthusiastic practice is the key to greatness.

Are you relaxed? Are you enthusiastic? Are you willing to practice more than anyone else?

Then nothing can or will stop you from becoming a successful human being.

[Ed. Note: Matt Furey is a national collegiate wrestling champion (1985) and a world shuai-chiao kung fu champion (1997). He publishes the Zero Resistance Living program that teaches average Joes how to change themselves into the person they’ve always wanted to be. Discover how to relax, imagine, and put enthusiasm into all you do at the highest level possible. Order NOW and make a quantum leap forward.]

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