Hard Work is Not Noble—The Protestant’s Had it All Wrong!

Are Your Personal Beliefs About Wealth and Money Holding You Back? (Mine Were!)

Growing up in New England, my personal beliefs and attitudes about work were shaped—secretly—by long-held Puritanical ideals that seeped into my brain from the well-water I drank as a kid. Sort of. Now I realize that those beliefs weren’t doing me any favors when it came to making more money, getting a better job, and truly living a wealthy life. By reexamining everything I’d ever been taught, learned, or inherited through osmosis about work, I’ve freed myself from some truly inhibiting behaviors.

Hard Work Is in the Blood

My Father’s Work Shed

I grew up what economists would call rural poor—though thankfully I never knew just how little money my parents had until after they had both passed.

Our family was a large “blended” assortment that spread out and twisted and turned and was—frankly a little hard for a kid like me to wrap his head around. So many uncles (some of whom were actually cousins), aunts (at least one of whom was a step-sister-in-law), nieces (who were older than me), brothers (one of which I only recently found out wasn’t biologically related), sisters (who liked to dress me as a girl), and various other offshoots that spread all over the state and beyond!

The defining trait or characteristic I’d always assigned to my entire family was that they were hard-working, decent folks. We have a long history of tough-as-nails ancestors. One of my great-great (maybe another great?) grandfathers was the first settler to build a log cabin in the town in which I grew up. My grandfather was a lumber jack who swung a double-bitted axe and led teams of horses before and after going to France during the First World War to ride in the cavalry. My uncle worked his ass running massive steam-shovels at strip mining operations in the Midwest after fighting off the Japanese in the Pacific During World War II. My father lied about his age, went into the Navy early to fight the Koreans and came out trained as an electrician. He held a variety of jobs from crane operator, log truck driver, self-employed building contractor, cop—you name it, he did it.

Long story short, everybody poured their blood and sweat (though no tears because us tough Downeasters we don’t cry) into everything they did.

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