“Work hard, play hard.” It’s a phrase enthusiastically spoken by many ambitious entrepreneurs and business people; countless motivational speakers have gained a cult following by advocating for it. But what does it mean to you?

Beyond the “daily grind”

At this point, the routine is probably automatic to you — wake up, drag your feet from bed to bathroom, from home to office, break for lunch, work until night, and shuffle back home, only to repeat the same steps the next day. You may need to work, but does it have to feel monotonous?

Hard work and consistency of continued effort over time are well-established, key ingredients to success, but without a guided purpose, these qualities lead to weariness and a lack of fulfillment. Restore your childhood curiosity and wonder for life, wake up and power through your day, driven by passion. Avoid later regret. Why settle for getting by when you can be aiming for getting more?

Putting in the pure, raw effort of hard work is misplaced if it’s not making you happy. So, what makes you happy? Have you asked yourself this question recently? Your answer may have changed over time. The truth of the matter is that few people will ask you, so you’ll need to do it yourself. Also, observe and learn from others who have experienced hardship and take those lessons to heart. You can reflect and apply them to your life. You’ll be happy that you did.

So yes, the answer is that hard work is essential, but alone it isn’t enough. Working hard isn’t the goal. The goal is to fulfill the potential of your passions. Hard work and passion are complementary — necessary for both your happiness and success. A one-sided approach will cause you to fall short in the long run.

My hard work has gotten me this far. Why change now?

Continue working hard, but know that at a certain point, you’ll hit a ceiling. Redirect yourself internally so that you can reap the benefits of becoming a more passionate person. Some of these include: confidence, stronger leadership, and increased value through your overall energizing presence.

David Lucatch, CEO of Yappn Corp., followed his passion for technology to found a real-time translation service. He says, “professionals who are excited create enthusiasm in their teams and with others, and are viewed as great supporters. A person who exudes passion creates group dynamics and value, not dissension. Professionals who are passionate maximize the energy of the team and are viewed as great mentors.”

You need more than just the sweat off your brow to truly build something for yourself. You need heart and the courage to pursue it, not just perseverance and strong work ethic. Put a little more life and enthusiasm into your difficult day-to-day. Both you and those around you will notice the difference. After all, passion is contagious, and it starts with you.

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Originally published at medium.com