Career success

Why Hard Work Matters, And How We Can Work Hard

The tortoise wins, almost all the time.


You may be talented. You may know how to work smart (the time-cutting tricks, templates, macros, shortcuts, cutting bigger tasks into smaller pieces, prioritizing tasks.


But I tell you this: You only get ahead when you mix a lot of hard work (the hours) with smart work- only then you are being most effective, putting in the hours as well as the tricks.


Part 1: Hard work matters


Hard work matters because that is how civilizations were built. Even the smartest ones, save the most luckiest ones, started out from bottom, working hard, learning, climbing...working hard.


Hard work matters because it is the easiest way to see the results of our work, and I say that without being ironical.


Hard work matters because despite being boring it tells you that some stuff must be done, no matter how tough it is.


Hard work matters because that is the only way we’re going to accomplish our goals, the only way we’re going to reach our full potential - if we could just grit our teeth, bite the bullet, and get to the task.


Hard work matters because that is perhaps the best way to build good habits. Do same stuff day after day, and that stuff becomes habit.


Hard work matters because that is how people get good at something. Talent isn't enough. You must practice and hone that skill.


'The best piece of writing advice I ever ignored was to write every day. telling anyone who’ll listen to ‘‘write every day, until it becomes a habit, because habits are things you get for free.’’...When I have a book to write, I pick a schedule and a word-count – 1,000 words a day, five days a week, for six months, say – and get to it.'

- Cory Doctorow


Part 2: How we can work hard


- Start by not making any excuses or complaints. Just get to it.


- Do whatever that motivates you: What is your grand goal? Keep people who motivate you around you- the people who believe in you are saints.


- Celebrate the small wins (you have already cut the bigger task into smaller tasks, right?)


- Use smart work methods if they help (shortcuts, priority lists, templates etc.)


- Track your progress, so you can adjust the pace, see what's working and what's not. Adapt.


- Give yourself a break. Pace yourself. This is a marathon that we are in. Hydrate. Music.


- Try to get into flow: Flow happens when we are going great guns, and we don't even feel the pinch. Humming a tune, chanting mantras, small rituals (something as banal as kissing a lucky charm every time a batter is ready) etc.


Part 3: Motivational Quotes About Hard Work


It's hard to beat a person who never gives up.

- Babe Ruth


If you try and lose then it isn't your fault. But if you don't try and we lose, then it's all your fault.

- Orson Scott Card, Ender's Game


I'm a greater believer in luck, and I find the harder I work the more I have of it

- Thomas Jefferson


The three great essentials to achieve anything worthwhile are, first, hard work; second, stick-to-itiveness; third, common sense.

- Thomas A. Edison


There are no shortcuts to any place worth going.

- Beverly Sills


Many who are self-taught far excel the doctors, masters, and bachelors of the most renowned universities.

- Ludwig von Mises


The dictionary is the only place that success comes before work. work is the key to success, and hard work can help you accomplish anything.

- Vince Lombardi


Such is life. It is no cleaner than a kitchen; it reeks like a kitchen; and if you mean to cook your dinner, you must expect to soil your hands; the real art is in getting them clean again, and therein lies the whole morality of our epoch.

- Honoré de Balzac, Père Goriot


P.S. A couple of 'demotivational' quotes on hard work


“If wealth was the inevitable result of hard work and enterprise, every woman in Africa would be a millionaire.

- George Monbiot


“I've always resented the smug statements of politicians, media commentators, corporate executives who talked of how, in America, if you worked hard you would become rich. The meaning of that was if you were poor it was because you hadn't worked hard enough. I knew this was a lie, about my father and millions of others, men and women who worked harder than anyone, harder than financiers and politicians, harder than anybody if you accept that when you work at an unpleasant job that makes it very hard work indeed.

- Howard Zinn, 'You Can't Be Neutral on a Moving Train: A Personal History of Our Times'  


Thank you for reading.
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