Hard Work is The Single Greatest Competitive Advantage

Nobody is great without work.

Hard work is always the baseline of great achievements. Nothing spectacular comes without it. Getting organized is hard work. Setting goals, making plans to achieve them, and staying on track is hard work. Very few have ever failed with the hard work approach to making it in life.

There are no shortcuts to lasting success, only doing the right thing at the right time. Many people will do what’s least effort. Lasting success can only be achieved if we put our soul into our work.

“Don’t wish it were easier. Wish you were better.”

~Jim Rohn

There’s no evidence of high-level performance without experience or practice. The most accomplished people needed years of hard work and smart choices before becoming world-class.

There’s no substitute for hard work. Stephen King once said “Talent is cheaper than table salt. What separates the talented individual from the successful one is a lot of hard work.” And as Henry Ford says, “The harder you work, the luckier you get” — the more successful you get! Greatness isn’t handed to anyone; it requires a lot of hard work. The best people in any field are those who devote the most hours to their crafts. Michael Jordan practiced intensely beyond the already punishing team practices. The all-time-great football receiver Jerry Rice — passed up by 15 teams because they considered him too slow — practiced so hard that other players would get sick trying to keep up. Bill Gates saw the dawn of the PC and worked hard to put a computer on every desk. John D. Rockefeller, too, saw ahead when the world-changing new industry was oil and took advantage.

Hard work is challenging, painful, and uncomfortable. But it’s the only way to the top. In fact, a major key to success is to learn to enjoy challenging work and to enjoy working hard at it. For most people, work is hard enough without pushing even harder. Those extra steps are so difficult and painful they almost never get done. If you want to achieve some really big and interesting goals, you have to learn to fall in love with hard work. Hard work makes the biggest difference. It doesn’t matter what industry we are in — hard work can be used to achieve positive long-term results regardless of the specifics. In the words of G. K. Nielson “Successful people are not gifted; they just work hard, then succeed on purpose.”

Working hard or working smart cannot be separated. Being smart is about making the right choices to focus your efforts. Smart people move up the ladder real fast. But they also value the importance of hard work.

Hard work is the “how” to achieve greatness. Whatever your goal, you can get there if you’re willing to work. Don’t wait for opportunities, create them. When you learn to embrace hard work instead of running from it, you gain the ability to execute on your big goals, no matter what it takes to achieve them. You overcome obstacles that stop others who have less resolve. Thomas Edison failed approximately 10,000 times while he was working on the light bulb and yet he never dreamed of giving up — this is the hard work and the determination that marks a true success. The greater our capacity for hard work, the more rewards fall within our grasp. If you’ve chosen a significant purpose for your life, it’s going to require hard work to get there — any meaningful purpose will require hard work. Get over the initial hurdle by making that hurdle as low as possible, and then keep clearing really easy hurdles until you’re an unstoppable force of nature. That’s one way to approach putting in the hours to work on your life’s work.

The importance of hard work is a timeless truth. Rather than fight it, run with it and you will never be disappointed. Your life will reach a whole new level when you stop avoiding and fearing hard work and simply surrender to it. Greatness and extraordinary success isn’t reserved for a preordained few. It is available to you and to everyone. If you are willing to put in the work, your efforts will pay off.

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