Why Working Hard Can Propel You To The Next Level

In the beginning, or in the ancient ancient days, there was little education.
There were few technologies, there were caves, not mansions, there was no electricity, no solid transportation network, and generally low standard of living.
It was the time that people referred to as pre-civilization, or the much more common term, Stone Age.

Today, all that has become history. In fact, thinking about that time always bring about the question ‘how did they survive it?’ How did they survive moving around with no cars?
How did they meet up with their appointments? Did they even have appointments? Well, maybe the archaeologists will tell us one day.
One important question we have to ask is that ‘how did we move from that time to this time?’ How did the developments come about? Did they just fall from the sky and forced themselves on the earth?
The complex answer to that question is about ten thousand words that I would faint trying to write but the simple answer is no. One of the things that brought development to the planet earth was hard work.
Work is already difficult to do but then someone comes with the idea of hard work. Most people hate to hear it, including me.
Working hard 1
Source: Pixabay
What, I have found, however, is that everyone has to wrap their mind around that concept one day if we must achieve something worthwhile.
The case against hard work
Bad news first right? What are the arguments we can make against hard work? Why do some of us run for cover when we hear hard work?
Why do we always find alternatives to hard work? Is it compulsory we work hard? Maybe we can get by with work alone. Hard work sounds extreme.
Work is good, in fact, it sounds better. So what is the case against hard work?
1.      It is hard
Looks obvious right? Hard work is hard and hard is usually uncomfortable. Hard work can be excruciating pain.
For most people, probably all, the flesh does not like hard work because hard work always takes us out of our comfort zone.
As a writer, when I face a blank sheet, I see my comfort disappear. What do I write? You think about the words and maybe you manage to think of eight words but how do you arrange them?
Working hard

Then after the eight words, two words blink in your memory. Writer's block. And you wish writer's block was like a normal block. Because in that way, you will build a house faster than most people since you got it every day.
Then you try to push the words ‘writers block’ out of your mind which is another level of hard work in itself. Before you know it, you have developed a migraine. Your head begins to pound, and you ask ‘is this how I’m going to die?’
You look at the sheet of paper, or computer screen, and it is still empty. Or if you’re lucky, contains eight words. You think this is hard.
Or you work with machines that require a high level of expertise and concentration. You have to control with your hand and open your eyes like that of an eagle.
After three hours, you feel your hand weaken but you still have five hours to go. You must never make a mistake because you will lose your job. In fact, you plan to do more than five hours more because you want that promotion winking at you.
Your hands scream at you ‘this is hard’ and you nod in agreement. You know it is hard. In fact, that is why it is called hard work. Because it is hard.
2.      There is no immediate result
Most times when we work, the result doesn’t always come immediately. Maybe we can achieve our short-term goals but the worthy long-term goals are never achieved in a day. If a man aims to be at the top of his career, he can never achieve that after a single day of work.
If a young founder of a start-up aiming to turn his or her growing establishment into a mega company, there will be many days of hard work, that run into months, and even years before such an aim can be achieved.
A young footballer had gone through excruciating pain during their daily training. In the evening, he settles down to enjoy a game of football on TV and still see Lionel Messi score goals like a man eating popcorn.
He is convinced that he has not reached this level yet. He even has to question whether he will ever be as good as that.
What makes hard work even more difficult is that you have to keep on doing it consistently for many days, months, and years before you get the huge results.
When some people realized that a tiring day of hard work may not be enough, that they would have to repeat it one thousand times, they are barely able to keep themselves from shedding tears.
3.      It is risky
Does hard work always lead to the success we aimed for? Not always. There are many possible results from hard work. Some people have worked hard in their careers but still, have to face failure sometimes.
An example is the brutal world of technology where working hard guarantees nothing. No matter how hard you work, if your competitor has a more innovative product or a better way of packaging it, you could still be in for failure.
MySpace was a growing social media site in 2003 and a lot of hard work must have gone into creating it. But in 2017, MySpace is far from what it could have been. When you see MySpace and Facebook, you see cases of hard work going into two similar projects with different results.
When a particular career path is examined, the people at the top 1% are the people who are regarded to be at the very top of their career.
But does it mean the remaining 99% are lazy? No way. Many among the ninety-nine percent are hardworking but will never get to the one percent.
There is no assurance that your hard work will translate into the success you envisioned. With all these points, does it mean everybody should go home and become lazy?
Wait for your lucky day right? Is there any importance of hard work? Well, there are points that make a compelling case that between laziness and hard work, hard work is still the way to go.
The case for hard work
1.      It can be fulfilling
American athlete Arthur Ashe said ‘success is a journey, not a destination. The doing is often more important than the outcome.’ What if one of the rewards of hard work is in the process of doing it?
Many people take part in exercises because they feel good after jogging for thirty minutes or pumping iron. These activities cannot be labeled easy but why do people feel good after it?
One of the rewards of hard work is the knowledge that you have pushed yourself to the limit, that you have done your best for the day. When you are about to sleep in the night, you feel good that you have put in your best.
2.      It makes you stronger
Strength is not a single dimensional entity. Strength could be physical, mental, emotional, or many other dimensions. However, to build strength in any of these aspects, a lot of hard work must have been involved.
To become a better writer, you must read a lot and write a lot. Hard work. To become a better boxer, you must do a lot of exhausting training. Hard work.
To become a better teacher, you must be up to date in the latest trends in teaching and students’ behavior. Hard work.
To become a better industrialist, you must pay attention to your employees’ and consumers’ needs. Hard work. To become a better parent, you must pay attention to your children’s needs and be the best example possible. Hard work.
Hard work at developing a particular skill makes an individual stronger for potential challenges he or she may face.
3.      Greatness is a result of hard work
Hard work may not single-handedly make a man great but it is always one of the ingredients of greatness. You may have many beautiful traits but without the addition of hard work, greatness will become an unreachable target.
Stephen King said: ‘Talent is cheaper than table salt. What separates the talented individual from the successful one is a lot of hard work.’
Malcolm Gladwell, in his book, Outliers, chronicled how hard Bill Gates worked as a young programmer. He wrote about Bill Gates working a lot of hours on the programming machine.
He, together with his friend Paul Allen, even found a way of bypassing the time used on the machine so that they could have as many hours as possible on the machine.
Microsoft co-founder, Paul Allen, said that as a young programmer, Bill Gates would program for many hours, sleep at the desk, and continue programming after waking up.
He also wrote about how Bill Gates slept in his office many times as a young Chief Executive of Microsoft.
Many want to be rich and influential like Bill Gates but how many want to be that young programmer working relentlessly at the programming machine?
It is important to note that without that young programmer working hard, there would be no rich and influential Bill Gates.
Dwayne Johnson ‘The Rock’ said: ‘Success isn’t always about greatness. It’s about consistency. Consistent hard work leads to success. Greatness will come.’
4.      It makes the world a better place
We all have our different ideas of making the world a better place. Some believe we can do it through peace. Some believe by controlling global warming. Some believe by ending racism. Some believe by ending world’s hunger.
No matter what way we want to make the world a better place, it can only be achieved through hard work.
What about smart work?
Many have advocated for smart work, that it is supposedly better than hard work. But are they mutually exclusive? What if they are complementary?
Geoff Colvin in his book, Talent is overrated, said ‘it seems our view that intelligence necessarily produces better performance is so deep that it may occasionally even blind us to reality.’
On keen observation, you will see that those who are the epitome of smart work are people who have worked very hard in their field.
Nothing worthwhile can be done without hard work. Even though it is hard, its potential benefits far outweigh its challenges.
What do you think? How should work be done? Why should we work? Drop your comments.

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  1. Reading this I feel so exposed, it has addressed many excuses I give for being LAZY. Thanks man for this. I realized that our body system is adaptable to every form of input.... It might take a while but it adapts, if we can anticipate the period we get to that "being used to it" I think we will see it as necessary work and not hard work.

    1. Yes I really reconcile with your position. Your body most times will perform what you tell it to when it is capable of it.
      I think if we think about potential benefits of hard work, then we will push ourselves daily.
      When we see hard work as necessary work, soon we will begin to reap its benefits.
      Thanks for the comment.

  2. You are the one doing the hard work of writing ๐Ÿ˜

    1. I would have loved to run away from the hard work, but alas I couldn't ๐Ÿ˜‰


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