Hard work has been touted for centuries as the primary ingredient of any great success. One of the challenges many people have is the belief that hard work must be miserable, that it can't be enjoyed, and that it's something just to be endured.So perhaps the real key to being wildly successful is the ability to actually enjoy hard work. Consider what would happen if you didn't mind doing all the things you knew you should be doing.
Ultimately, our level of success is determined by the actions we consistently take. Malcolm Gladwell says it takes 10,000 hours of practice to become an expert at something.
“You need to have practiced, to have apprenticed, for 10,000 hours before you get good.” - Malcolm Gladwell
On a coaching call I was on today it was pointed out that at 90 minutes a day, every day of the week, it would take you 20 YEARS to achieve 10,000 hours of practice.
And mind you, that’s quality practice!
I don’t know about you, but I don’t have 20 years to wait to become an expert at something. I’m working on a number of things I’d like to be an expert at, or at least really, really good at!
So, more than 90 minutes a day seems to be the key.
If you're only willing to do the same things everyone else is willing to do, you're going to get average results and an average life. If you aren’t willing to do even that much, it’s likely that you’ll routinely struggle more than you would have to if you put in some work.
If you really take a hard look at the most successful people you know, you'll see that they do things on a regular basis that the average person would never do. Typically, that's because the average person is too afraid or isn't willing to do the work.
Hard and challenging work pays off in a big way over time. And those most successful people realize they not only need to, but they want to, put in the work!
The Real Secret
The real secret is that "hard" work is only hard at first. Any task that makes you feel uncomfortable will stop being uncomfortable after you've done it numerous times.
For example, telemarketing seems like the worst job in the world for many people, but do you really think it would be that difficult after you've made a few hundred calls? And all of those calls would only take a day or two.
Everything gets easier with practice. You were nervous the first time you drove a car. Rode a bike. Asked out that cute boy or girl in school. How do you feel about it now?
Who’s In Charge?
Although we naturally avoid those tasks that make us feel uncomfortable, they're where the real personal growth lies.
We've all been told to go with the flow, but where is that flow going to take us? Are you really willing to yield control and let luck steer the ship? Do you really want to just go with the flow, and end up in a puddle at the end?The alternative is to decide that you're going to work hard at something and choose where your life is going.
Could you run a marathon on accident? To run 26 miles, you have to plan and really put yourself into the endeavour.
What are the odds of building a successful company by accident? Again, this takes forethought, dedication, and yes, hard work.
When you're willing to take control of your life, the more difficult tasks seem more manageable. Almost easy.
You learn to appreciate the character development and the results that come from hard work.
Purpose is also critical to any spectacular success. If you have a driving purpose, hard work is just part of the game.
A passionate intention will allow you to move beyond your fear and your ego. It will make the hard work a part of your intention. It will become a given.
“Do or do not. There is no try.” -
Your purpose is your why. Hard work is your how.
Having one without the other is difficult. Embracing hard work is required to achieve anything challenging, and is necessary to realize your goals and dreams. So get out there, put in some hard work, and reap the benefits!