“People who do not practice and learn new skills never gain a proper sense of proportion or self-criticism. They think they can achieve anything without effort and have little contact with reality. Trying something over and over again grounds you in reality, making you deeply aware of your inadequacies and of what you can accomplish with more work and effort.” ~ Robert Greene, Mastery
“It really seems (at least if you read popular media) that who you know and whether you get ‘picked’ are the two keys to success. Luck. The thing about luck is this: we’re already lucky. We’re insanely lucky that we weren’t born during the Black Plague or in a country with no freedom. We’re lucky that we’ve got access to highly leveraged tools and terrific opportunities. If we set that luck aside, though, something interesting shows up. Delete the outliers – the people who are hit by a bus or win the lottery, the people who luck out in a big way – and we’re left with everyone else. And for everyone else, effort is directly related to success. Not all the time, but as much as you would expect. Smarter, harder-working, better-informed, and better-liked people do better than other people, most of the time.” ~ Seth Godin, Whatcha Gonna Do With That Duck?
“Today, working hard is about taking apparent risk. Not a crazy risk like betting the entire company on an untested product. No, an apparent risk: something that the competition (and your coworkers) believe is unsafe but that you realize is far more conservative than sticking with the status quo. Richard Branson doesn’t work more hours than you do. Neither does Steve Ballmer or Carly Fiorina. Robyn Waters, the woman who revolutionized what Target sells – and helped the company trounce Kmart – probably worked fewer hours than you do in an average week. None of the people who are racking up amazing success stories and creating cool stuff are doing it just by working more hours than you are. And I hate to say it, but they’re not smarter than you, either. They’re succeeding by doing hard work.” ~ Seth Godin, Whatcha Gonna Do With That Duck?
“The only thing that I see that is distinctly different about me is I’m not afraid to die on a treadmill. I will not be outworked. Period. You might have more talent than me, you might be smarter than me, you might be sexier than me; you might be all of those things – you got it on me in nine categories. But if we get on the treadmill together, there’s two things: You’re getting off first, or I’m gonna die. It’s really that simple, right? … You’re not going to outwork me.” ~ Will Smith
“It is going to be tough if you look for the easy way out because very rarely is there an easy way out. There is nothing that replaces hard work.” ~ Arnold Schwarzenegger
“Life doesn’t reward the naturally clever or strong but those who can learn to fight and work hard and never quit. ~ Bear Grylls
“The idea of divine inspiration and an aha moment is largely a fantasy. Anything of value comes from hard work and unwavering dedication. If you want to be a good artist you need to look at other artists, make a lot of crappy art, and just keep working.” ~ Sydney Pink, Brain Pickings
“Many athletes have tremendous God-given gifts, but they don’t focus on the development of those gifts. Who are these individuals? You’ve never heard of them — and you never will. It’s true in sports and it’s true everywhere in life. Hard work is the difference. Very hard work.” ~ John Wooden
“The harder you work, the harder it is to surrender.” ~ Vince Lombardi
“Hard work spotlights the character of people: some turn up their sleeves, some turn up their noses, and some don’t turn up at all.” ~ Sam Ewing
“Nothing really worth having is easy to get. The hard-fought battles, the goals won with sacrifice, are the ones that matter.” ~ Aisha Tyler
“To each there comes in their lifetime a special moment when they are figuratively tapped on the shoulder and offered the chance to do a very special thing, unique to them and fitted to their talents. What a tragedy if that moment finds them unprepared or unqualified for that which could have been their finest hour.” ~ Sir Winston Churchill