Work isn’t just about getting a paycheck; it builds character, promotes dignity, and gives you control over your life. But some folks don’t see it that way. As Sam Ewing, the professional baseball player, said, “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.”
Some people will do anything to get out of work. Examples range from those who say a job is “beneath them,” to folks who want to start at the top without paying their dues. Some folks try to get by with sheer personality, while others dodge work by hiding in the corner and then stealing the credit. Additionally, some people request promotions or demand more pay, not because it’s earned, but because they want it. In all these cases, the common denominator is the same — hard work is not part of the equation. What none of these folks realize is that hard work isn’t a punishment; it’s a gift.
There’s No Substitute for Hard Work
On a fundamental basis, an entry-level job provides valuable lessons. It teaches us to show up on time, follow directions, work hard, and get along with others. Here are 12 life lessons that hard work offers:
Expectations. Set the bar high. If you accept mediocrity, you’ll be mediocre.
Courage. Put fear aside. Set stretch goals and leave your comfort zone.
Discipline. Stay focused. Remain strong when days are tough.
Integrity. Build trust. Keep your promises. Live with honor.
Pride. Make yourself proud. Always give 110%. It’s the extra 10% that everyone remembers.
Creativity. Don’t accept the status quo. Be a problem-solver. Make things better.
Humility. Accept wins with grace and learn from your losses.
Determination. Stare adversity in the eye and stay the course when confronted with overwhelming challenges.
Flexibility. Even the best-laid plans go awry. Be flexible and remain open to new opportunities.
Teamwork. Be a team player. Your colleagues’ success is your success.
Personal responsibility. Accept responsibility for your actions. The buck stops with you.
Make a difference. You were hired to add value, not to be a placeholder.
Hard Work Is Good for Your Wallet and Your Soul
Hard work builds character, contributes to success, and promotes happiness. The converse is also true. When people are rewarded without making the effort, it reduces confidence, promotes dependency, and robs individuals of their personal dignity. The fact is, when any part of the human body hasn’t exercised properly, it will atrophy. The same is true of the spirit.
The bottom line is that, while work makes you a buck, it offers you so much more. Hard work provides a sense of purpose. People don’t want a handout. They want to know that they’ve earned their success, which enables them to have control over their lives. They want to wake up each morning and be excited to get out of bed. They want stimulating work that keeps them on their toes and contributes to their personal and professional growth. This makes their days more rewarding and their experience more valuable. This doesn’t happen when folks sit on their duff or have success handed to them on a silver platter. It happens when people know that they’ve earned their keep. You can achieve anything in life as long as you’re willing to work hard and you put your mind to it. Are you up to the job?
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