Hard Work is The Single Greatest Competitive Advantage

Thomas Oppong
Mar 15, 2017 · 6 min read

Nobody is great without work. Hard work is always the baseline of great achievements. Nothing spectacular comes without it. Getting organised 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. You may rise slowly, but you are sure to rise.

There’s only one way to the top: Hard Work

There are no shortcuts to lasting success, only smartcuts. Many people will do what’s easiest and avoid hard work — and that’s precisely why you should do the opposite. Lasting success can only be achieved if you put in the work. Jim Rohn says “Don’t wish it were easier. Wish you were better.”

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!

There’s no substitute for hard work

“Don’t ever, ever, believe anyone who tells you that you can just get by, by doing the easiest thing possible. Because there’s always somebody behind you who really wants to do what you’re doing. And they’re going to work harder than you if you’re not working hard.” — Maria Bartiromo

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.

Winston Churchill, one of the 20th century’s greatest orators, practiced his speeches compulsively. Vladimir Horowitz supposedly said, “If I don’t practice for a day, I know it. If I don’t practice for two days, my wife knows it.

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.

The good thing about hard work is that it’s universal. It doesn’t matter what industry you’re 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

“Work hard, and you will earn good rewards. Work smart, and you will earn great rewards. Work hard and work smart, and you will earn extraordinary rewards.” — Matshona Dhliwayo

You have probably heard this phrase a hundred times, “you have to work smart not hard to succeed”. Being smart is about making the right choices. Smart people move up the ladder real fast. But they also value the importance of hard work. Your idols, heroes, and every successful person you know worked hard and made important and calculated choices before they reaped the rewards of success.

As they reached the pinnacle of success, they grew more experienced, made less mistakes, improved their decision making skills and made the most of selected opportunities. And this resulted in something that saved them a lot of time, effort and energy. You can only give anything your best shot and work hard towards your goals.

Work hard in making smart choice and work even harder to learn how to make smart choices.

Don’t see failure as an obstacle but be smart enough to learn from them. Jonah Engler once said “There are no short cuts to success — hard work is smart work.”

Hard work is the “how” to achieve greatness

The big secret in life is that there is no big secret. Whatever your goal, you can get there if you’re willing to work.– Oprah Winfrey

Don’t wait 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 blast through obstacles that stop others who have less resolve. But what is it that gets you to this point? What gets you to embrace hard work? A truly successful man will keep trying and keep struggling until he perfects his art.

The greater your capacity for hard work, the more rewards fall within your 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.

If you are willing to show up everyday, you will make incremental progress

“The three great essentials to achieve anything worthwhile are, first, hard work; second, stick-to-itiveness; third, common sense.” — Thomas Edison

The power of progress is fundamental to human nature. Most people completely neglect progress because they’re so focused on achievement. If you need to write, the main thing you need to do is just to sit down in front of your text editor and write.

It doesn’t even have to be a full page. Half a page or even less. Call that a success. What matters is that you make time to write. Value progress, no matter how small. By showing up and working, you will make progress, everyday.

If getting to the top was easy, it wouldn’t be rare.

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.

One last thing…

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Thomas Oppong

Written by

Founder @AllTopStartups | Featured at Forbes, BI, etc. I share practical tools for productivity, wealth, health and happiness at https://postanly.substack.com


A network of business & tech podcasts designed to accelerate learning. Selected as “Best of 2018” by Apple. Mission.org

Thomas Oppong

Written by

Founder @AllTopStartups | Featured at Forbes, BI, etc. I share practical tools for productivity, wealth, health and happiness at https://postanly.substack.com


A network of business & tech podcasts designed to accelerate learning. Selected as “Best of 2018” by Apple. Mission.org

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