Sometimes the answers are so simple to things in life.
Success requires hard work. Anyone you see who is self-made has worked like crazy to get where they are. These people may have no talent, some talent, or lots of talent. If you’re super talented you can ride it pretty far. But most of us are not super talented at that many things. When the talent ends the work begins – and talent without hard work will never put you in the top tier.
You can work on your talent, yes, but it can only go so high. No matter how much I practice basketball I’ll never play like Michael Jordan or Lebron James. I might be able to become a marginally better basketball player, but I’m never going to become a pro athlete. That’s because I was not gifted with the elite gene for that talent.
Hard work, however, is almost limitless. The simple fact is that if you spend more of your time working towards your goals you will inevitably get closer to reaching them. Just imagine if you work 1 more hour a day. 2? 3? How much closer to your goals can you be in 10 hours a week? I’d say considerably closer.
But nothing in life is free. The trade off of working more this is that you’ll inevitably have to cut out other activities in your day. You might have to cut out some TV, movies, golf, Netflix, or even a little sleep. Every day has 24 hours in it and time management is a zero sum game. That’s an OK trade for some and a trade that others are unwilling to do. You can choose. Just realize that your goals will take longer to reach the less you work at them.
It’s important to point out that I’m not pushing anyone to become a workaholic or make life changes that you’re uncomfortable with. If you’re happy with your life then you’ve already got it. However, if you want to achieve different goals, you’ll need to start working more towards them. It may be business, sports, relationships – whatever.
The reality is that if you’re looking to raise your level of achievement and success in ANY area of your life, you’ll need to work hard. And the absolute easiest way to measure your work is by looking at those around you. If you make sure you work the hardest out of wherever you go, you’ll also probably be the most successful wherever you go.
For me it’s not that hard because I can get really competitive and I’ve learned to harness that competitiveness in a productive manner. I compete against others in my head and make sure I’m working harder.
There are some hard workers out there. And reality is you’re probably not always going to be able to outwork every single person every single time. The good part of this is even if you fall a little short of that goal to outwork, you’ll still be that much closer to your goals. If you set extremely high goals for yourself and fall short, you’ll still be heads and shoulders higher than most people.
So the answer is simple. In any area of your life you’re looking to achieve more, outwork those around you. Want to be a better husband? Ask questions and listen more than other husbands. Want to be a better father? See your kids more and play with them more. Want to be a better business person? Work. Work work work.
Always outwork those around you. It will help you reach your goals. It will cost you some leisure. If the trade is worth it for you then do it. Not tomorrow. Not tonight. Now. If that trade is not worth it for you then go enjoy your life and laugh at those working harder. Who’s happier? Beats me. All I know is that I have high ambitions and hard work is needed to reach them. Not just for me. For everyone.