The Great Work Hard

February 16, 2013

in growth., legacy., success.

In grade school and high school, we all learn that the key to Greatness is hard work. Then we go to college. We graduate college. We see friends of ours who are lazier than the laziest get Great things without much or any work. We work for bosses who sailed through and somehow landed their bottoms into big cushy chairs and six figure salaries.

And so we lose trust in the idea that the Great work hard. In our lives, perhaps all we can see is the opposite. So we’re jaded. We begin to believe in concepts like easy ways to make money, landing pages that create wealth over night, and people who just send you money in the mail. We think, therefore, we are.

Or not. I believe that the Great work hard. I believe I can be Great, but I simply do not work hard enough consistently. Just last night, I had decided that enough was enough for the week; it was Friday, and I was not going to get on the computer and do any more work. And that is not something that the Great say, or do. Perhaps that is harsh, but it is true.

In Outliers, Malcolm Gladwell discusses the concept of 10,000 hours. Have you put 10,000 hours into anything? I sure haven’t. Not yet. Maybe 5,000 here, or even 7,000 there. This is a mark of our generation. We are content to stop at good, because we aren’t sure that being Great actually comes from hard work.

The self-assessment is a jerk. It reminds you of all of the things you have yet to do – all of the accomplishments you have yet to achieve – before becoming truly great. The self-assessment reminds you of why you are afraid. And this is true in career and in life and love. The self-assessment forces you to contemplate where you are now, where “great” is, and how far of a distance there is between.

If you haven’t taken a self-assessment, do so. And you will find empowerment once you figure out just how much further you have to go. Who knows – maybe you’re at 9,992 hours, and the only thing standing between you and Great is one more day.

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