Golfer Tiger Woods hits 1,000 balls after each round in the Majors. Skier Lindsey Vonn spends eight hours a day, five days a week in the gym. And swimmer Michael Phelps was in the habit of spending 40 hours a week in the pool.
Hard work is just that—hard. If you want to make the president’s club, if you want make a lot of money, if you want that promotion to sales manager or chief sales officer, you’ve got to work your butt off. You must put in a tremendous amount of effort if you want to rise to the top.
And here’s the problem: We’ve been conditioned not to work hard. We read articles about things such as work-life balance, with terms such as “workaholic,” which suggest working too hard is a bad thing. We’re told that working hard is the way to success. But we’re also told that if we work too hard, we run the risk of being unhealthy.
We celebrate superstars who achieve greatness, yet chastise those putting in the time necessary to achieve that greatness. That’s one heck of a paradox. Here’s the deal: No matter what you do, if you want to be the best, you’re going to have to work your butt off. You’re going to have to learn what hard work really is, because I can tell you right now, if you’re like most people, you have no clue what hard work is.
Most people find hard work unreasonable, and they’re right. Hard work is unreasonable, and that’s why it delivers the results it does. Hard work takes more effort, time, pain, focus and sacrifice than most of us are willing to put in. And that’s the beauty of it.