Archive for the ‘Work Ethic’ Category

Shaw on Work Ethic

When I was young, I observed that nine out of ten things I did were failures. So I did ten times more work.

— George Bernard Shaw (Image Licensed by Penn Wealth)

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A person will sometimes devote all their life to the development of one part of their body – the wishbone.

— Robert Frost (by Fred Palumbo; Public Domain)

The truth is, after we define what we wish to achieve and become in life, we must put our head down and simply do the work required to get there. We will have a lot less time to get frustrated if we are too busy productively working away with alacrity.

—Mike Hazell, Penn Wealth

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“All growth depends upon activity. There is no development physically or intellectually without effort, and effort means work.”

—Calvin Coolidge (1919, by Notman Photo Co.; Public Domain)

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How shall we learn to know ourselves? By reflection? Never! Only through action. Strive to do thy duty, then thou shalt know what is in thee.

—Johann Wolfgang von Goethe (1828, by Joseph Karl Stieler; Public Domain)

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Life grants nothing to us mortals without hard work.

—Horace (65 BC—8 BC; Public Domain)

All the grand plans, all of the tactics, all of the visualizations of what you want your life to look like mean nothing if you are unwilling to do the work required to move forward toward a specific destination.

If you are not moving forward, ask yourself a series of questions. Are you doing the work? Is it efficient work designed to move you down your path? If you are not doing the work, why not? It could be that you have not clearly defined your destination, or you are not passionate about what you are doing. Or, it could quite simply be that you have not yet developed the habit of a strong work ethic!

Beginning today, assure you have a clear image of where you want to go, an outline of the tactics to get there, and a way to track your daily actions which support those tactics. Identify the point of disconnect on your daily action plan, and work each day to move that point further down the circuit. Be conscious of this effort, and soon enough good habits will kick in and put you on “auto pilot” toward the life you have imagined.

—Mike Hazell, Penn Wealth

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Inspiration exists, but it has to find us working.

—Pablo Picasso (1908; Public Domain)

And that work needs to involve focused action, not “busy” work. Anyone can say, “I was busy from the minute I woke up to the minute I went to bed,” but how much of that was focused on moving you closer to your goals, your objectives, your dreams? Go into each day like a raging bull; spend the vast majority of your time moving forward on the path you charted toward your destination, and the inspiration will almost magically appear!

—MSH, Penn Wealth

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“The heights by great men reached and kept
    Were not attained by sudden flight,
But they, while their companions slept,
    Were toiling upward in the night.” 

—Henry Wadsworth Longfellow (1868, by Julia Margaret Cameron, Public Domain)

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You never get tired unless you stop and take time for it.

Hope, Bob, 1978, Public domain

—Bob Hope (1978, public domain)

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Even in the meanest sorts of labor, the whole soul of a man is composed into a kind of real harmony the instant he sets himself to work.

Carlyle, Thomas pc Eliott & Fry Ph

—Thomas Carlyle (by Eliott & Fry Photography)

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Nothing worthwhile comes easily. Half effort does not produce half results; it produces no results. Work, continuous work and hard work, is the only way to accomplish results that last.

Holt, Hamilton, pc see file

—Hamilton Holt (Photo courtesy of Rollins Archives and Special Collections)

…There are, I believe, a couple of critical caveats to this quote. First and foremost, it is not just any “hard work” that produces results, it is focused work designed to bring your goals to fruition! That presupposes you have already outlined your goals and objectives.

Secondly, there is a big difference between “hard work” and drudgery. I always hated it when someone would feel obliged to throw out tired old maxims about hard work using negative connotations, as if you wouldn’t get anywhere unless you despised what you were doing to get there. Who says hard work has to be distasteful to be effective?

The real trick in life is uncovering what you are passionate about and keeping that passion burning bright through the better part of your long, focused days. After all, what good is it to reach our destination if we hated the journey?!


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