Chapter 14 of the One Life Manifesto: Work. Grab my full book on Amazon.
Let’s talk about work and work ethic. We have talked about relentlessness before, which is essentially a higher level of work ethic. At the very heart I think it’s important to have a solid work ethic if you want to achieve anything, great or small. Reading a lot about successful people, I have learned that successful people have a greater level of work ethic over anyone else. Essentially there is a greater level of being relentless and pursuing what they want. But essentially it is work ethic that they have. It is important to achieve what you are looking for by using some level of work ethic to show that you are hungry. To show that you are more willing to accomplish something.
I always had that work ethic in order to get ahead in life. I would put in the time and just work. I don’t know what it is with the young generation today, but they don’t seem to want it bad enough. They don’t want to put in the time or put in that work ethic. They just sort of passively tackle the 9-to-5 like it’s no big deal. They passively work on projects as if they are not putting their time in. It’s important to look at your work ethic and find something you are interested in so that you can really put in your time effectively. Put in the drive and determination to accomplish tasks. Don’t worry too much about climbing the ladder. That final reward at the end of the tunnel will make you get carried away. I know that you can just get there, but it does take hard work. There is no substitute.
Think about how you are putting in the time. How you are putting in your work. All of the celebrities, millionaires, and billionaires you see didn’t get there from just sitting around. There are exceptions to the rule. You will see people with inheritances, luck, and lotteries. Even then, those people had to work hard to secure any of the money that they received. Even if you win a lottery, you have to put in the effort to go and cash in your ticket. So, there is some level of work involved in everything. The people who put in a small amount of work are typically not commanding wealth. Those lottery winners and inheritance people, those are the exceptions. Even then, it’s no way to really live your life by depending on something. Just hoping to one day receive that break. Just sitting there waiting for that break. You don’t want to be waiting.
You want to be working. Continually working towards meaningful goals. To be in that upper echelon you need to put in the work. The work to train. The work to learn. The work to really get there. If you are not sweating enough, if you are not exhausted enough and if you are not tired enough, you won’t get there. If you are feeling lazy and you haven’t achieved much, you are right. You haven’t achieved much. You are not exhausted because you haven’t put the time in and you haven’t channeled that determination and focus towards something. There is no substitute for hard work.
I feel like our modern generations are happily spoiled too much to understand the concept of labour. They are able to work and sit behind a computer screen and passively just type away. They don’t understand the real concept of labour. The sweat, blood, and tears that can go into building things. We have lost touch with the idea of building physical objects. Myself included. I am fairly detached from building physical objects. Broken items are replaced with brand new items. We have no desire to build because we can just replace. That is how our modern society has evolved. It’s cheaper to replace rather than fix, build or tinker with.
But there is work, there is labour involved in those activities. Unless we are doing the work, we are not exposed enough to labour and putting in that time. It’s interesting when I see people who want to work on some businesses. They want to start something. They want to build an empire. But they don’t want to put the work in. They don’t want to really put that time in to build it. As a result, they always remain that small business owner. There is nothing wrong with that, but they are always going to be in a dream state and never in an action state. The action state of doing and working on their project or their venture then lives inside their head. A dream unrealized is disappointing to see.
For hard work, you can get there at any stage in your life. Achieving entrepreneurial status, whether it’s growth and scale, is possible. Small business owners can get away from living inside of a box. It is okay if they choose to do so, but many want more. They want more for themselves, yet they do not want to put in that time to make that happen. They continue to talk about what-if’s. What if this would happen. Those who do not have the work ethic talk a lot. They talk more frequently about what they ought to do. Whereas those who work are quiet because they are determined, they are driven. They are an entirely different person. They are on a different level, different mindset.
I was exposed to my parent’s generation where hard work was common. Then hard work became less common as work-life balance popped up. My dad was still putting in 12 hours a day, working to make sure that family had food on the table. He put in that time. The harder he worked, the more freedom his family could have. You put in that time, there is a greater likelihood of output.
There is never a guarantee, as work should be given and handed out without expectation. You should work harder and not expect anything. Nobody owes you anything. That’s the feeling that our generation feels like we are entitled. We are so spoiled that we just expect everything to be handed to us in a silver platter. It’s not how the world works. You put the time in to really make something for yourself.
We have more tools today to facilitate work ethic than ever before. I mean productivity hacks and what-not. Perhaps it’s a lot of noise. If you are to just focus on one or two things and make those the priority, not worrying so much about an app to tell you to get working, you will produce even more. If you just find a couple of things you’re passionate about, your work ethic will be on a whole other level. You won’t need people telling you to get to work. You will just naturally get there.
But we don’t do enough introspection on ourselves to understand what work we would want to do. Spend time on yourself to figure out what you would enjoy. What you would like to do. Work on them in your life and go after it until success is attained. Until you have accomplished your goal. You must work until you cannot work anymore. Than you have to work again. It’s a repeated cycle. It’s a process. Work ethic is a process.