May 15

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Does Hard Work Actually Pay Off?

BY JASMINE WALTON

 

“Never truly understood the phrase ‘working for the weekend’ until recently. PGP.” - Post Grad Problems

In a day and age where the average work day has increased dramatically over the past century, Americans increasingly lack personal and family time. In fact, more than 50 percent of men and women in the United States work more than 40 hours per week. Are we overachievers? Do we subject ourselves to unattainable dreams and unrealistic goals? How do we stick it out for the long haul?

First, we need to figure out what constitutes hard work. Having the drive to be successful, a plan of action, putting in the actual work to get where you want to be, taking into account the sacrifices that go along with your objective, and considering the eventual payoff are all aspects of sticking it out for the long-haul.

Motivation is perhaps the cornerstone of productivity. Without it, success will never be achieved. It’s a known fact that 25 percent of small businesses fail within the first year. What makes the other 75 percent succeed is hard work and dedication. So take the time to map out your own identity, and figure out what interests you. Look at what direction your life is taking and take the time to find out what galvanizes you.

So what actual steps do you need to take to achieve your goals? Breaking down your big objective into manageable parts will make the end result more attainable. The resistance you encounter on a daily basis will be the most difficult, but if you keep the bigger picture in mind, the incessant question “why am I doing this” will be answered on a more basic level.

Now to the brunt of the actual work..execution.

Executing a well-devised plan of action puts you on a more realistic playing field than any of the rest, for better or for worse. Once the work stops becoming fun, and instead becomes tedious, monotonous, and just plain boring, is when you can’t let up. If you’re determined to achieve success, then obstacles are certain. This goes hand-in-hand with maintaining the motivation to reach your end goal. How you choose to act in critical moments like these are just as, if not more important than the initial plan you first set in motion.

Sacrifice is defined as the “act of giving up something valued for the sake of something else regarded as more important or worthy.” The next phase in hard work is just this, giving up hang-outs with friends, going out on the weekends, and even romantic relationships with other people, in the hope that your concessions are ultimately worth it. This may be the hardest part of achieving that long-term pay-off.

Once all of these obstacles are overcome, and successes have been made, we must realize that hard work never truly ends. It’s a lifestyle; one that is cyclical in nature. So enjoy your winnings, you’ve earned it. Celebrate and be prepared to put it all right back in the next challenge you will face. Full steam ahead!

Ultimately, work is what you make of it. If you enjoy what you’re doing, it will never be a chore. In the words of ancient philosopher, Confucius: “if you love what you are doing, you’ll never work a day in your life”.

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