You gotta work harder!


If I take a long hard look at the people *I consider* successful, the main thing I notice is they consistently work hard. They have focus and they put in a lot of hours to get what they want. It doesn’t matter what area it is, you can see the same thing time and time again. The people that work hard get the results. The people that don’t typically fail, or at least don’t live up to their potential.

Here are a few quotes from some varied sources.

  • “The harder I work, the luckier I get.” Samuel Goldwyn (possibly)
  • “If you trust in yourself and believe in your dreams and follow your star you’ll still get beaten by people who spent their time working hard and learning things and weren’t so lazy.” Miss Tick (The Wee Free Men, Terry Pratchett)
  • “You want a hot body? You want a Bugatti? You want a Maserati? You better work bitch!” Britney Spears (well, her song writers really)
  • “Work so hard forgot how to vacation.” Post Malone – Congratulations

The IT industry moves so fast you’ve got to stay on the grind or you will fall behind. If you are looking for work-life balance, I don’t think this is the industry for you. That might sound harsh, but I’m not a stupid person and I freely admit to having a no-life approach to this industry and I often feel like I’m sprinting to stand still. I hate to think how people who are not putting in this level of effort feel. Maybe ignorance is bliss…

Over this holiday period I will have had 12.5 working days off and it’s already been a hard grind. I had some goals in mind, which I think I’m going to miss, but it’s not through lack of effort. I don’t really do new years resolutions anymore, but I’m going to keep saying to myself, “You gotta work harder!”

I hope 2018 works out well for everyone, but I’m pretty sure the people who will be the happiest at the end of the year will be the people who have worked the hardest, no matter what they have been working towards…

Good luck everybody!



Update: It is interesting that when I say work hard, some people assume I mean throw hours mindlessly at stuff. Of course you need to try and work intelligently. When I say work hard, I mean hard. That’s not cruising for endless hours. Part of working hard in my opinion is evaluating your efforts and altering your approach or goals based on that…

Having said that, you do have to throw hours at some stuff to really get to understand it. Learning is like peeling back layers of an onion. After a short time it’s easy to think you know it all. As time progresses you peel back more layers of the onion and you realise there’s even more to know. Many people seem to stop after the first couple of layers because they don’t dedicate the time, then complain about not being good and looking for the quick fixes…

It’s interesting what people consider successful. Notice in the post I said, “*I consider* successful”. We don’t all want the same thing. For you it might be to earn $1 million. For me it might be to write 10 articles on a specific subject. For someone else it might be to perfect their handstand. Depending on what you’re trying to achieve, the approach and time may be different. Don’t judge everyone else by your standards of what success means…

Author: Tim...

DBA, Developer, Author, Trainer.

6 thoughts on “You gotta work harder!”

  1. I agree with you. However, I don’t think working hard is the only thing you need to be successfull. You also need a bit (not a small one) of luck to be in the right time in the right place. I have always worked hard. At least I think so, could be wrong. While others had conversations about general stuff, hobbies, families and shit, all I did was reading, digging deep into the problems I faced, learning new things, and yet it got me nowhere. Even though it is partially my fault, since I made some stupid decisions in my life and carrier, but I still think you need luck. At least I can admit I fail, maybe this is what will get me further. Don’t know, I kind of gave up on a lot of stuff recently.

    Anyway.. Wish you all the best in 2018 and keep ’em coming! 🙂

  2. stee1rat : I guess it depends on your measure of success. If you have specific goals in mind, then you have to work towards those goals in an intelligent manner. No matter how hard you work at Chemistry, it’s not going to make you a medical doctor. 🙂 You have to reassess your goals and your path to make sure they make sense.

  3. Well, Tim, you took the words right out of my mouth. This industry has plenty of room for the 9-5 employee, but if you want to achieve, if you want grow, if you want to profit, if you want to lead…you must tap into the 5-9.


  4. Certainly working hard is of value, but much more important is to work sensibly and intelligently.
    I came across the economics term ‘comparative advantage’ just this morning (when I was looking at how to improve my aero position on a bike for time-trialling purposes !!). Basically it says you are better to play to your strengths rather than develop your weaknesses.

    I think there is a lot of truth in that. In my case I am not very good at writing PL/SQL. I can write a bit and have some good examples to base things on but I would not class myself as a coder. However I am very interested in performance tuning. Therefore it seems to me that I should focus on what I like and I am interested in and get better at that than try and become about average at coding.

    PS for those interested

  5. John: When I say work hard, I mean intelligently. Cruising for hours is not hard work in my book. Spending hours doing something that isn’t adding value is also not hard work. When I say work hard I mean time on focussed effort that is designed to reach your goal, not matter what that goal is. I’ve had some comments from a few sources that seem to have misunderstood this point, so I’ve going to tack an update on the bottom of the post.

    I agree people should not neglect their strong points and focus entirely on their weak points, but I would also say you shouldn’t ignore your weak points entirely either. Understanding that perfect balance isn’t always possible, necessary or beneficial is a good thing, but you need to be rounded…



  6. I’ve worked fairly hard in 2016. At work I don’t think all that hard work was useful. In the evenings I did a lot of studying that led to my new job in 2017.
    I didn’t think I worked very hard in 2017, but I almost solely worked on cool new stuff (Hadoop, deep learning, Python). It was my best year ever. I’m not sure how I can top this in 2018.

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