Elbow Grease Is Only In Short Supply If You Don’t Apply It
When I was growing up my dad had a ready supply of elbow grease, and I wanted some, because he seemed to keep going and I got tired out too quickly. I worked hard from an early age, and by that I don’t mean I had a job. What I mean is I was creating things from early on – I was working hard to get my art perfect, and I was writing stories, drawing comics, and reading as many books as I could get my hands on. It struck me early on that when I had something to show my parents at the end of the day I tended not to get any hassle about what I had been doing, because it was obvious.
There are a lot of hacks and systems doing the rounds that are designed to help you bypass the supposed inherent laziness that you are cursed with, but if you don’t have the commitment to doing something all these cheats really aren’t going to do too much. What is it that make people think that they can sit there and money will just fall out of the sky or that someone is just going to give you what you need. I am not going to say that there are no lazy geniuses, because there probably is a whole subsect of the genius population who are legends in their own lunch-time, or who enjoy a spot on the winning Pub Quiz team who really haven’t applied themselves.
The geniuses that you have heard of have produced work, and that work is why you know their names. Having a great idea for a novel is not the same as having a novel written – you have to sit down and type the thing out – and you have to edit it the manuscript, and you have to shop the manuscript around, and then you have to tour the book, and, and, and … but it is not borne out of laziness. Watch a documentary on Brian Wilson of the Beach Boys to get an idea of how much work goes into making a product that will get you recognized as a genius.
Managers of companies, likewise, very rarely get where they are through not doing anything. Those that do, who do not learn to run at the same speed as the rest of the pack, aren’t going to stay in the race for very long.
Hard Work Will Always Win Out
Nothing in life is free – even for the people who are receiving help from charities or the government aren’t getting away without paying something. When you work you exchange your labor for money, and when you are sick you exchange your prolonged ill health for money. I am not going to get into the subject of any lifestyle having a degree of choice involved in it, but in some way anyone who has choices has very often had to work hard to get to the point where those choices present themselves.
I write articles for this site, and I write creatively elsewhere, and people are nice enough to tell me that I am pretty good at it, and sometimes it earns me money. How did I get to this point? Well, you could probably spend as long climbing the stack of articles I wrote that weren’t read as you would spend getting to the summit on Mount Everest. I have been working hard to be an overnight success (and I’m not saying I am that – just saying I’m working on that) – a lot of people hit it big and their backstory – unless it is sufficiently tragic and good fodder for PR – will disappear behind the shine of the spotlights, but in truth it is hard work behind it all.
I like shows like The Actors Studio, or Off Camera with Sam Jones, and Letterman, because what they do is unearth the work that goes into what some people mistake for effortless, or think of as part of a lottery win, rather than someone turning up everyday and giving everything.
If you aren’t getting the results that you want then you might not be doing quite as much as is needed, because if one person can do it, it proves that it is doable, and if you aren’t doing it then you aren’t doing something necessary.
The willingness to work hard is the greatest thing my dad gave to me. It isn’t always the easiest thing – but that cold drink after digging the garden tastes a little better, and that person who reads your article and gets something from it resonates with you. When you sell someone something that they need and it really helps them and you stuck with them through every objection to make sure they got the thing they needed, it does feel good.