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My Favorite Four-Letter Word

Four-letter words; most of the time they’re associated with something negative. Their use and meaning is often scorned by our parents, teachers, society and do not fall under the umbrella of being “politically correct.” This is true for most of them, with the exception of my personal favorite: W-O-R-K. OK, I said it out loud (or rather wrote it), it’s not so bad is it? The irony is in today’s society, it’s almost becoming just that…a dirty word.

I’m not exactly sure when it happened or why, I just know what I see around me. It seems as if many in today’s generation has lost the value in the WORK it takes to achieve a worthwhile dream or goal. The cliché is so true; the only place that success comes before work, is in the dictionary. There is absolutely no shortcut to great achievement…none. Consistency and persistency over time will beat the tar out of ‘a lot of work one day and nothing the next. Most everyone “wants” to be successful, however very few are willing to do the WORK that it takes to achieve it. They “want it all,” with as little effort as possible to get it.

In the timeless classic text on wealth and wealth creation, The Richest Man in Babylon, written by George S. Clason; one of the wealthiest merchants in Babylon, a former slave named Megiddo shared this secret: “One can’t get ahead by shirking. If a man plows an acre, that’s a good day’s work and any master knows it. But when a man plows only a half, that’s shirking. I don’t shirk. I like to work and I like to do good work, for work is the best friend I’ve ever known. It has brought me all the good things I’ve had; my farm and cows and crops, everything.”

Don't just take my opinion of it, history is littered with examples of the value and reward of WORK. Here are some more words of wisdom from some extraordinarily accomplished people:

  • "If you really look closely, most overnight successes took a long time." Steve Jobs

  • “We often miss opportunity because it's dressed in overalls and looks like work.” Thomas A. Edison

  • “There are no traffic jams on the extra mile.”Zig Ziglar

  • "I’m a great believer in luck, and I find the harder I work the more I have of it."Thomas Jefferson

  • "I never viewed myself as particularly talented. Where I excel is ridiculous, sickening work ethic. You know, while the other guy’s sleeping, I’m working."Will Smith

  • “Success is no accident. It is hard work, perseverance, learning, studying, sacrifice and most of all, love of what you are doing or learning to do.”Pele

  • "Talent is cheaper than table salt. What separates the talented individual from the successful one is a lot of hard work."— Stephen King

  • "Working hard for something we don't care about is called stress. Working hard for something we love is called passion." Simon Sinek

  • Don't waste life in doubts and fears; spend yourself on the work before you, well assured that the right performance of this hour's duties will be the best preparation for the hours and ages that will follow it.” Ralph Waldo Emerson

  • “If a man is called to be a street sweeper, he should sweep streets even as a Michaelangelo painted, or Beethoven composed music or Shakespeare wrote poetry. He should sweep streets so well that all the hosts of heaven and earth will pause to say, 'Here lived a great street sweeper who did his job well.” Martin Luther King Jr.

Success cannot and will not be negotiated. There is a price to pay for the rewards that few ever experience. Those who have done so will tell you without hesitation that the prize was always better than the price paid to achieve it. All it takes is to actually do my favorite four-letter word…WORK.



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