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 have 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 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, 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.”
History is littered with examples of the value and reward of WORK. Here are some more words of wisdom from some extraordinarily accomplished people:
“The heights by great men reached and kept
Were not attained by sudden flight,
But they, while their companions slept,
Were toiling upward in the night.”
- Henry Wadsworth Longfellow
“What work I have done I have done because it has been play. If it had been work I shouldn't have done it.
Who was it who said, "Blessed is the man who has found his work?” Whoever it was he had the right idea in his mind. Mark you, he says his work—not somebody else's work. The work that is really a man's own work is play and not work at all. Cursed is the man who has found some other man's work and cannot lose it. When we talk about the great workers of the world we really mean the great players of the world. The fellows who groan and sweat under the weary load of toil that they bear never can hope to do anything great. How can they when their souls are in a ferment of revolt against the employment of their hands and brains? The product of slavery, intellectual or physical, can never be great.” - Mark Twain
“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
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.
Brett Penager, CMO