Thursday, 30 October 2014


Work is the key to success, and hard work can help you accomplish anything.
*It’s worth it!
With this latest PDP piece on 'Work Hard Attitude', hype up your motivation, fuel yourself to re-board the resolution train, and keep digging the flags into each peak as you pass by your goals.

“Keep at your work as diligently as possible, without giving up. Something will give...Even if you get a toe in, stay with it. It’s a beginning that can grow.”
~ Amitabh Bachchan

Well, this could sound a little ‘old fashioned’, but if you ask me about my ‘theory of life’; I would plainly say just two simple words to you, “Work Hard!” I am a serious believer of the saying, ‘Work hard in silence, and let success make the noise.’ I always get impressed and inspired to see people who work really hard with a ‘never-give-up-approach’. I look up to them as my ideals, as my heroes, as my supermen. Today we hear a lot about ‘Hard Work versus Smart Work’. But to me, Smart Work is not an isolated term; it comes to me mingling your Hard Work with a ‘Sense of Purpose’. If I lose sight of my destination; of course, my hard work will take me nowhere and I will be banging my head like a bug on a windshield. In other words, if you are running off track, you will not be able to see the finish line no matter how hard you run, or how fast you run.

Hard work in the right direction is often the difference between hitting the bull’s eye and completely missing the target. Born in 1953, Zico came from a lower-middle-class family in Brazil. He spent much of his youth dreaming of being a professional footballer and cutting classes to play football on the streets. His passion for the sport made him famous in the neighborhood, where people would gather to see the boy's brilliant performances against older children and teenagers. Zico was not physically strong. A combination of hard work, determination and discipline helped him become an athlete. During a River match, Zico scored 9 goals and caught the attention of radio reporter Celso Garcia, who asked Zico's father to take him to a trial at Flamengo. And that proved to be his path towards becoming one of the most admired players in the history of the sport.

If you dig deeper into the life history of achievers, you will find that ‘Hard Work’ has always been an essential ingredient of their success recipe. They were able to carve their own path more because of their ‘work-hard-attitude’. I think if someone had told them to drop this attitude for a multitude of reasons, they would have outright rejected their plea. Because every achiever knows that doing the best at this moment puts him/ her in the best place for the next moment. To paraphrase Diego Maradona, “I wanted to be the world champion when I was just eight and my dream knew no bounds. You have to chase your dream and prepare properly to achieve it. Talent is important, but you must toil hard to translate it into success. Sometimes you need a kick to get the best out of yourself. Fortunately, I always had that extra rush of adrenaline for the biggest stage.”

Of late, I came across an interesting theory called ‘Locus of Control’. The locus of control is the most extensively studied personality dimension. It means whether people believe that they are in control of events or events control them.  Individuals with internal locus of control believe that they can control and shape the events in their life with their own actions whereas individuals with external locus of control believe that events occur purely by chance and they are at the mercy of destiny, luck or other people which are beyond their control. People with internal locus of control are found to be hard working and they seek opportunities for advancement. They leave no stone unturned and make more and more efforts. I would rather call them ‘Men on Mission’. They exude confidence, wear expressions of laser focus and they separate themselves from the pack. All the struggle they undergo cannot dampen their spirits. And they are far better prepared to combat difficult situations whenever they arise.  
People with internal locus of control are found to be hard working and
they seek opportunities for advancement.
So, here is the catch. ‘Doing’ is more important than ‘just wishing’ or ‘mere dreaming’. I shake my head in disbelief and feel completely put off whenever I see people shirking their work, showing up late, shunning their responsibilities or just cowering in the corner. Life is a hard taskmaster. So bingo, problem solved! Ditto for such unprepared souls; Success either shows up very late for them or just shirks them altogether. And in that case, there should be no room for self pity and there is definitely no need to be filmy about it. I believe sometimes it takes one incident to galvanise people. The Story of Juliet Wu Shihong explains the same ‘tale of toil’. She succeeded to be one of China’s first-generation professional managers by working her way up the ranks from a cleaner, a nurse, a marketing executive, through self-education and learning on the job. She had been the general manager for the world’s most famous multinational IT groups’ Chinese branches (Microsoft 1985-1998; IBM 1998-1999).

When Wu started off in a big company working from the lowest ranks, her daily job was to pour tea and sweep floors. Once, because she forgot her staff pass, the company’s guard stopped her at the door and denied her entry. She explained to the guard that she was indeed one of the company’s employees, and that she had merely left the building for a short while to purchase office supplies. Despite her pleas, the guard still did not allow her to enter. As she stood at the gate, she watched as those of similar age to her, but smartly dressed in business attire walking through without having to show their passes. She asked the guard, “Why are these people allowed through without producing a pass?” The guard dismissed her coldly nonetheless.
That was the turning point for Wu – she felt great shame. She looked at herself, dressed in shabby clothes and pushing a dirty push cart. Looking back at those dressed in smart attire, her heart felt a deep ache from the sudden realization of the sorrow and grief from being discriminated. From that moment, she vowed never to allow herself to be shamed like this again, and to become world-famous. Since then, she used every opportunity to enrich herself. Wu did not possess strong academic qualifications, and was revered as the ‘Queen of Part-timers’. Every day, she was the first to arrive at work, and the last one to leave. She made every second count, spending her time learning the ropes. Her efforts soon paid off; she was made a sales representative, and quickly progressed to being the regional general manager of this multinational company in China. Subsequently, she assumed the position of GM of IBM China. 
It’s not very uncommon to be in a situation when things don’t go the way we would have liked. Our enthusiasm dwindles and we are tempted to cut corners. Here, I feel your head nodding. Distractions, Interruptions and unexpected obstacles pop up and rob us of our focus. But that’s an acid test of our real character. In the face of all this fluff and flash, some of us do fall prey to what situations throw our way. Even talented sportspersons fall by the wayside and their career takes a nosedive when they succumb to distractions. On the other hand, some of us hype up our motivation, fuel ourselves to re-board the resolution train, and keep digging the flags into each peak as we pass by our goals. 

I am a die-hard fan of old Hindi movie songs too. Let me narrate an incident from the same arena. Once Kishore Kumar and Asha Bhosle, veteran Indian film playback singers went for a duet recording early in their careers — the sound recordist rejected both of them because they didn't have 'good' voices. Kishore Kumar was very dejected. He joked they should become street singers since they couldn't make it into cinema. Asha ji consoled him. They both worked with renewed vigour, putting their best efforts into their profession and the rest is history. In Asha Ji’s own words, “As a professional, I put my best foot forward and give my 100% to a song, whether I personally like it or not. I've completed 70 years in Indian cinema. I believe I have given everything I could to the arts — perhaps that's why I've been around for so long. Work is worship — and there's no substitute for hard work.”

This very sentiment of ‘Work is Worship’ has been pictured vividly in movie ‘Bhag Milkha Bhag’. If you remember the plot of this slice-of-life-movie, you will instantly come to terms with the same notion that ‘Success is not always about greatness; it’s about consistency and hard work. Consistent, hard work gains success and greatness will come.’ ‘The Flying Sikh’ in the movie didn't know anything about athletics before he started running in the army. But once he found his passion, he didn't settle for anything less than excellence. After coming back from the 1956 Melbourne Games, he pledged to himself that he would not rest till he had matched the Olympic record. He worked non-stop in his pursuit for excellence. Buckets used to fill up with sweat, blood flowed from his nose and urine; He was on the death bed many times but he kept pushing himself.

No doubt, work is the key to success, and hard work can help you accomplish anything. The message is quite simple and straight,

“Study while others are sleeping; work while others are wandering; prepare while others are playing; and do while others are dreaming.”

If you like this blog post and wish to share your experiences/ remarks/ views on 'Work Hard Attitude' with Gaurav Misra, you are most welcome. Write to him at Like him on by Gaurav Misra. Follow him on Twitter@pdpbygm. 

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