(I’ll let you define success as you will, but let’s at least include financial stability and security as part of success).
Maybe I could word it this way: working hard does not guarantee success. Consider, for example, the very long and demanding hours that some folks put in as servers in restaurants, and the people who clean rooms at hotels. (You can read about such work in the classic book, Nickel and Dimed: On Not Getting By in America by Barbara Ehrenreich).
But I think I could word it this way: not working hard is a pretty good indicator that there won’t be great success.
I could give you many quotes from many books on this. For example, in Outliers: The Story of Success by Malcolm Gladwell, he writes:
The people at the very top don’t work just harder or even much harder than everyone else. They work much, much harder.
Now, I’ve found another one,. This is from the book Perennial Seller: The Art of Making and Marketing Work that Lasts by Ryan Holiday. He describes the work ethic of Ian Fleming, the author of the James Bond books. Here’s the line in the book:
Ian Fleming once wrote to his publisher, “I bet your other authors don’t work as hard for you as I do.” He was right.
So, a simple question – how hard do you work? Do you work harder than others around you?
If not… it’s time to get to work; it’s time to take working hard more seriously.