Hard Work, Outstanding Performance and Success

Outstanding performance is one of the keys to career and life success that I discuss in Straight Talk for Success and 42 Rules to Jumpstart Your Professional Success.  If you want to become an outstanding performer you need to do three things.  First, stay on top of your game by becoming a lifelong learner.  Second, set high goals.  Do whatever it takes to achieve them.  Third, get organized.  Manage your time, life and stress well.

And, it should go without saying, you need to work hard.  I subscribe to the Just Sell sales quotes.  Yesterday, I found this quote from Malcolm Gladwell, author of The Tipping Point, Blink and Outliers in my in box.

“The people at the very top don’t work just harder or even much harder than everyone else. They work much, much harder.”

This is true – and something a lot of less than successful people really don’t want to hear. 

The law of attraction …

1. Know exactly what you want.
2. Ask the universe for it.
3. Feel, behave and know as if the object of your desire is already yours (visualize).
4. Be open to receive it and let go of (the attachment to) the outcome.

…is great as far as it goes.  However, I have found that while visualization is important in creating a successful life and career, “behave” is an overlooked word in point 3.  Hard work is the key behavior in becoming an outstanding performer and personal and professional success.

I have a quote by Paul J. Meyer hanging next to the door in my office.  I read it every time I enter or leave my office. 

“Whatever you vividly imagine, ardently desire, sincerely believe, and enthusiastically act upon… must inevitably come to pass!”

I focus on the words “enthusiastically act upon.”  To my way of thinking, these three words are synonymous with hard work — a key behavior in creating a successful life and career.  Hard work is the behavior that is often overlooked when it comes to applying the law of attraction.  If you think you can succeed merely by knowing what you want, asking the universe for it and visualizing yourself having it, I think you’re in for an unpleasant surprise. 

As Malcolm Gladwell says, successful people work much, much harder than others.

Hard work is more than long hours.  Sure, sometimes it’s necessary to work evenings and weekends.  However, it’s just as important to maximize the value of the time you spend at work.  Figure out your high brain times and do the most intense work then.  I’m best in the early morning – 6:00 till 11:00 and the late afternoon and early evening 2:30 till 7:30 or 8:00.  I do my writing and thinking then.  I use the mid day hours for exercise, errands and low brain activities.  When are your peak performance times?  If you haven’t already done so, take a few minutes to determine them and do your best to schedule your most intense work then.

Set up systems for managing your work load.  Once you have systems in place, continuously improve them.  Make them better and more efficient so you can get more work done is less time.  In this way, you’ll be maximizing the value of your hard work.

The common sense point here is simple.  Successful people are outstanding performers.  As Malcolm Gladwell points out, outstanding performers are hard workers.  They know what they want and do whatever it takes to get it.  They enthusiastically act on their dreams.  This action helps them reach their goals.  There is no way around hard work.  You have to put in the time and effort if you want to be successful.  Ask any “overnight success.”  Everyone that I’ve ever met tells me that they spent years and years getting to the place where they became an “overnight success.”  Set your goals.  Work hard.  Work smart.  And you’ll succeed.

That’s my take on hard work and success.  What’s yours?  Please leave a comment sharing your thoughts with us.  As always, thanks for reading.


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