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The value of hard work

I’m going to see my best friends from college this week in Florida. We’re all very different. Two doctors, a couple of businessmen, an airline pilot, a JAG officer, and two of us in ministry. But we share a few things in common: We love God, are committed to our friendship with one another fo…
By Seth Barnes
By Seth Barnes
I’m going to see my best friends from college this week in Florida. We’re all very different. Two doctors, a couple of businessmen, an airline pilot, a JAG officer, and two of us in ministry. But we share a few things in common: We love God, are committed to our friendship with one another for life, and we all know the value of hard work.
 
A work-ethic seems like an increasingly rare thing these days. It’s one of the top things I look for when I hire a new staff person. When I spoke to the chairman of the board of Hyundai at business school, I asked him what one piece of advice he’d offer young people. He said, “work hard.”
 
Down through time, successful people have given the same advice:
“Talent is cheaper than table salt. What separates the
talented individual from the successful one is a lot of hard work.”
~Stephen King

 

“Opportunity is missed by most people because it is dressed in overalls and looks like work.” ~Thomas Edison

 
“Life’s real failure is when you do not realize how close you were to success when you gave up.” ~Thomas Edison
“I don’t fear the man who practiced 10,000 kicks one time. I fear the man who has practiced one kick 10,000 times.” ~Bruce Lee
 
“I’m a great believer in luck, and I find the harder I work the more I have of it.”  ~Thomas Jefferson
 
“Go to the ant, you sluggard; consider its ways and be wise!” ~Prov. 6:6
I’ve lived to an age where most of my work is behind me. And I don’t regret working hard. As I mentor young people, I care about their dreams. But I care about their work ethic even more.
 
Think about your reputation. Are you known as a hard worker? If so, where did you learn your work ethic? If not, is it something you want to change?

Comments (4)

  • Most of our “twenty somethings” would do well to heed this word. Much is made of God’s gifts and callings on our lives these days. I’ve been blessed to get to know many young people who have tons of promise, but have never been taught the work ethic. Listen up, kids…get your hands dirty!

    Here’s another old adage: “Nothing worth having is easy and nothing easy is worth having!”

  • Thanks Seth. Until the seismic shifts took place in my life I was a “Protestant work ethic” guy on steroids. And because the workaholism was mostly on behalf of the Kingdom of God people mostly applauded the behavior.

    I like the new realities which are focused on things more contemplative. We are human “beings” not human “doings”. That doesn’t eliminate the need to “do” but has made me more sober about what the right thing to do is.

    Traditional measurements of spiritual and vocational “success” are frequently off base these days. Some of my deepest joy has been recent days offering caregiving support to a former doctor with dementia.

    Blessings friend….

  • My former husband had a strong work ethic. I have a strong work ethic. We taught our children to have a strong work ethic and every employer they’ve ever had has loved them.

    But sometimes when man’s work is destroyed and lies in rubble at his feet, his finest hour has only begun.

    I think of Job and the modern-day hero of Gladiator.

    We sometimes have to lose everything we have created with our hard work to discover who we truly are in God’s eyes.

    Blessings,
    Judith

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Seth Barnes

I'm motivated to join God in his global reclamation project. He's on the move, setting his sons and daughters free from their places of captivity. And he's partnering with those of us who have been freed to go and free others.



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