The definition of skill is, “the ability to do something well; expertise.” Or, “a particular ability.” Hard work is a skill. It’s not something you’re born with. It’s an attitude you take on. It’s the ability and willingness to do whatever it takes to get the most out of who you are.
During my career as a fitness professional, I’ve always tried to get around, talk to, and even interview some of the most successful people in my field and in sports.
I ask them two questions, “What do you commit to everyday? What is the most important advice you can give me to be as successful as you?”
The answers are always strikingly similar. ”Be willing to work harder than anyone else around you. And , "Focus intently and commit to doing whatever you have to do to be the best.”
This advice is universal.
Comedian Chris Rock said, “ I wasn’t the funniest guy growing up, but I was the guy who worked on being funny the hardest.”
Microsoft founder Bill Gates said, “Even after I became a billionaire I worked most nights until 10PM and only took two weeks off in seven years.”
Oprah Winfrey said, “I never saw daylight. I would get to work at 5:30am when it was dark and leave at 8pm when it was dark.”
The greatest hitter of all-time, Ted Williams said, ”The key to hitting is just plain working at it. Work, that’s the real secret.”
It is easy to get complacent. It is easy to overestimate talent and underestimate work. But imagine if we used the time we wasted contemplating and making excuses for not working and actually just went to work!
The real gift is the ability to work hard, not talent. Hard work is a skill. And developing a skill is a product of our attitude, effort and tenacity. All three are choices anyone can make.