Work ethic, Drive, Passion, Desire, whatever it is that you call it…it is that which compels use to succeed. Some of us have it, and some of us don’t. An unyielding work ethic is critical to professional and personal success. Things don’t just magically happen overnight. You have to work and work and work and then work some more. This is just the way of the world, and it applies to everything we do inside and outside of the box.
Work ethic, this internal drive to succeed, does not develop overnight. Some people are lucky enough to have been born with this desire, but many more need to learn it. Some of us learn to be hard workers because we come from parents who did it all their lives and, when we become adults, we simply imitate what we saw every day of our youth. That’s one way it can happen. Others have situations where they learned failure at a young age, and they develop an intense work capacity because they live their lives terrified of feeling that letdown again. They experienced shame once, so they bust their asses to make sure it doesn’t happen anymore.
In looking at my own work ethic, I learned that I am from the former camp, those who were fortunate enough to have tremendous drive modeled for them in their families. My work ethic comes from my Dad, the great JC, whom many of you have met. I’ve never in my life met someone who works harder, and his passion and drive are reflected in every aspect of his life.
Knowing he needed a business degree to earn the legitimacy he needed to start his own company, he drove all the way to Minnesota to attend the University of Minnesota…after receiving a rejection letter (something he neglected to tell Sheila aka Mamadukes…who was less than pleased when they got to the frozen tundra of St. Paul and found out that he hadn’t actually gotten in yet). He showed up on the doorstep of the MPH Program Director and told this rando of his dream of creating a company that partnered with companies to provide mental health services for their employees (your current day EAP). The Program Director told my dad that he could gain entry to the program by completing all of the pre-requisite coursework in just under two months (the equivalent of about 5 classes worth of work), and get an 80 or above in every class. He got five B-’s, was enrolled in the program, and started his own EAP Company. That…my friends… is desire. The quality of exuding an unwavering resiliency even in the face of hardship and failure. He is the man that I aspire to be, and in my quest to do so I have tried to mimic his work ethic and passion.
In the end our work ethic will dictate the journey of our lives. It is that upon which our professional and personal success is contingent. Relationships, with friends or significant others, require work. Being successful in your profession requires work. Being successful in the gym or during a workout requires work. It is up to you to decide whether or not you want to put in the effort….wait for it…to cultivate your work ethic which will be the foundation of all of your successes.