Hardwork Conquers All by JEFFREY PASCUA
It may have become a modern-day cliché, but what Thomas Alva Edison said about genius being one percent inspiration and ninety-nine percent perspiration remains as accurate as ever. For nothing beats the full essence of hardwork. To continuously be productive, staying active and becoming inspired at all times will help achieve your lofty goals and invite success, if not true greatness, in the process.
The difference lies indeed in the amount of effort one put in his chosen endeavor. The number of hours one spends in honing skills, the kind of unparalleled dedication he pours into his job, the relentless pursuit of goals inspite of repeated setbacks- those are the intangibles that count the most in accomplishing the most important tasks. Many renowned people in history didn’t shoot up to fame by accident. They toiled long and hard to reach their levels of greatness. They literally and figuratively shed blood, sweat and tears to attain respectability and, eventually, for some, a certain level of immortality.
Michael Angelo Buonarroti is perceived today as some kind of superhuman artist. His enormous amount of work can only boggle the mind. The Italian was the consummate Renaissance artist. He wasn’t only a painter, but also a sculptor, poet, engineer, and architect all rolled into one. One may say that he was truly blessed to have all those wonderful skills. But more than the probable innate talent that he possessed, Michelangelo was a hard worker. His work ethics, in fact, may even be considered as supernatural. He didn’t mind working day in and day out just to achieve perfection in his work.
One classic example was when as a young pupil, Michelangelo would frequent the fish market near their place. There, he would meticulously observe the shape and coloring of the fins of the fish, the color of the eyes and ever other parts. He would later render them in his painting, his eye for details giving the unmistakable touch of realism to his work. Young as he was, he already knew the value of bothering with the littlest element that would make up his piece of work. Wasn’t Michelangelo the one who said that “Trifles make perfection and perfection is no trifle?”
Michelangelo’s masterpiece, the Sistine Chapel, is nothing but awe-inspiring at every square inch. But the marvelous painting wasn’t completed in a hundred strokes of brush. In all actuality, it took him a bit over 4 years from July 1508 to October of 1512 to complete the job. Not only had Michelangelo needed to familiarize himself with the fresco style, he also had to learn perspective, since he was painting in curved surfaces and the work had to be viewed from 60 feet below. Also, since the scaffolding curved at the top, he had to bend backwards and paint over his head. This brought tremendous physical pain to the artist. Additionally, Michelangelo had to face obstacles such as mold and damp weather that further delayed his work. Through it all, he was able to survive and come out with a most enduring obra maestra the world has ever seen.
James Garfield once said that “if the power to do hard work is not a skill, then it’s the best possible substitute for it” Perhaps this is the same line that encouraged novelist Mario Puzo to push his pen. Wanting to write a novel of the caliber of Crime and Punishment, the son of Sicilian immigrants went out of his way to publish two novels in the 50s and 60s. Unfortunately, both books failed to attract readers. Because of that, Puzo began to believe that he was never going to be the kind of writer that he wanted to be. But instead of quitting, he worked even harder. Instead of trying to be a master of language, he focused on how to become an effective storyteller.
While busy working for a publishing house, he collected material on the east coast branches of the Mafia. He had heard a lot of anecdotes about the organization and a brilliant idea had struck him. He would write a fictional story about the Cosa Nostra. Puzo then wrote a ten-page outline which he submitted to various book publishers. None of those he approached gave him the sign of approval.
Puzo kept the faith in himself intact. Finally he got the break that he needed when a writer friend dropped by his place and listened to his Mafia anecdotes. The said friend presented Puzo’s plot outline to his publishers-G.P. Putnam’ Sons- where it was readily accepted. Puzo was given a cash advance and in no time was asked to complete the novel. The Godfather was a resounding success both commercially and critically. Through hardwork, Puzo not only realized his life-long dream, he also mesmerized millions across the globe with a story that shocked, taught lessons, and touch lives.
Olympic gymnastics champion Nadia Comaneci once said, “Hardwork has made it easy. That is my secret. That is why I win.” Needless to say, she knew from the heart what she was talking about. Because an impressive work ethic was what was being practiced by the Romanian athlete since she first learned how to play the sport. At the tender age of six, she was already training to become a world-class gymnast two to three hours a day.
As she grew older, Comaneci learned to embrace even more the one basic truth in the ultra-competitive world of sport: talent enough is not a guarantee to success. So she kept practicing hard. She fell a lot during practice sessions and actual competitions, yet, she never allowed the physical pain to derail her. When she had to live and train at a state-run gymnastics school, she didn’t allow the thoughts of being separated from her family affect her concentration. Even the longer hours of practice daily never became an issue to her.
The graceful gymnast, who idolized the great Olga Korbut, bagged various titles as a result. When she arrived at the 1976 Montreal Games, her reputation of being a winner was already established. That ‘s why nobody was surprised when she made Olympic history by becoming the first ever gymnast to score a perfect 10, a feat that she accomplished twice in the uneven bars and balance beam.
Comaneci’s hardwork would eventually lead her to several international gymnastic titles and catapult her to sporting greatness later on in her colorful career.
Michelangelo, Puzo, and Comaneci all shared three things that allowed them to taste the sweet fruits of their labor. First, they focused on work which is a must for everyone who’s targeting a particular level of success. The passion for excellence was burning in their hearts. And they used their time efficiently and wisely to ensure that every move they would make wouldn’t be wasted.
Second, they were modest. Whatever degree of triumph or failure they may have encountered along the way, they never let this penetrate their heads. They looked for ways to get back to their feet when they tripped. They kept themselves level-headed when victory was in their hands.
Third, they were honest to themselves and to everybody else. Even when others doubted, even when things were not going their way, the three exhibited strong ethical beliefs. They subscribed to the idea that as long as they were doing the right thing, everything else will follow including the toughest-to-earn reward of them all: success.
So get down into business. Pinpoint your goal. Work rapidly. Keep going like a clock does. Hardwork is never an alternative route in life. It’s really a necessity for a more serious purpose in this world.