Work Hard and Make Better Choices

Working hard is only the first part of success.  Making good choices is the second part.  It truly takes both to achieve success at whatever you do.

I knew someone who was constantly lamenting her “bad luck”.  She wasn’t happy with the various jobs that she had over the years, her personal life was a shambles, she was almost thirty, hadn’t completed college, and constantly had money problems.  She often blamed situations or other people for the various predicaments that she was in.  However, the glaringly obvious truth was that although she worked fairly hard, she continually made horrible choices.  One day she would complain about money and then the next day she’d buy something totally extravagant and completely unnecessary.  The next week she’d complain about not being able to get a good job while showing up to work an hour late for personal reasons (which happened regularly).

From time to time she’d talk to me about her issues and I’d point out the choices she made that led to the current problem at hand.  Each time she’d pay lip service to acknowledge the connection, but the truth is she never took ownership for the real problem – her choices.  She once lamented “why me, why me, I deserve better!”  I didn’t offer my opinion on this question, but what I wanted to tell her was that “everyone feels like they ‘deserve better’ at some point in their life – get over it, stop complaining and start really doing something about it.  Work hard and make better choices!”

I’ve had the opportunity during my career to work with thousands of people who have experienced varying degrees of success in their lives.  Success is not an entitlement. One of the recurring themes I see with these people is that they plan their work and work their plan. That is, they think through their choices, make the best ones they can with the information they have, and then work hard to carry those choices out.

The Secret to My Luck

Not long ago I was talking to someone I’ve known for years about the growth of my business and some other personal goals I’ve recently met and he said, “Man you’re lucky.  It must be nice.”

I responded to him by saying “Yea, I’m lucky, let me tell you the secret to my luck…”

“First, I went to college for ten years.  During that time, I started my own business and worked really long hours for two decades.  Along the way, I mortgaged my house a couple of times for the business and I wrote five books.  You too can have this kind of luck.  All you need to do is apply this kind of effort to whatever you do and you can be just as lucky.”

He laughed and said, “Okay, Okay, I get it!!”  Did he really get it?  I don’t think so, because he hasn’t changed his behavior or started making different choices.  If being successful was easy – everyone would have the success they think they deserve.

Working hard is only the first part of success. Making good choices is the second part.  It truly takes both to achieve success at whatever you do.

9 thoughts on “Work Hard and Make Better Choices

  1. Great article … there is a significant difference between how you “spend” your time vs how you “invest” your time … successful entrepreneurs know the difference and take advantage of every moment – making the most of every day – when you make better choices you become a better steward of both your business and personal lifestyles !!

  2. Thank you Dr. Misner, this is such good advice for both professional life and personal life. This is what I hope to instill in my office staff and in my children. Have a wonderful week!

  3. Thank you so much Dr.
    It is a Very good article it was eye opener for us those always hunt job appreciations that happens once in a year. But being businessmen make lot if changes in your vision and looking at things. Choices needs selection that is the hard truth as only following client and business will not grow us. So vision development for making right choice on right time converts opportunities to growth. Thank you sir thank you so much

  4. I loved the article. People always think it is one thing like luck or some even admit it takes hard work; but it is truly a number of things. Making good decisions is sometimes the hardest thing to do. It is hard to discipline ourselves to make good choices. Not easy.

  5. I often hear someone lament that a friend got in trouble “because of a bad choice.” The truth of the matter is that the bad circumstance usually arrived after a whole series of bad choices and perhaps several bailouts that prevented the “victim” from ever learning the proper consequences.

  6. Dr Misner:
    It’s fully true, that, we consider bad times, as our bad luck, why we don’t get success on our protects and we don’t get enough money and exit In our jobs, but, we must know to make better choices and work harder having all the information that we require to get our goals.
    Thanks for this excellent article.

  7. I keep making bad choices but don’t know why. I do take responsibility for my choices. I also can only work a 15 hours a week. What is wrong with me. I live my entire life taking responsibility for my poor choices and am constantly setting goals, aiming to work more hours each week and make better choices but nothing ever changes. I wish I knew what I was doing wrong.

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