How to Build a Winning Work Ethic

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There are no quick fixes when it comes to success.
                                                      -Ralph JP
ralphheadshotcloseup001

A couple weeks ago Ralph Jean-Paul contacted me wanting to be a guest on my blog. It's my belief that he's the guy to watch in the blogging world in 2010.

To give you just a glimpse his amazing life I took the following from his about page:

"I am 29 years old and live in FL.  My life has had some hardships but I’m thankful to have had a great family which included my older sister who is like my twin, a strong supportive mother, and a wise, strong minded, encouraging father.I currently work for one of the four largest Banks in America and I'm also the owner of a few small businesses that I have recently started. I am a personal development speaker and have been speaking for about 4 years.   

It takes understanding, information, motivation, and work to achieve the great things in life.  That may be the reason so many people fall short of what they want to achieve and what their purpose in life is.

   

Here I will present you with a wealth of solid, meaningful, and practical information that will help you stay motivated, eliminate the obstacles, and develop the habits that will make a difference in your life." 

   

What are your dreams and desires in life?  Do you want to want to be financially free?  Do you desire to become physically fit and in great shape? We all want our dreams to become reality.  But our dreams will mostly likely remain just dreams if we are not able to work for what we want to accomplish.

I was ecstatic when I opened Tess’s email suggesting “work ethic” as the subject of this guest post.  I was considering writing a post about work ethic on my blog so when I read the email, I thought it was perfect timing. 

I’ve always admired people who were willing to put time and effort into perfecting their craft.  A few weeks ago a friend invited me to go to a symphony.  I haven’t been to a symphony since a third grade field trip so I thought it would be a nice experience.  While I was listening to the music, I couldn’t help wondering how many hours of practice were put in to enable all of these different instruments to come together to create one beautiful sound.

It is easy for us to think that extraordinary performers are born that way.  That they somehow were gifted and that was enough to propel them to success.  Nothing could be further from the truth.  Talent will only take you so far; and it may fail you if you are not skilled at what you do. 

Having a winning work ethic means having the diligence and commitment to do a job well. If there is a silver bullet that can eliminate procrastination and idleness, a good work ethic is it.  I once heard an interview with Will Smith where he was asked why he was able to succeed while many people fail in Hollywood. He answered the question by saying, “The only difference-that I can see- is that I will not be outworked, period.”

I was a little bit taken back when I heard that.  I thought, “If Will Smith who is extremely likeable, good looking and talented has to work hard to succeed, how much harder does an average Joe like me have to work?” 

"Opportunity is missed by most because it is dressed in overalls and looks like work." -Thomas Alva Edison

The Power of Positive Doing

I believe that our thoughts control our actions.  So, thinking positively is a step towards living a better life.  However, it is not the only step.  Many times we forget to take those positive actions.  

In my life I have learned that “doing” is the best way to get the results I want.  I realized that out of the 7 billion people in the world, none of them woke up this morning and said, “Today, I’m going to make Ralph Jean-Paul a success!”  I know that in order to live the extraordinary life that I want to live, it is going to take decisive action and effort.

I was born in the poorest country in the western hemisphere.  My family moved to America when I was 5 years old with the intention of creating a better life for us all. My work ethic was instilled in my sister and myself at an early age.

When I was about 11, my father started his own retail business.  I can remember my dad waking me up on Saturdays at 5am and we would go to wholesalers to pick up merchandise.  I hated it!  As I sat in the passenger seat wondering which episode of Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles I was missing, my dad would talk about how important it is to work hard for what you want. 

Now that I am older, I am convinced that having a winning work ethic is the key to great accomplishment. 

There is power behind taking action towards your goals.  I call it the power of positive doing. It helps me to remember to reinforce my positive mental attitude with meaningful, decisive action.

Building a Winning Work Ethic

Prepare with a Purpose-Preparation is the key to winning.  Practicing your skill for long periods of time is a great way to perfect it.  But the way you prepare is just as important as how long you prepare.  When you prepare for success, have a specific outcome in mind.  For example, if you are preparing for a presentation, practice it as if there were a group of people in front of you hanging on your every word.  Speak as loud as you would and use the same gestures that you would if you were actually performing in front of an audience.  Practicing this way will make it easier for you to perform effectively in the real situation.

Avoid what is Easy-Begin doing the things that other people are not willing to do and you will begin to reach heights that others cannot reach.  I recently began waking up at 3 am.  I first tried this out because I wanted to work on projects without interruptions.  It started as an experiment, but now it is a lifestyle. Doing this has helped me successfully complete many new projects.  It wasn’t easy, but it has made a major difference in my life.

Get Motivated-We are all motivated by different things.  Some of us are motivated by accomplishment, love, or obtaining a certain lifestyle.  Lock on to what motivates you and focus on it regularly. 

Challenge Yourself and Others-Learn to look for new challenges in everything that you do.  Do not be satisfied with what you have accomplished if you are capable of accomplishing more. Push yourself to be the best you can possibly be.  Once you are able to take yourself to your limit, challenge the people around you to do the same.

“The secret of joy in work is contained in one word – excellence. To know how to do something well is to enjoy it.”-Pearl S. Buck

Commit to Excellence

Having a commitment to excellence is promising yourself to do your best and to strive to do better. The person who commits to excellence in their personal or professional life will never lack for passion or drive.  It also means that you commit to finishing what you start.  We all have goals that we wanted to accomplish but somehow were unable to finish.  Committing to excellence means seeing the job through to the end.

Work Harder on Yourself

Author Jim Rohn once said, “Work harder on yourself than you do on your job”.  The idea is that when you work to develop your skills and abilities, the fruit of your labor will show itself in all parts of your life.  For example, when you work to develop your people skills, it will make you a better employee, friend, spouse etc.  Take the time to improve yourself in the area of life where you struggle.

Each and every one of us has the opportunity to become winners in business, life and love. But it may take some effort for us to get there.  How has your work ethic paid off in your life?

Ralph is not only committed to his own personal development, but he is also committed to the personal development of everyone he comes in contact with.  He is the main writer for his blog Potential 2 Success, a site that focuses on result driven personal development.  Ralph is currently offering a free download of his ebook “The Quick Confidence Guide” to all of his subscribers. 

 Be sure to follow Ralph on Twitter, Facebook and sign up for his RSS feed…you won't want to miss this mover and shaker live his dreams!

Please tell us about your work ethic below!

Comments on this entry are closed.

  • Zeenat{Positive Provocations} January 20, 2010, 11:54 am

    HI Ralph,
    So nice to read this post today…mostly cause only recently even i started waking up at 4 a.m. which for me is very very very very early. I have never been a morning person..but had decided to change that this Year :)I know how awesome it feels to work, pray, meditate uninterrupted for sometime…and i wouldnt trade it for a thing. (I have a 3 year old running around all day) Yes its hard cause i am not used to it…but i am enjoying it..and am goign to make it a habit … The easy way out has been tried far too many times..and wheres the challenge there??I like pushing myself a bit…it makes the success of a project that much more enriching…

    Tess, Thank you for introducing me to this wonderful writer/blogger…I loved this post …..

    Much Love to you Both,
    Z~

  • Quinn January 20, 2010, 12:17 pm

    It is interesting that you talk about talent and skill as two different things, it reminds me that the two are not the same.

    When I think of work ethic i think of my mother and the fourth of July. At this point in her career my mom was the administrator of a convalescent hospital, the big boss. it was a holiday and a Saturday people requested it off and some called in sick. The hardest hit was the laundry were there was no one to wash the sheets, make sure the residence have clean clothes and clean the towels. My mom could have ranted and been angry instead she asked for my help and we went in and spent Forth of July afternoon not at a barbecue but folding sheets and washing rags.

    Thanks for reminding me of that fourth of July and the lessons learned among the hot dryers and soiled sheets.

  • Ralph January 20, 2010, 2:21 pm

    Hi Zeenat, I’m so glad you are taking on the challenge of being up early 🙂 It’s a great time to be up and active isn’t it? Keep it up! Thanks for the kind words.

    Hey Quinn, That is an awesome story! I love stories of parents instilling a strong work ethic into thier children. Thanks for sharing!

  • Tess January 20, 2010, 8:09 pm

    Hi Z.
    Wow 4 am and you have a 3 year old. Good for you. I do believe it’s the only time a mom can get time for herself. I used to get up at 5 when mine were little.
    Sometimes I’d go roller blading and be back before they were even up!

    Quinn,
    What a wonderful mom you had and isn’t it something how we influence our kids! They watch us when we don’t think they are and sometimes wonder if they picked up any of our good traits!And of course the answer if a big YES!

  • Lana - DreamFollowers Blog January 21, 2010, 12:34 am

    What a wonderful post Ralph! Wow waking up at 3 am…I go to bed at 4.30 am:) That is my way of getting things done while my son is sleeping. Having uniterrupted time to work on your projects is extremely important.

    I loved all the points you outllined, especially challenging yourself. This is something that took me awhile to get used to doing consistently and I am convinced that we can’t accomplish great thing until we stay in our comfort zones resisting change. Thanks for a great read Ralph!
    And thank you Tess for a great blog you have here!

  • Hayden Tompkins January 21, 2010, 6:32 am

    “I couldn’t help wondering how many hours of practice were put in ”

    Oh my god, HOURS. My father played viola and we’d listen to him playing scales all day long.

    You are so right about the ‘perfecting their craft’ thing.

    I like your idea of preparation with purpose. “But the way you prepare is just as important as how long you prepare.” So true.

  • Ralph January 21, 2010, 8:45 am

    Hi Lana, Thanks so much! I agree with you 100%. Challenging ourselves is the best way to see what we are truly capable of doing.

    Hey Hayden, I’ve always admired musicians who are able to put HOURS in. They are perfect examples of success through preparation and practice because they are practicing to produce a very specific result. If they haven’t prepared everyone in the room will be able hear the difference immediately. Hats off to your father 🙂 Thanks for the comment Hayden!
    .-= Ralph ´s last post…My Guest Post on The Bold Life.com =-.

  • Kevin J Porter January 21, 2010, 9:06 am

    Ralph -Great content. I enjoying researching and writing on the value of commitment and hard work. I look forward to following your content.

    Tess – Very glad I stumbled upon your blog! Love the notion of stepping out of one’s “comfort zone.”

    Thanks!
    Kevin J Porter
    .-= Kevin J Porter´s last post…Scattergories, Smartphones, and the Ever Expanding Sea of Information =-.

  • Peggy January 21, 2010, 9:47 am

    I’m diving back in for a second read…it’s that good. Thanks Tess for introducing us to Ralph. My at work work ethic needs a revamp.

    Much love,
    Peggy
    .-= Peggy´s last post…Ireland =-.

  • Sara B. Healy January 21, 2010, 10:04 am

    Tess — Thanks for introducing us to Ralph. I really enjoyed reading his post.

    Ralph — I can’t believe you get up at 3AM!! I loved all the things you said in your post, but one stood out for me and that is “Work Harder on Yourself.” I think it’s critical to be content with yourself to fully enjoy whatever you do.

    Regarding my own work ethic, I’m semi-retired now, but work almost more than I did when I was working full time. This time, however, it’s more of work of love. Blogging/writing has become my passion. I still work at this new “career” at least five days of the week, however I Do NOT get up quite as early as you do:~)
    .-= Sara B. Healy´s last post…Graffiti Artists in Switzerland =-.

  • Megan "JoyGirl!" Bord January 21, 2010, 10:56 am

    This was a nice guest post to read. I wish Ralph tremendous success (doesn’t sound like he needs it, though!), and most of all, happiness.

    Love & joy to you, Tess!
    .-= Megan “JoyGirl!” Bord´s last post…Authenticity = New Definitions =-.

  • suzen January 21, 2010, 11:02 am

    Hi Ralph! I love the quote from Edison about Opportunity being dressed in overhauls. I’ve heard that so often and it is so true! I also remember “Garbage In – Garbage Out” which was popular before you were born! 🙂

    I have never expected anything worthwhile to be achieved without working up a little sweat, or getting dirty, or practice,practice,practice. I grew up on a farm and everyone worked hard – that work ethic never left me. I consider myself most fortunate! I would be tempted to say you are “lucky” to have done all that you have at your young age, but I know better. It’s the result of hard work and what my dad called sticktoitness. Keep on shining!
    .-= suzen´s last post…The Magic of Giving – Healing 101 =-.

  • Robin Easton January 21, 2010, 11:22 am

    Wow!! This has come at a good time for me. While I wrestle to manage my intense work load right now due to my book coming out, I often feel like an octopus playing tennis, fielding a thousand balls at once. Like Z I am a morning person and but lately have also been up waaaaay too late for me, just so I can get everything done. So this weekend I decided to make a list of everything I am doing and sit down and prioritize it and get rid of what doesn’t need doing.

    In reading this I thought how my friends and husband would tell you that I am extremely dedicated, focused and determined and don’t balk at the hard parts or less desirable aspects of my work. I think the hardest thing for me is that I am learning on the fly and it is a steep learning curve. Also, learning to evaluate what is the most effective. After spending 3 hours responding to StumbleUpon.com shares the other day, I thought “this has to go”….or I have to make changes here, but I don’t always know WHAT changes to make. Although, I am definitely one to dive in the experiment. With time and experience I know I will get a better handle on what works for me and what doesn’t.

    Another aspect of this “work thing” that I am leaning toward more and more is: doing what “I” like to do and not so much of what I think I “should” do in terms of work “advantage”. I am a firm believer in listening to my heart and doing what I LOVE and having THAT create it’s own excellence.

    So you have given me much to think about here. Just writing this our has helped me more clearly assess what I am doing. Since I am already doing the things you speak of and really relate to your work ethic…STRONGLY so, I think there is now another area I need to explore or think about and that is doing what my heart CALLS me to do. NOT doing what I think I SHOULD do but rather what creates a feeling of FUN and JOY and ADVENTURE in me in terms of what I do in my work. I’ve a strong feeling that the more I listen to and follow my hearts dictates the more powerful my work experience and sharing with others will become.

    I thank BOTH you, Ralph JP, and you, Tess, for sharing such an empowering piece. I actually feel stronger and more clear on where I need to go than I did before reading this. Bless you both. Big hugs, Robin
    .-= Robin Easton´s last post…Will Humans Survive? =-.

  • Tess January 21, 2010, 11:42 am

    Lana,
    It shows we all have the same amount of time and how we utilize it makes all the difference in the world. When my four daughters were young I’d do most of my work after they went to bed. We were big believers in early bed time. 9:00 pm until high school. Then I’d stay up until 2 am working if I needed. I don’t have to do that anymore and now it’s easier for me to procrastinate!

    Hayden,
    Wow on your dad and the viola, I think another good example of this are the Olympic athletes. My daughter does marathons and triathlons and it’s amazing to me the hours she spends crafting her thing!

    Ralph,
    You’ve been a great guest to have. Thanks for being bold enough to ask to be featured here. You’re welcome back anytime.

    Kevin,
    I’m jumping to your blog in a minute. Because my hubby and I married so young and had a couple of jobs going on at all times all four of my daughters have wonderful work ethics! Amen I gave them a great gift! You know we have to pat ourselves on the back sometimes as parents!

    Peggy,
    I’m not sure about that…I’m amazed at what you do with two blogs, a radio show and your family! But revamp away if that’s what you need to do.

    Sara,
    Don’t you love the semi-retired life? When I’m stressed I tell myself you’re bringing this all on yourself with your need to blog. The opposite of that is I have a gift to share and I’m responsible for putting it out there. Besides what the heck would I do with my time if I didn’t keep up with something!

    Megan,
    OMG did you read his about page and speaking and Toastmaster’s contests and all. That’s the gift of not starting out with everything. You have the need to go make it in the world. No one is doing it for you. Sometimes our greatest issues are turned into our greatest gifts. I can only imagine where Ralph will be in 20 years! Ralph don’t forget about us little people;)

    SuZen,
    I didn’t know you grew up on a farm, did I? I better go read your about page again! I hated it because so much work and we were little migrant workers working beside our migrant workers. But little did I know what I was being groomed for and now I thank God for it all. Also my love of the Spanish language came from my childhood and those workers. Another great gift!

    Robin,
    Two words that will help you immediately and you already stated one,
    Prioritize
    Ask for Guidance…more than one word there!

    Oh I better add delegate. I believe you know all these things and are in a big transition with your book because it will be a big hit. So what you’re learning now is what you’re going to use in the future, Robin because it’s only going to get bigger now. You have a unique message and a unique way of expressing it. I haven’t met anyone that is like you. You stand out!

    So you are wise for getting prepared for your avalanche of success. Yeah for you Robin, because the world so needs your message! Hugs back at you.

  • Angelia January 21, 2010, 12:12 pm

    Hi Ralph! Hi Tess!

    Ralph,

    My parents instilled those work ethics in me. Work hard and be proud of your work. Two years ago, I changed jobs after 11yrs at the same place, although the work was the same – everything was different. I felt I had to prove myself all over again. Business slowed down and they were looking at layoffs. Luckily, my work ethic paid off. When challenged to learn a whole new system that no one wanted to do (it wasn’t offered to me to learn because I was new). I self-taught myself and became very valuable here. I was one of two agents to learn it. The only agent to learn it without training. Now I’m a multi-GDS agent (which means I speak two computer languages). It wasn’t easy but it was worth it and I got to keep my job whereas others weren’t so lucky.

    Now other areas of my life…..well I could use applying more of my work ethic too.

    Thanks for an incredible post! Now, I’m going to see how you possibly get up at 3 am.

    🙂
    .-= Angelia´s last post…NyQuil, Please! I can explain! =-.

  • Suzie Cheel January 21, 2010, 1:37 pm

    Love this Ralph and this morning I got up at 3 am and usually awake at that time. Love this “Opportunity is missed by most because it is dressed in overalls and looks like work.” -Thomas Alva Edison
    It’s great to connect with you again and have just followed you on twitter. I am really working on being excellent inall that I do and that means being true to myself and my values.
    Thanks Tess for asking Ralph to write on this topic- timely
    .-= Suzie Cheel´s last post…Monday Inspiration =-.

  • Susan Liddy January 21, 2010, 2:25 pm

    Hi Ralph,
    So nice to meet you.
    You have a really great “presence.”
    I like you’re energy.
    Kudo’s to you for creating an amazing life.
    You are going to inspire MANY… I can feel it.

    🙂 Susan
    .-= Susan Liddy´s last post…SURVEY RESULTS: If You Could Wave a Magic Wand, What Would You Wish For? =-.

  • Tess January 21, 2010, 4:50 pm

    Angelia,
    Wow how wise you are and computer language…can we trade brains!
    They are blessed to have you!

    Suzie,
    3 am? Good for you. I’m not there yet and probably never will be;)
    I’ll stick with 5-6 am!

    Susan,
    Isn’t it weird how we can tell about someone’s presence on a computer? Who would have thought?!?

  • Colbycheeze January 21, 2010, 8:12 pm

    Great points on the validity of hard work! It is so much easier now days for people to reach levels of success they couldn’t have thought of before. The thing most people don’t grasp however is that it does still take a lot of hard work and dedication. There really is no get rich quick magic trick.

    http://www.colbycheeze.com – Personal Development Kung Fu
    .-= Colbycheeze´s last post…Personal Development Kung Fu Podcast #1 – Do Later List =-.

  • Wilma Ham January 21, 2010, 8:55 pm

    Hi Ralph.
    I love your post but apart from work ethics I have learned through working with my siblings in my father’s shop that team work ethic is very important as well.
    My father made work in his shop fun, he always acknowledged us and never ever told us off when we made a mistake.
    I think creating a loving environment where you do things from love rather than coming from duty and fear and that has been my driver to work hard and yet I know when enough is enough and when to delegate with integrity.

    And what do you mean? nobody is going to make you famous, Tess will 🙂
    xox and love to you both and BTW Tess good catch.
    .-= Wilma Ham´s last post…Ann-Marie on The Third Person in our Relationships =-.

  • Karl Staib - Work Happy Now January 21, 2010, 9:32 pm

    I’m a big advocate of working on yourself. I truly believe that we won’t succeed unless we know ourselves. I mean how can we if we don’t know what our needs are?

    Great guest post. It’s not advice that we always want to hear, but it’s advice we should really listen to and follow.

  • Hilary January 22, 2010, 2:04 am

    Hi Tess – wonderful to meet Ralph …

    Most of us look at others who are successful or happy in their place and we just accept it – we don’t ‘work out’ that there is a lot involved, and as you so rightly say it takes understanding, information, motivation and work! to achieve great things or just things in life.

    So many are just happy to resort to the sofa and the tv – not benefiting themselves, or others .. becoming involved in the community can teach us so much. We have the ability to continue to learn into our 70s or 80s and on – there’s always something new to comprehend – make it fun.

    We’re lazy to the opportunities we have in front of us .. now you’ve ‘kicked me’ I’d better get up that much earlier .. I have been intending to – but have failed so far .. now I will – thank you for the prompt. We need to live our own work ethic first and go through the struggles – learning our lessons as we go ..

    Brilliant – good for you and it’ll be great to be with you as you go on your journey of life ..

    Thanks Tess – excellent guest and post!

    Enjoy your days and weekends ..
    Hilary Melton-Butcher
    Positive Letters Inspirational Stories
    .-= Hilary´s last post…A bet on the Eleven Cities Tour or the Winter Olympics being held? =-.

  • Ralph January 22, 2010, 4:22 am

    Robin,
    That’s great to hear! It is important do the things that you feel are important. So glad that the post helped you feel stronger and clear on where you need to go 🙂

    Angelia,
    Wow Angelia! There are so many gems in your comment that I don’t even know where to start. First, I love “be proud of your work” Thats powerful! Second, I love the fact that you made the effort to increase your value. So many people in the workforce miss how important that is. Third, I love the fact the you taught yourself! Taking responsibility for our own education is imperative. I’m confident that the others areas of your life will benefit from your work ethic. Thanks!

    Suzie,
    Hey There! Good to connect with you again. Small blogosphere isn’t it? I look forward to staying in touch 🙂

    Susan,
    Thank you so much! That really means a lot to me.

    Colbycheeze,
    You’re absolutely right. Get rich quick schemes usually turn into get broke quicker schemes. Lasting success really depends on how much the individual is willing to put into what they are doing.

    Wilma,
    Thats a great point. Working with a team is important. I worked with my sister also who is older than me. I learned a lot by watching how much effort she put into everything that she was doing. Hey, you’re right! Tess is helping me become successful. Thanks Tess 😉

    Karl Staib
    Absolutely true. We really need to know ourselves before we can know what are needs are. Thanks for the comment Karl!

    Hilary
    Beautiful, Hilary! So many people spend the majority of their time doing something that will not produce a positive return. It’s a shame but so many people waste valuable time. Glad to hear that you are going to try to wake up earlier. It will make a huge difference. Let me know if you need any assistance. I’d be happy to offer some tips.
    .-= Ralph´s last post…My Guest Post on The Bold Life.com =-.

  • Ralph January 22, 2010, 4:26 am

    Tess,

    Thank for allowing me to be a guest on your blog. You are a sweetheart! I was very impressed when I first found your blog and it feels great to be part of it.

    Kevin,

    Thanks! I also enjoy researching about hard work. Thats why I like to read biographies because there are so many examples in the stories about the lives of successful people.

    Peggy,

    Thank you so much! I hope you get as much-if not more-value out of it the second time around.

    Sara,

    I love the idea of retiring from your job in order to engage in work that you love. Congratulations! Blogging/writing is challenging but it can be rewarding in so many ways. BTW, great avatar picture.

    Megan,

    Thanks Megan! I wish you happiness and success too 🙂

    Suzen,

    So true. Things we get seem to have more value when we work for them. When I was working with my dad he used to give me money. My mom liked to remind me that when I buy something with that money I am not paying with cash, I am paying with sweat. I think we value our relationships, professions, and successes more when there is effort that precedes them. Thanks for the kind words!
    .-= Ralph´s last post…My Guest Post on The Bold Life.com =-.

  • Tess January 22, 2010, 8:31 am

    Colbycheese,
    It’s tempting to believe there is an easy way out, that’s what internet guru’s bank on. There’s nothing like a mixture of passion, dedication, hard work and commitment.

    Wilma,
    I love your humor! What a wonderful father you had. Yes let’s not forget team effort and delegating. Both are ingredients for success. x0x Yes I think good catch as well. But Ralph found me and was bold enough to ask to be a guest. I thought he fit right in.

    Karl,
    Good point about knowing yourself in order to know our needs. Makes all the sense in the world.

    Hillary,
    You have been through so much be gentle on yourself. How about getting up earlier in 15 minute increments? Take it in small steps. I was just telling my daughter this morning that I don’t plan on sitting around in my 70’s or 80’s. My parents didn’t either until they physically couldn’t work anymore.

    Ralph,
    Thanks again for being my guest and you’re welcome back in the future!

  • Patty - Why Not Start Now? January 22, 2010, 1:14 pm

    Hi Ralph and Tess – What an inspiring post. I especially love how you talk about putting in the time. That is exactly what artists do, as you say, and I think we all have the power to create our lives as works of art. But the “work” part is just as important as the “art” part. There’s a book out now (sorry, can’t remember the name) that proposes it takes ten years of regular practice to truly excel at something. I’ve just finished my tenth year of being in business, and I do cringe a little to think back about those early years. And I’m certainly still learning; have not reached the peak yet! I’ve done a year of blogging so I have about nine more to look forward to before I really get it! Thanks for this.
    .-= Patty – Why Not Start Now?´s last post…The Kindness of Strangers =-.

  • Belinda Munoz January 22, 2010, 1:29 pm

    Hi Ralph, great to meet you! I enjoyed your post and how you weave your personal experiences into it. I specially love your opening quote.

    “Work harder on yourself” — so true. And while it seems most of us know this, still, we hear so many among us complaining about others or about our perceived “raw deal”: “So and so gives me a bad vibe”, “I never have any fun”, etc. The reality is working on ourselves is very fulfilling. And when we work on ourselves, we become poised to inspire others and be the kind of leader that helps other people see their potential. Working hard on ourselves will yield positive results. Complaining won’t. How much better off would we all be if isntead of complaining, we worked on ourselves?

  • Evita January 22, 2010, 9:25 pm

    Tess thank you for another phenomenal guest author!

    Ralph – wow, through your writing I can tell so much about how you approach not just working, but life in general. I so agree with what you said, but especially the part about our thoughts….yes they do have such an influence over our lives indeed, and two the whole work ethic part.

    I have to tell you I came here from another country too, and I knew that working well with integrity, honesty and dedication was a normal thing, but also one that would help me be in life greatly. Well it did. And I am so grateful for all that my parents taught me when it came to that.

    For me, it is not about the job, it doesn’t matter whether the person is a cleaner or a doctor, what matters is do how do they do their job – what is their work ethic that really matters in the end…
    .-= Evita´s last post…Hope For Haiti – You Can Help =-.

  • Jannie Funster-Mistress January 23, 2010, 10:22 am

    Wow!! Super inspirational. It really is all about work and dedication.

    I remember seeing the Will Smith interview last year where he talked about his perceived “lack of talent” and the hard hard work he had to put in. Plus, he seems like such a nice and humble guy.

    It was a long, long road for me to learn to sing. Even tho I recorded my album over a year ago, I feel it’s just really been in the last few months I’ve finally found a stronger new voice, one that comes effortlessly.

    If you love what you set your mind to and truly put in the effort to learn and push yourself there can be no ” fail. ” It may take time but it’ll happen.
    .-= Jannie Funster-Mistress´s last post…“Yes – Kids Sure Do Say The Darndest Things” Part 2 =-.

  • Ralph January 24, 2010, 3:23 pm

    Hi Patty,
    Thanks so much! Yeah I’ve heard of ten years of practice as well as 10,000 hours of practice. Congratulations on being in business for ten years. I do like that business is not an exact science and that you have to continue to grow and learn.

    Hi Belinda,
    I agree. When we complain, we also surrender our ability to change things. If we buy into the idea that our circumstances are someone else’s fault, then it is natural to believe it is someone else who will fix them.

    Hi Evita,
    So true. A strong work ethic shouldn’t be job specific. It is important to try to do your best no matter what job you are doing. Thanks!

    Hi Jannie,
    Congratulations on recording an album. That is a big accomplishment. Ya know, I think when we assume that people like Will Smith got to where they are because they are talented, we are making a big mistake. When we do that we are giving ourselves a pass not to try to be great. It’s funny you mentioned learning to sing. I am working on a post about my brief experience doing that 🙂
    .-= Ralph´s last post…My Guest Post on The Bold Life.com =-.

  • Dan @ Anxiety Support Network February 6, 2010, 3:46 pm

    Good point! I too succeed by doing. I like to think that I am talented, but I know there are many people who are just as talented and more talented than I am. The edge between talent is the amount of hard work that I am willing to put in. And while I may fail many times, I will learn also. Eventually, something will work out and go well; it’s just the amount of time that it takes to get there.

  • Top 10 Christmas Gifts November 13, 2010, 6:06 am

    Have you ever heard that the attitude comes before the pay check? Well having a positive attitude is essential for your success in all areas of your life.
    .-= Top 10 Christmas Gifts ´s last post…Top Holiday Gifts For Glee Fans =-.

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