The Lost Art Of Hard Work

I admire those that work their asses off.  Surprisingly it’s a rare trait.  I’ve come across far more individuals that do not give it everything they’ve got then do.  For the past year and a half I’ve watched my wife transform her body through diet, working out, running all kinds of races and Tae Kwon Do.  She’s an absolute warrior when it comes to fitness, and it was a decision she made to work incredibly hard to achieve her fitness goals.  I’m constantly in awe at her tenacity and dedication, and it certainly inspires me to do so in my life.

The whole premise of this blog post was actually inspired by an email my wife copied me on from her trainer.  His name is Spencer Gates and not only is he a tremendously awesome trainer who we’ve both worked with, but he’s an incredibly smart and has an old school, no nonsense approach that I love.  My wife was having some frustrations with watching others utilizing fad diets successfully and wanting to hit her final goals quickly, she sent him an email about this wanting to get his take and be reminded how hard work is the way to go.  Here’s an excerpt from his response he allowed me to share:

“The most important narrative to this discussion is that skinny does not equal healthy in ANY sense. Rapid weight loss via ANY method has been irrefutably shown to be unhealthy from a cardiac perspective, endocratic (hormonal) perspective, and performance perspective; this doesn’t even include the fact that people who rapidly lose weight will almost always, on a 5 year time line, regain more than 70% of it, only to crash diet again, causing more damage. If you’re interested, I can provide you the negative scientific implications with no-carb diets and more importantly the horrible long-term metabolic side effects we are beginning to see from the HCG diet. My point? You are watching people ruin their bodies; ruin their capacity to exercise; implicating themselves in long-term adverse health risks; and set themselves up for a vicious cycle, all because we generally only measure success in terms of how quickly one can lose weight and disregard most everything else.  My views on the matter, while grounded in legit, peer reviewed scientific research, are hotly contested by those who have a stake in these fads, or are so brainwashed by contemporary culture that they’ve shut off their rational thought process.”

I LOVE everything about this.  It’s amazing how many times I’ve seen or had to hear about some “amazing” diet someone went on, watch them actually lose the weight quickly (and unhealthily), only to put it back on over time.  There’s only one diet that has stood the test of time, a healthy diet and regular exercise.  Don’t get me wrong, their are certainly a few healthy diet plans out there, but the ones that are, simply incorporate a routine of healthy eating and exercise.

We live in a world of the need and expectation of instant gratification, taking any shortcut we can get our hands on to get the job done, even if it means negative long term ramifications.  It applies to all facets of life and not just diet or fitness.  Just do a search for “add twitter followers” and you’ll get pages of results promising thousands of Twitter followers instantly.  There’s an entire industry of black hat SEO providers promising front page results.  Their tactics (while possibly proving usefully initially), can lead to damaging long term ramifications.

The fact is, nothing replaces hard work, and their are no shortcuts in life.  The number one trait I look for in those I hire in any capacity is their work ethic.  I’ll take a tenacious hard worker who possibly needs a little training, over an “expert” who calls it in any day.  They’ll pay off in spades in the long term every time.

Thanks to Spencer for allowing me to use a portion of his amazing email, and seriously, if you happen to live in north end of Seattle or higher, I highly recommend his personal training services.  He’s the best.

Comments

  1. Thanks for posting this blog. My husband and I always talk about the fact that no one seems to think good old fashioned hard work is necessary to achieve success. Your post addresses the heart of the matter. Bravo to your wife and her trainer!

  2. Absolutely fantastic! Thanks so much for reminding all those diet freaks that being skinny is not same as being healthy. And that there are no shortcuts in life.

    My Mantra: Stay Healthy, Stay Happy!

  3. Sometimes taking the tried and true method of persistence and hard work can be frustrating, especially when it seems like those around you are getting ahead by taking the “easy road”. It’s great to read about how your wife has had success by doing it the right way.

  4. Loved your title and your message, Jason. Yes, it is inpiring to see those who work like hell and love it. I’ve just finished working on a company manifesto with a CEO. The exercise was inspiring in itself because rather than go through the usual visionary stuff, we concentrated on values. Passion, perseverence and hard work were at the heart of that manifesto.

  5. We all know someone (if not a few people) looking for a quick fix – whether it’s losing weight, gaining followers or making more money. I found this post so refreshing because it’s a conversation I’ve had many times with my husband about these “quick fix” folks. Good, old-fashioned hard work is a lost art, but happy to know there are still many people out there who believe in it!

  6. This is such an awesome post. A lot of people really thinks that being thin or slim is the new healthy but it is totally not. And I don’t think it is just on dieting that we can observe about the shortcut of getting something. Some students, instead of researching deeply through books, get it on the internet then end up copying all the information without even reading it. There are some other facts about this but like many others, I still admire the concept of hardwork and the fulfillment it gives to you in the end. Thanks!

  7. There’s nothing wrong of being hard work, But don’t let your self miserable. Give you self a break on your own.

  8. Great post! Indeed, there’s no substitute for hard work.

    On an unrelated note, I like the way my avatar showed up automatically once I’d put in my email address. :) Is that a plugin or a custom add-on?

    1. I think WordPress does that automatically, but if not, I’m using the CommentLuv plugin which is fantastic for that and many other reasons.

      1. thanks for the thread…i found interesting..obviously there is no substitute 2 hard work..which most of us agree..but what is hard work..may vary for different people..never there is a short-cut 2 success..but what keeps the persistence..i think is a key factor…thanks anyway for putting it in a very interesting approach….