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Editorials

Hard work is key to success

Monday 18 July 2022 | Written by Ruta Tangiiau Mave | Published in Editorials, Opinion

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Hard work is key to success
Construction workers from Landholdings Ltd demolishing part of the Vaka Shed to make way for the upcoming construction work on Empire Bridge. AL WILLIAMS/21082507

A strong work ethic involves upholding the values and goals of the company by performing your job to the best of your ability.

Hi ho hi ho it’s off to work we go, we dig dig dig the whole day through, to dig dig dig is what we really like to do. We dig, dig, dig, from morning to night we dig up diamonds by the score, we don’t know what we dig ‘em for, hi ho hi ho hi ho it’s home from work we go. The seven dwarfs work hard every day, with their shovel and picks where they can get rich quick. Despite all the jewels they find, they live simply in a small cottage sharing a room. So either they have a very high mortgage to pay or the money isn’t what brings them happiness it’s the work and camaraderie. The modern lyrics are I owe I owe so it’s off to work I go.

Steve Jobs worked tirelessly to develop and run his Apple computers empire. As a creative genius he brought us to the laptop, iPhones, iPads of today. He started small grew big, was fired from his own company, returned to save his own company and died relatively young from cancer. His last message was along the lines, ‘I wish I spent more time with my family, having fun’. No one dies saying ‘I wish I spent more time in the office’. There must be a line of balance between a strong work ethic and one’s life activities.

A strong work ethic involves upholding the values and goals of the company by performing your job to the best of your ability. It means focusing on completing assigned tasks on time. An employee with a strong work ethic is professional in attitude and appearance they are reliable, dedicated, productive cooperative and self-disciplined. These people are usually not the norm and easy to spot at work.

It’s not just the work force, for anyone who dreams of being famous, there is no escaping hard work in sports and entertainment. The movie Elvis starring Austin Butler directed by Baz Luhrmann highlights Elvis performing show after show night after night in Las Vegas after being ‘caught in a trap’ he couldn’t get out – because he trusted his manager too much – maybe. Over his short and infamous life – Elvis died aged 42, he sold more than a billion records worldwide. He had 18 number one hits in 13 years with five in one year alone. He made 23 studio albums, eight live albums, he recorded about 700 songs and starred in 31 feature films and two concert documentaries.

The work ethic displayed by Elvis is replicated in real life by the actor who spent virtually every day over 1.5 years rehearsing and researching all he could about the man and how to be Elvis. Not only is this evidence of his passion, dedication, loyalty and commitment to the role but it’s reflected in his onscreen performance, catapulting Butler into the spotlight as an overnight sensation. Russell Crowe from Gladiator remarked: “It takes 15 years to become an overnight success.”

The same is true of sports on the world stage. Watching top performing athletes, it looks easy, what isn’t seen is the work ethic endured in training to put them there.

Usain Bolt’s dad advised him “you can have anything you want, just work hard and be dedicated and you will be fine”. Over his career of 20 years, Bolt achieved eight Olympic gold medals, 11 world championships golds, two silver and one bronze medal as well as 19 Guinness World Records, and has a net worth of around US$90 million. He is one of the highest paid individuals in sport but it didn’t happen overnight. A top Olympic athlete will spend four years training to improve by a fraction of a second or metre as their reward.

At the World Athletics Championships in Eugene, Oregon, United States, there are over 200 countries represented and over 2000 athletes. No one turns up to these events without a good work ethic. 

Every athlete seen on the world stage shows the spectator their destination, not the journey they have endured. They have run the hills and paid the bills juggled work, school, family, relationships with their training. They have remained focused and steadfast and they have made it here.

Despite honest, hard work, dedication and prayers it doesn’t always go according to plan. There are injuries, mishaps, false starts and technicalities that can prevent an athlete from reaching their goal despite them truly deserving it.

Some can see these as failure. Falling in a race is not a failure if you get back up, and try again, a good work ethic always delivers the athlete to achieve their potential.

Most nominees for our elections have not demonstrated a strong work ethic. Vote for those who want to work, not work only when they want.