Harder Work Means Greater Satisfaction

By | April 4, 2018

[April 4, 2018]  While in college my advisor recommended I take a class in U.S. government history.  The course was considered one of the most demanding courses at the university.  It provided the few of us allowed taking it the opportunity to learn the practical side of government strategy development.  Like my classmates, I worked like a dog in the course but achieved greater satisfaction in it than I’d ever expected.

“Opportunities are usually disguised as hard work, so most people don’t recognize them.” – Ann Landers, a famous newspaper advice columnist

This history course (not required for my engineering major) was at a point in my life that lacked direction and purpose.  It gave me exactly that push I needed to discover something more valuable than any other of life’s lessons.  In the course of study, thought, and debate, my classroom teammates and I were to learn that only through hard work coupled with a burning passion could we truly be satisfied in our own lives.

It is no accident that the most successful people are those who are the hardest workers.  Famous hard workers like Thomas Edison, Sid Caesar, Miles Davis, Jerry Robbins, and Leonard Bernstein are just a few that made their mark through being tough task-masters; using their talents and intellect to achieve things beyond what was thought possible.  Human imagination coupled with hard work can produce just about anything.

Greater satisfaction in any human enterprise can only be achieved through hard work.  As a real leader, you must support the hard-working people, surround yourself with hard workers, and – more importantly – be a hard worker yourself.  And yet while there are some downsides to hard work, if you let it get out ahead of your family life, only through it can a leader demonstrate the strength of character.

All life demands struggle.  Pope Paul VI once said that “those who have everything given to them become lazy, selfish, and insensitive to the real values of life.”  He was saying that the fact of striving and hard work is the building block of the good person we are today.

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Author: Douglas R. Satterfield

Hello. I'm Doug and I provide at least one article everyday on some leadership topic. I welcome comments and also guests who would like to write an article. Thanks for reading my blog.

21 thoughts on “Harder Work Means Greater Satisfaction

  1. Terri Issa

    As an older adult, divulging only that I’m over 60, I stress to my nephews and nieces that to be successful one should always be in to work 30minutes before the work day begins and if necessary, stay late. Always do more than what is asked of you!

  2. Ken F. Brown

    For adult over the age of 30 this should be obvious.

  3. Drew Dill

    So that’s why I’m so happy in my new retirement!

  4. José Luis Rodriguez

    One of my first jobs was a salesman for a tire company in southern Texas. There was no commission but I did get paid by the hour and the payrate was good. One day my boss asked me to stay over an hour to help settle a new customer on a large order. I told him my workday was 10-5pm and that at 5pm I was headed home. That was the requirement and I didn’t want to put in anything extra. He fired me immediately. Lesson learned.

    1. Danny Burkholder

      Good story Jose. I wish more young people would hear your story.

    2. Shawn C Stolarz

      Same happened to my son who learned a valuable lesson too. Work may not be everything but it pays the bills and helps make us who we are.

  5. Mark Evans

    Hard work means different things to different people. What Gen Satterfield means is that a leader must put in the appropriate amount of time to fully accomplish all tasks that are associated with any given mission. I would think this means more than the standard work day.

  6. Andrew Dooley

    Such is life. Most people will believe you but many will have no clue by what you mean “hard work.”

  7. Joe Omerrod

    Not that long ago I spoke with a local man who was chronically unemployed. He was always “looking” for a job but never seemed to find one; at least to his liking. I asked him what he considered “work” to be. In his imagination, this concept of work (note we didn’t use the term “hard work”) was being present for about 2 hours per day. To him this constituted fulltime employment, just 2 hours. My point is that there are many people who have no clue what work means, much less hard work. There are more people like this man than you can reasonably imagine it being. Kinda scary.

  8. Tony B. Custer

    … and that is the key. Balance. Work hard, play hard, relax, and enjoy.

  9. Dennis Mathes

    There is, as Gen Satterfied noted, a potential danger with too much work. 1) sacrifice of the family, church, and friends. 2) stress and effect on one’s physical health. and 3) mental burnout and associated problems.

  10. Jung-hoon Kim

    In Asian culture this is long ago accepted.

  11. Joey Holmes

    Funny. My parents told me the same thing. Must be something to it. Cheers!

    1. Tracey Brockman

      Yes Joey, an important life lesson.

    2. Bryan Lee

      Good that you’re learning this at such a young age. Too many folk learn it late in life and wasted too much of their lives along the way.

  12. Jonathan B.

    Real leaders help good people achieve their dreams. Note that I wrote “good” people. There will always be those who, for some unknown reason, are out to steal from others and mistreat them. For those “bad” people (yes, a moral judgment) leaders have no obligation.

  13. Janna Faulkner

    I like the Ann Landers quote. When I was younger, I read her column every day in our local newspaper. She was a person who would provide solid, moral, practical advice to young and old alike.

  14. Army Captain

    “Harder work” can mean a lot of things but one I think you mean is a focused effort toward a specific goal. Of course, that is what a meaningful life is about and why I chose the U.S. Army as my career choice.

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