Although it sounds like a truism, working hard is required to do great work. In practice, it is difficult to apply because one must recognize the quality of the work they are doing, the effort they are putting in, and being honest with oneself about the results they are getting.
In Paul Graham’s essay How to work hard, he argues that talent only gets you so far and that hard work is almost always required. However, personal interest in what you are working on makes it feel less like hard work and is a good way to guage whether or not you are working on something important.
(The comments in the HN thread follow a typical Contrarian dynamic—criticism of the essay that privilege is the primary way to achieve an outsized outcome and those arguing that they earned what they achieved because they worked hard and got lucky.)
- Richard Hamming’s lectures on You and Your Research also describe the tactics for ‘doing important work’
- The most effective people care a lot and it’s hard to compete if you don’t care
- The dispassionate developer argues the opposite
Links to this note
A study performed on Australian workers that looked at contributing factors to developing major depression symptoms found that low pyschosocial safety climate was associated with a threefold increase in risk of development major depression symptoms.