Friday, April 23, 2010

Work for It

Parents, friends and acquaintances may regularly tell you you're smarter than Bill Gates and can do anything you want. But I don't know anyone who hasn't benefited from a willingness to start at the bottom. Even Bill Gates began by doing odd jobs as a programmer.

Starting at the bottom builds character. It makes you hungry and determined. It's also a very good way to find out that you're not as smart as you think you are. And, it's the best way to learn. Because if you haven't figured it out already there's a lot more to learn out there. And you can learn it only by admitting you don't know it already, which means starting at the bottom.

Starting at the bottom is not about humiliation. It's about humility - a realistic assessment of where you are in the learning curve. And be honest with yourself. Learn what you're not good at and appreciate those co-workers who are.

You can't short-circuit the learning process. It takes time to get to the top, and that's good - because by the time you get there, you'll have learned what you need to know in order to stay there. Just shelve your ego, put your head down and bulldog forward, grinding it out. There is no better way to gain respect - and self respect than through hard work.

When what you want is out of reach, you keep climbing until you get it. And when you wok that hard to pull yourself up, it really means something when you get there.

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