The Hard Work That No One Ever Knows About

Posted on | September 30, 2010 | 445 Comments


One of the things I have been thinking about lately is how I do not know the backstory to a lot of things nor how much work is truly required.  This is normal and we will never know the backstory to everything and often times we make assumptions.

When I speak with people about self-development or about changes I have made in my life, some people assume things were easy or that I had favorable circumstances or a different situation than them.  This sometimes leads to people not trying to better themselves.  They assume people are born the way they are and that the true change they are looking for is not possible under their circumstances or it is way too difficult for them.

In my own experience, I find a lot of people assume that I was always the person I am today and that is obviously not true.  No matter who you are, it took a lot of hard work and life experience for you to be who you are today.  You are time tested through life and decisions you made especially in times of adversity help shape who you are today.  Becoming who you are today is a deep topic and I would like to explore it more in the future but for the sake of this piece, let’s keep with the topic of hard work.

Turning Mind Launch from an Idea into a Reality

Let’s examine my experience in putting together this website.  This site is up and running now and I like the way it looks and I am happy with it.  This began last December and making the decision to write about myself and experience I have had led me to have to dig deep down into my soul to fully pull the content out of my head.  I would develop headaches and I would have trouble developing the ideas enough and manifesting it at the rate I liked and deemed acceptable.  I always considered myself to be a good writer but it had been two years since I had written and boy was I rusty.  It took revision after revision and I must have reread every piece of the first few articles I wrote 30-50 times. There were many late nights I spent writing until 2-3am while having work the next day.  I had to describe the website to people and for the About section and trying to find the words to do that best without them seeing the content was no easy task. I figured the design part would be easy and that I could get a conceptual artist to read some of my writing and help formulate a design for me.  I went through 6 graphic designers and it still could not get done.  I was willing to pay any freelancer I knew who was a friend or a friend of a friend and I could not give my money away.  They flaked on me or did not have the time commitments and made promises that they never delivered on. 

At the time I could not afford to hire a professional service to help me design a logo or do development for me but that was not going to stop me.  Fortunately, after months went by, I found out my coworker had an artistic background and he helped create a design that I liked based on my colors and vision.  That took about a month but it finally got done and now it was time to create a website.  One of my best friends who works in I.T. helped me with it SLOWLY and lots of time went by.  He was doing me a favor but I told him I would and did compensate him.  I spent lots of time playing around with different designs, colors and trying to pass along advice between my coworker and my friend in terms of the website design as well as misinterpretations of my description of what I wanted.   Then there was more waiting as he said he would complete it by this day which led to the next week and it kept getting put off.  It was pretty ironic for all this to be happening to me—a guy trying to put together a website where a lot of his content revolves around taking action.

It was a helpless feeling and I could not stand it as I was not capable of doing the coding nor was I able to pay someone to do it at that point.  It was eating away with me with every passing day that site was not up.  It was absolute fucking torture for me to have my ideas trapped and unable to share them on my own platform.  How do I tell my close friend any further that this means the world to me and that I need this done & want no more of him shrugging & telling me week after week it will be done? I want to push this to be done & get him to understand but I do not want to sever the friendship.  It was not his fault but it was painful to me regardless.  I knew this site was going to happen NO MATTER WHAT but it did not take away from how much it hurt inside.  The static design I wanted turned out to not be feasible which led to another re-design.  I eventually outsourced some development to a website I discovered, and the website finally got completed in August.

Effortless Work & Seeing the Hard Work

This story is a condensed version of just one of many stories of effort that I have which is one of many stories that you all probably have.  People are supposed to come here and read my content and not give a thought to how much work, time and effort went into it.  It looks easy and that is how it is supposed to look. 

Before some of the more famous stand-up comics like Chris Rock and Dane Cook perform at a large venue such as Madison Square Garden, they spend the rest of that week (and sometimes weeks prior) doing guest appearance/unannounced shows at local comedy clubs to try out new material and see what worked in making the audience laugh, what didn’t and get their timing down on certain jokes.   This is the hard work you typically do not see and for those reasons, a lot of times those shows are not the greatest and people at the club are left wondering why Chris Rock was not that funny.  So when a person goes to see Dane Cook at MSG where it is being filmed for a DVD release as well, you can damn well be sure the crowd will be hysterically laughing and his timing is on because of the work he put in before that show to know what works.  Whenever someone has been doing something for many years, he can do it fast and looking effortless a lot of the time.  However, we do not tend to think of all the times he had done that before and all the work it took to get to that level.  The easier we make something difficult look, the more impressive it seems and makes us look.

Another idea is that things are appreciated more when a person can know or somewhat comprehend the difficulty of the effort and hard work exerted.  Dancers spend hours coordinating their routines and perfecting them to make it look flawless so you go WOW.  If you have ever watched MTV’s Making the Video or seen film outtakes, you know it takes a lot of work, many takes, and exhausting days to get the desired result to look the way they want.  The Making the Video shows are typically shown before the premiere of the actual music video and have allowed me to appreciate the video in a completely different way.

What Matters Most & Why

I believe that only YOU and MAYBE the people you are working with or those in your industry truly understand what it is like.  Someone can be told how long it took or that it took weeks of 20 hour days to accomplish and people can understand that and be impressed.  It is hard for others to understand and hard to comprehend a lot of it without having done it or knowing what is required.  In any scenario, you should have pride in the hard work you put into anything you have ever worked on and put a lot of effort into.   Remember also that your goal all along from the beginning was to create the finished product that is supposed to look clean, easy, smooth and effortless.  All of the hard work you put in should serve to remind you what you are truly capable of and can leave you satisfied at the work you have done.


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