I often hear that the key to success in life is a lot of hard work. That particular turn-of-phrase bothers me. There is very little hard in what I do. The hardest days work I’ve ever done in my life was digging a drainage ditch under a scorching Kentucky sun while on a mission trip in my teens. Sitting in a climate controlled office typing on an ergonomic keyboard isn’t hard.
A better phrase would be to say that the key to success is persistent work. The difference isn’t just semantics. There is a big difference in how you view your goal if you are trying to work hard versus working persistently. It isn’t about the amount of energy you expend or the stress you survive.
In my experience the people who succeed are typically the ones that outlasted their peers for long enough to become confronted with opportunities well prepared.