“I’ve never really viewed myself as particularly talented. Where I excel is a ridiculous, sickening work ethic. When other guys are sleeping, I’m working. When other guys are eating, I’m working….The only thing that’s different than me and other people is I’m willing to die on the treadmill. You might be more talented than me. You might be smarter than me. But if you and I go one-on-one on a treadmill, you’re either going to get off before me, or I’m gonna die on the treadmill.”
– Will Smith
Hard work. It’s uncommon. Thomas Edison once even said, “Opportunity is often missed because it is dressed in overalls and looks like work.”
Yet everyone wants to be successful.
In the interview with Will Smith that I quoted above, he shared a powerful story about where his work ethic came from. When he was 12, his dad enlisted him and his little brother (age 9) to re-build a wall around his business.
Instead of telling his boys to build the “best wall,” he gave them powerful words that stuck with Will his entire life:
“You simply say, ‘I’m going to lay this brick as perfectly as any brick can be laid. And do that over and over and over again.”
Will goes on to explain how he belives people are born with talent, but skill is developed after hours and hours of hard work.
As an entrepreneuer, these words really inspired me. I’m only 28. My business is only five-years-young. I am still becoming skilled in my craft.
But like Will, my parents instilled a disciplined, hard-working work ethic inside me.
More importantly, I have a God who gave me life, who created me for a purpose, and I want to fufill His call that He planned for me.
It doesn’t mean I can’t dream about building that magnificent wall. But that can’t be my focus. Today, my focus has to be laying the brick in front of me as perfectly as I possibly can.
And for all the tomorrow’s? I’ll keep pressing repeat.
Have you ever noticed that some things made the Bible more than once? Personally, it makes me wonder if some of those things were especially important to God.
With that in mind…
“Whatever you do, work at it with all your heart, as working for the Lord, not for human masters.” – Colossians 3:23
“Work with enthusiasm, as though you were working for the Lord rather than people.” – Ephesians 6:7
Wherever God has you now, whatever you’re doing…lay each brick perfectly.
Not for your own success.
Not so people will pat you on the back and say, “Great job!”
Do it for Him.
Watch the 10-minute interview clip with Will Smith here: