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I. HATE. MONDAYS. On Sundays nights, I twist and turn for hours and hours in bed as I can’t find a way of switching off brain so that I can finally fall asleep. 

My brain wrestles between ‘tomorrow is the beginning of another week full of torture’ and ‘I need to sleep now so that I can begin the week with a well-rested brain and body.’ 

But guess which one always wins? You guessed that right! Of course, the torture one. So I end up falling asleep at 2 or 3 am which means I wake up the next morning feeling already exhausted. 

Do you also experience this? 

The pain of always wondering why we need to work so hard and why we never seem to be making any concrete progress never seems to end. 

Adulting! Nobody told us it was going to be this hard. Why do they sell refrigerators, TVs, computers, phones and all other electronics with user manuals but never give us one for adulting? 

Luckily, there’s almost always something you can do to make it easier for you to sail through this life. One of my favourite ways is using motivational quotes. 

One thing I learnt is that no matter how many quotes about working hard and success you pin in your house and workstation, if you neglect to work on yourself and your attitude towards work, you will still struggle to stay afloat. This is why I shall begin this list with…(drum rolls please!)…quotes about working yourself!

Quotes about working on yourself

It all begins with you. It begins with the attitude you decide to work with.  A positive attitude towards life makes living easier. It makes your journey towards success easier to attain. Live with an attitude of optimism. 

While I know that the Monday struggle can be difficult, I decided that my life wasn’t going to be that miserable every Sunday night and all  Mondays. 

Every day when my alarm goes off in the morning, I tell myself ‘decide to be in a good mood today.’ That changes my whole morning and day. It changes my attitude from ‘here is the beginning of another dull day’ to ‘I am in control.’ Try it! 

 At first, I used to say it in my head. Then I realized that when I say it out loud, it brings even more positive magic into my life. How we talk to ourselves really matters.

Now that I have given you my ultimate life hack, here is a great list of quotes about working on yourself.

#1. There are things you can’t learn from others. You have to pass through the fire. Norman Douglas.

#2. Everyone fails. Everyone has to figure to get beat some time. The question isn’t ‘did you fail?’ but ‘did you pick yourself and move ahead?’ And there’s one other little question. ‘Did you collaborate in your own defeat? ‘ A lot of people do. Learn not to. – John Louis

#3. If you always do what you’ve always done, you’ll always be where you’ve always been. T.D Jakes

#4. You’ve got to have rules to live by, and one of mine is always say yes. Put yourself in danger of something amazing happening to you. Tom Bilyeu

#5. You’re either green and growing or you’re ripe and rotting. John Addison 

#6. The key to happiness is really progress and growth and constantly working on yourself and developing something. Lewis Howes

#7. The time is now. Stop hitting the snooze button on your life. Mel Robbins

#8. Be so busy improving yourself that you have no time to criticize others. – Anonymous

#9. Work on yourself more than you do on your job. – Jim Rohn

#10. Employ your time in improving yourself by other men’s writings so that you shall come easily by what others have laboured hard for. – Socrates

#11. There is only one corner of the universe you can be certain of improving, and that’s your own self. –  Aldos Huxley

Related: Tips on how to cultivate a reading culture

Quotes about working smarter not harder

Now that you have some great gems to motivate you to work on yourself, next, you need to learn how to work smarter, not just harder. 

There are many articles you’ll come across online and even books on how to work smarter not harder. As much as this sounds like a great lifehack, you need both to succeed. 

What is working smart? This involves identifying what to work on. This has to be something that brings you the best results.

After that, you need to work hard at it. Don’t be cheated that there’s a shortcut to working hard. Just make sure you’re working hard on the right things.

This trick is called the 80/20 rule.

James Clear has a simple guide on it;

#1. How to 80/20 your work:

  • Make a list of the 10 things that you spend most time on.
  • Circle the two that drive your results. Do more of those.
  • Look at the others. Eliminate ruthlessly. Automate or outsource what you can. Press pause on the rest.
  • Repeat

#2. Balance is timing, not intensity. It’s not doing multiple tasks at 80%, but developing the skill of turning it on and off. Sleep fully, then work intensely. Focus deeply, then relax completely. Give each phase your full attention. Balance is ‘when to’ not ‘how to.’ – James Clear.

#3. The more control you have over your attention, the more control you have over your future. – James Clear

#4. If you spend too much time working on good things, then you don’t have much time left to work on great things. – James Clear

#5. A goal is a desired outcome. A strategy is a desired outcome with a plan for achieving it. Create strategies, not goals. – James Clear

#6. I don’t believe in luck or in hard work without the so called “work smart”. It’s not all about how you work hard but it’s about how you manage your time, resources, mind to work together for a better output.Jayson Zabate

#7. To me, it’s simple: if you’ve got the time, use it to get ready. What else could you possibly have to do that’s more important? Yes, maybe you’ll learn how to do a few things you’ll never wind up actually needing to do, but that’s a much better problem to have than needing to do something and having no clue where to start.Chris Hadfield

Related: How to work from home (useful habits and rituals)

Inspirational quotes about working hard

We’ve agreed that there’s no short cut to this game. 

After identifying what to work on, we need to put in the hours. We commit to taking the stairs, not the lift. Well, let’s be realistic and go with 80% of the time because sometimes we just want lucky!

#1. A dream does not become reality through magic; it takes sweat, determination, and hard work. ~ Colin Powell

#2. Happiness is not in the mere possession of money; it lies in the joy of achievement, in the thrill of creative effort. – Franklin D. Roosevelt

#3. Opportunities are usually disguised as hard work so most people don’t recognize them. Anne Landers

#4. I’m a great believer in luck, and I find the harder I work, the more I have of it. ~ Thomas Jefferson

#5. Hard work beats talent if talent doesn’t work hard. ~ Tim Notke

#6. There’s no substitute for hard work. Always be humble and hungry. – Dwayne Johnson

#7. You can’t have a million-dollar dream with a minimum wage work ethic. – Stephen C. Hogan

#8. Successful people do what unsuccessful people are not willing to do. – Jim Rohn

#9. Inaction breeds doubt and fear. Action breeds confidence and courage. If you want to conquer fear, do not sit home and think about it. Go out and get busy. – Dale Carnegie

Also read: How to work from home (with no experience)

Quotes about work ethic

Do you often wonder if you work hard enough? One of the ways to know if you have a good work ethic is to ask people around you. But before you even ask them, you will often be told that ‘you work too hard.’ Is that you?If so, that’s great because sooner or later, you’ll have massive success. 

#1. If you work hard enough and assert yourself, and use your mind and imagination, you can shape the world to your desires.  – Malcolm Gladwell

#2. Who you are tomorrow begins with what you do today. – Tim Fargo

#3. Being a professional is doing the things you love to do, on the days you don’t feel like doing them. – Julius Irving

#4. Everything yields to diligence. – Thomas Jefferson

#5. Plan your work for today and every day. Then work your plan. – Margaret Thatcher

#6. The price of success is hard work, dedication to the job at hand, and the determination that whether we win or lose, we have applied the best of ourselves to the task at hand. ― Vince Lombardi

#7. Striving for success without hard work is like trying to harvest where you haven’t planted. ― David Bly

#8. Talent is cheaper than table salt. What separates the talented individual from the successful one is a lot of hard work.― Stephen King

Related: 9 work from home tips

Working quotes for the day

Here are some more quotes you can print or write down to motivate you to keep pushing today and every day.

#1. Success is dependent upon glands – sweat glands. – Zig Zaglar

#2. Big jobs usually go to the men who prove their ability to outgrow the small ones. – Ralph Waldo Emerson

#3. You have to learn the rules of the game. And then you have to play better than anyone else. – Albert Einstein

#4. Talent is never enough. With few exceptions, the best players are the hardest workers. – Magic Johnson

#5. Things may come to those who wait, but only the things left by those who hustle. – Abraham Lincoln 

Feeling lazy? See 10 life hacks to beat laziness

Quotes about working hard and success

When it comes to wanting success in your career or life, we often get lost in comparisons. We’re often asking ourselves…

I’m I dressed better than my workmate?

Is my car better than my neighbours?

Will I be making more money than my former classmates?

I’m I climbing the career ladder faster than my siblings?

You get the gist. I’m sure you’ve been there. That is unhealthy behaviour and a toxic mindset. It will leave you feeling drained of energy and bitter. 

I’ll leave you with my best solution for that. Create a habit tracker and track your progress on a daily basis. Know how much progress you’re making on a daily basis so that you know whether to add the number of hours or increase your attention on your tasks.

With that, I’ll leave you with the only working hard quote you should focus on;

I’m I better than the person I was yesterday? Can I make my work ethic 1% better tomorrow? Go. Do. Be. Bloom!

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