Hard Work Is Necessary But Not Sufficient for Success

There are certain times when we work hard for some things and some specific goals but are still unable to achieve success for the same. Whereas, at the same time, few people achieve the same goals in a shorter period, without even putting in more effort and doing more hardships.

No matter what the situation and goal are, whether it is a fitness goal or any academic goal, or any specific career-related goals, different situations adds up to help achieve success. Hard work is necessary for chasing any big goals, but that alone is never sufficient for achieving any desired scenario.

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Just like the situation that Matthew Syed explained about his mother’s situation in the book ‘Bounce’, we try a lot for some things and practice to achieve the desired goals from dawn to dusk, but still are unable to manage to reach the heights, and stay at certain levels for the rest of the time.

So the main deal is that we get stuck in many situations despite putting in a lot of efforts. But why is it so?

So the primary reason behind the case is that there is a lack of improvement in people and their actions. So the fact is that people never improve by only doping the same thing again and again without raising the difficulty level. To achieve a different level of success, it is also necessary to change the difficulty level of efforts.

Mathematically Explaining the necessity and Sufficiency of Hard Work

Suppose you deposit a certain amount, say 1,00,000 INR in a bank.



The deposit term is three years at a 7% rate. Now, what is the amount received on redeeming the fixed deposit at the term’s end?

So you can use the compounding formula, i.e. A = P * (1 + i)n, and with this solution the equation.

=>A = 1,00,000 * (1+0.07)3 = 1,00,000 * (1.07)3

=>A = 1,22,504


Now take a situation when the bank offers you a zero interest rate, and you are left with no other option than to take it?

Now the term of the deposit is still three years, and the interest rate is 0%

=>A = 1,00,000 * (1)3 = 1,00,000

So here, the interest rate is none other than the improvement in the money. Zero-interest reflects that there is no improvement. Thus the money remains the same for the given period.


Now suppose you keep the amount at 7% interest for only three months.

Here, the amount will be only 101,706 INR. And that is too less than the amount in the first case, i.e. 1,22,504 INR.

Lesson learned –

So from the given cases, we get a lesson that hard work is necessary but is alone not sufficient. Thus, along with hard work, improvement is also necessary, and that too for some considerable period.

Compounding is not only a formula but is also a framework!

So everyone can use the compound formula just like a framework for avoiding the drifts. To be successful in various situations and while tackling any challenging situation, one must always go back to the compounding formula and check whether i is favourable or not. The n is significant and correct for the given i or not.

This compounding framework will always help in the following scenarios:

  1. Increase the chances of achieving success in any challenging situation.
  2. Not require wasting months and years for an unnecessary amount of hard work.

Why people stall and do not improve?

Well, there are many reasons why people stall and refuse improving or to change the difficulty levels along with hard work.

The reasons include the following ones:

People consider mindless repetition to be enough –

We have heard many times that practice makes a man perfect. This notion is none other than the mindless repetition of any task for aiming to achieve any goals. People often think that with the mindless repetition (the so-called practice of the same thing without any add-ons), will always help in mastering anything. People think that their level and success rate will eventually rise if spending more time on any activity. But that is not the fact. Even the ones, who achieve success with this notion, unconsciously add some improvements and thus achieve a rise in their levels.

Discomfort increases due to improvement –

Suppose someone decides to bulk up his/her muscles. He/she will join any gym and then start weight lifting. So for this, the person must start with some lower weights, and then keep on increasing the level and lifting higher weights. As he/she gets comfortable with a certain weight, they must increase the level, and if the person refuses doing so, then he/she will not achieve the required muscle gains.

With this process, whenever the person increases the weight, he/she feels some discomfort while shifting to the new weight level as he/she is not used to the same. This discomfort might also cause some cramps and stop the person from moving forward and improving.

Thus this discomfort is not only limited to the physical activities but is also related to the mental capabilities and actions. People also feel the same amount of discomfort and nervousness as they decide to shift to a newer level and improve their efforts. Another typical example of this is whenever one tries to learn a new language. As we are in the process of learning a language, say English. Initially, we will feel nervous and a lot of discomforts while trying to speak in English. That is a change that gives us some discomfort, thus stopping us from improvement.

Thus, everyone must always stay motivated while shifting to anything and changing the level despite the discomfort that they face in the early stages of the process.

Well, in reality, what happens is that a majority of people work at certain levels enough to help them sustain in their professions. And when they get that level with which they can go on smoothly, they consider improving as an unnecessary factor.

The fact is that people hate discomforts and enjoy automaticity. And as their behaviour becomes automatic, they start stalling and prefer staying at the same level, rather than facing any discomforts to move on to the next levels.


Even after trying our best and putting in a lot of efforts and hardships, people lack success and the achievements of goals, only because of the lack of improvements in their actions.

A larger fraction of global citizens fall in this category and still wonder why they are unable to achieve the desired goals despite all the hard work that they put in. The reason behind this might also be a lack of regularity and schedule/ routine.

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