Who can knock hard work? For many people it is the key ingredient to success. In reality there are many other mitigating factors, but when it comes down to it hard work will overcome more deficiencies better than any other attribute; if you work hard enough for long, you are bound to make some progress eventually. It isn't a surprise that the Romans or any society would value industriousness as a essential characteristic, as all societies are held up and improved upon by those who work hard.

Hard work is absolutely necessary in order to be completely fulfilled, but it is also important to recognize that being industriousness is a means to an end, not something to be admired in a vacuum. Hard work is an expression of your love and compassion toward your family, those in need, and to yourself, and also an expression of your willingness to do your part in society. An awful person who works hard to support his own goals, or even his own family, is still an awful person at the end of the day if he doesn't become a virtuous person.

Becoming industrious, if you are lazy to begin with, is going to be a lot like starting a diet and exercise regimen—it will involve forcing yourself to do things you just aren't inclined to do. If you have legitimate energy problems or some physical diseases or disadvantages, then your struggle will be all the more difficult. This is something you are going to have to look over every day and evaluate whether or not you did enough to improve your practical or personal well-being—and the well-being of your loved ones.

Another part of developing industry is discipline and tenacity. In fact, if you don't have these two virtues you may want to work on them first as you may develop industry by accident when you do. If you become organized, do what you are supposed to, and refuse to give up, hard work is something that often just tends to happen. In fact, it's hard to imagine being tenacious if you don't attack the problem with hard work every time you fail at it. Once you develop discipline and tenacity do some serious self-evaluation and see if you are also doing the things you have to do, not just those things that you want. For some it's easy to spend time with the kids and work on personal goals, but it's difficult to work hard at the daily grind. Others might have an opposite problem!

When working on industriousness, you may want to try out some of these activities if you are having difficulty:


  • Keep your Record: I shouldn't have to list this as a separate activity, but just in case you were holding back or not getting involved in that portion of this site, take care you include it while working on this virtue. A simple check list is all you need, but you should evaluate whether you avoided laziness and got your work done everyday.
  • Write Down Your Responsibilities, and Include Them on a To-Do List: Figure out what your responsibilities are and write them down on paper—things carry more weight when they are written down. If possible, make them something you check off every day along with other errands and goals you would like to complete.
  • Read Books or Take Seminars on Success: These sources have many great ideas, but you will benefit as much (if not more so) from just keeping your personal success and growth in mind as you will from learning new techniques to achieve it. If you are thinking about your growth and success personally and financially everyday (in a positive fashion), then you will be much more motivated to get up every day and work hard for your goals.
  • Work on Discipline and Tenacity: Mentioned up above, but being disorganized and undisciplined is often mistaken for "laziness". If you don't follow the proper steps to get things done and have the discipline to carry your tasks out, then you simply won't produce very many results and come across like you don't have a desire to get things done.

Your Record

Whenever you procrastinate, and there is no reason to do so other than you would rather not do the work right now, then mark yourself at "fault". Whenever you fail to get your chores completed due to forgetfulness or a lazy episode, then mark yourself at fault. Make some goals using the above activities as a guideline. If you fail to reach your goals then mark yourself at fault.


The miracle, or the power, that elevates the few is to be found in their industry, application, and perseverance under the prompting of a brave, determined spirit.

Mark Twain, Renown American Writer and Humorist

There are only two ways by which to rise in this world, either by one's own industry or by the stupidity of others.

Jean de la Bruyere, French Satiric Moralist

What distinguishes a great artist from a weak one is first their sensibility and tenderness; second, their imagination, and third, their industry.

Salman Rushdie, Indian Born British Writer

Golden Mean


Recommended Reading

Procrastination: Why You Do It, What to Do About It Now — by Jane B. Burka, Lenora M. Yuen

This book focuses on the psychological root of our procrastination, and what we can do to combat it by setting goals, removing stress, getting support, and managing time.

Self-Discipline in 10 Days: How to Go from Thinking to Doing — by Theodore Bryant

How to Go from Thinking to Doing: This book is about self-discipline in general, and works a bit more like a workbook than an inspirational text, which might be more to your liking (since the object is all about "doing" anyway).

Success Is Not an Accident: Change Your Choices; Change Your Life — by Tommy Newberry

By the founder of the 1% Club that helps entrepreneurs and families reach their full potential, this popular book is intended to help you reach higher levels of success in your personal and professional life.

General Rules

Practice virtues daily so that they become ‘habits of the heart’.

Don‘t strive for perfection.

Never give up! Remember: even the greats have off days.

Rely on your intuition.

Avoid extremes. Strive to achieve the golden mean between excess and deficiency of a virtue.

Have fun and enjoy the program with humor and optimism.

I believe in work, hard work, and long hours of work. Men do not breakdown from overwork, but from worry and dissipation. Charles Evans Hughes