How Bad Do You Want Success?

I’m not sharing this video because of the NFL or because of the athlete. I’m sharing this because of the important message related directly to success and finding it. You’ve heard it before: If you want to be on the same level as the people that you look up to, you’ll need to work really, really hard. The secrets to success are revealed through hard work.

If you’re going to be successful you’ve got to be willing to give up sleep.

This does not mean do not sleep. However, it does mean you need to prioritize. It is a metaphor for certain things in life that you do that can and quite possibly, need to be sacrificed.

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37 Comments Leave A Comment


Evert says:

August 31, 2011 at 2:40 am

There are enormous amount of people in the world how work incredibly hard, who have to drag themselves through the day, each day again. Who would, by their effort alone, but also because of the amount and quality of their work, need to be both successful and well off.
But they are not. Why?
Because a big part of being successful is luck and friends in right places. I know this sounds bitter, but it is not. I am, well off, but I was not always. I see it all around me, people who are good at their job and who would be successful if only they had the right friends or a bit of luck. Don’t assume that working hard alone will get you where you want to go.


Scott says:

August 31, 2011 at 5:15 am

Evert…so true. This myth that hard work alone will grant you success is constantly perpetuated, and people use that as a means of denigration against those who are poor or worse off, suggesting that they are merely in their current situation because they are ‘lazy’ or whatever.

Neat video, if a little naive.


Little Mega says:

August 31, 2011 at 9:02 am

Yes, as an athlete, hard work pays huge dividends. But don’t forget to eat! Haha. In triathlon, nutrition is called the “4th” discipline. If you forget that, your toast.

The subject of the piece is a machine!–He certainly works hard and has the goods to prove it.

Work hard because you love what you do, not because of the payoff. The film mentions this; and there, it echoes Henry David Thoreau’s views on work.

Excellent piece. Thanks. I’m off to the pool! Get some!


Mike says:

August 31, 2011 at 12:34 pm

yup. that said, success comes in many different forms for many different people. it’s not just monetary. working hard is definitely the bottom line starting point to any success, however there are so many factors involved in conjunction with working hard.

on a personal note, i would recommend malcolm gladwell’s “tipping point” book…very insightful with many nuggets you can apply to ‘success’.


Tim says:

August 31, 2011 at 12:50 pm

Am I the only one that thought the content of this video went on for way too long? Six minutes of a guy working out with unfocused transitions, I feel like it could have been a little more creative considering the prose.


emery says:

August 31, 2011 at 2:37 pm

I agree with what everyone is saying. Great thread. There is also a school of thought, however, that suggests people who are really “good” at what they do, or who operate on a high level or with a high level of efficiency, do not have to sacrifice fundamental things such as sleep. Perhaps everyone who is at this level had to go through that process at some point …

But I don’t always see a high positive correlation between success and sacrifice. Luck, like people have mentioned, as well as numerous other factors, outside of an individual’s control, affect outcome.


Hmm says:

August 31, 2011 at 9:11 pm

Working hard does not guarantee success. How many poor immigrants work 12 hour days only to come home to some small, dank apartment in a shitty neighborhood. Videos like these are to help you feel okay with your bad situation. They leave us thinking “Yeah, I could be rich and successful.” Such an un-relatble video.


Michael says:

August 31, 2011 at 10:02 pm

Ok so:

“‘If you’re going to be successful you’ve got to be willing to give up sleep.’

This does not mean do not sleep”

Reminds me of Christians who don’t take the bible ‘literally’ haha!

By the way its right. You wanna be the best – work yo ass off!


Shelby says:

August 31, 2011 at 10:14 pm

@Michael, ha! It’s sort of a warning that a person might just be missing a lot of the points in the video if they’re thinking that never sleeping will make them successful. :)


Shelby says:

August 31, 2011 at 10:29 pm


As you define “working hard” it’ll become clear that it is very relative, not absolute. “Working hard” does not guarantee anything. However, working hard will begin to set states in your mind that help inform decision making for a lot of your life. If you work hard at doing a job of mowing your lawn (working hard meaning that you’ve mowed it perfectly) you’ll have set an internal precedent for your future actions of working hard. Each time you do it, if you’ve worked hard, you’ll be setting a new standard and each time will also return a new desire of success.

It’s still relative to each person and it can mean something different to each person. Working hard can mean positioning yourself inline with opportunity or maybe even your whole life you’ve worked hard at what you’re doing without realizing it. You’ve adapted your life to working hard because of your set goals.

If “working harder” is a bothersome way to think about it, perhaps thinking about it as “working smarter” is a better concept.

Videos like this are meant as inspiration to help you get off the couch, to stop playing video games (unless of course that is a goal you seek) or to get out there and fulfill the goals you should have already set in order to reach the level of success you desire.

Of course, there is nothing wrong with those people who are feeling okay about their situation, good or bad. But those who aren’t and who are striving for more, have the slight edge.


Turd Ferguson says:

September 1, 2011 at 7:56 am

success means alot of different things to different ppl.
this seems to be on gaining huge financial gains and all that comes with it.
if sacrificing a normal ‘life’ to gain an assload of money is what ppl wish to do then i guess that’s success? then again, is success when you sacrificed 10yrs of your 20’s, have a big car, house, money, but are still a miserable bastard?
success to me is being happy. money doesn’t necessarily make you happy. the ‘success’ question is way more dynamic than this.


Melvin Ho says:

September 1, 2011 at 8:18 am

What I see here is to have love and truth to yourself of what really makes you happy and passionate about. Not fame and money, those things will never get you anywhere. You will turn up into the loneliest person in the world surrounds by parasites.


Shelby says:

September 1, 2011 at 9:14 am

@Helvin and previous commenter

Success is relative, not absolute. To say that having fame or money will never get you anywhere is not true. If you think of success being relative (different to each and every person) and it is, then you can substitute happiness, a wife and kids, in place of fame & money and you’ll be at where your desirable success lies.

There is this myth that surrounds fame + money and that once you reach it, you’ll become instantly lost and lonely. Not true. If you reach these properly, you’ll have maintained your relationships.


Ryan says:

September 1, 2011 at 1:54 pm

I’ve found it to be essential to examine my motives behind my hard work.
Recognizing the things that are a “means to an end”, and what I’m hoping to achieve by striving so hard at something.
Asking myself “why” often.

Sometimes digging so deep within reveals crushing things.. Like being honest with yourself about areas of futility attached to your striving. The key word being “honest”, and time reveals so many things as well.

I’ll say this about work ethic, integrity, and authenticity.. If you have them, word travels, and you will be surprised at the opportunities that come your way. Humility isn’t a means to an end. Truly caring about others isn’t a means to an end.

So painfully examine yourself, be honest about what you continue to find, address your findings so that you’ll grow.. And “success” somehow finds you.. as it’s progressively being redefined.


massta says:

September 1, 2011 at 11:10 pm

Success if finishing a goal. Which reminds me…. I’ve veered off again reading these posts. Damn, now I need to cut back my sleep.


NAVIS says:

September 2, 2011 at 3:39 am

I’ve always loved this little quote by the wonderful John Wooden:

“Things turn out best for the people who make the best of the way things turn out.”


daniel says:

September 3, 2011 at 3:37 pm

I don’t think this video is about working hard. The speaker is talking about wanting success and how truly wanting it is the most important way to find it. Working hard is a natural by-product of wanting success but isn’t in itself a means to success and anecdotes he mentions (Beyonce, 50 Cent) are of people who wanted success so bad they didn’t even notice how hard they were working. Someone above mentioned working “smarter” and that’s apt because simply exerting yourself isn’t going to accomplish anything. Luck and connections are important too, but only if you have the skills, experience, knowledge and drive to plug in to those opportunities when they present themselves. The person in the video is shown putting himself through a grueling workout but what’s more important is that he wanted it bad enough to work out that hard and not the fact that he was punishing his body. That’s what I took away from it…


Michael says:

September 4, 2011 at 4:21 pm

Malcom Gladwells book Outliers is the best book I’ve ever read on success and successful people. Its a intriguing read for anyone who wants to be successful in any area.


Joel Nealy says:

September 25, 2011 at 7:22 pm

I dont expect the casual reader of this blog to understand and identify with this video. I often question the character of the design community, full of privileged, if not lucky folk, who were blessed to be able to afford the cost that must be paid to be a designer. Whether it be supplies or access to technology…

I am a former collegiate athlete, who was undersized and doubted often. I earned my scholarship and I earned my starting spot. Sports are not “fair” and I enjoyed proving myself time and time again.

As an African American Graphic Artist, I encounter the same “folk” who’s character I questioned in the field often. They judge for different reasons. Not by height or weight but obviously they judge my person. They question my design sense and my approach and others get a pass based on their look…lol…how can someone look like a designer? This is the world I inherited and it is mine to change, so I dont complain.

I wont start wearing non prescription glasses, beanie hats and plaid shirts…but I will keep designing. I will keep innovating and I will bring that same approach to design that I brought to the football/baseball field where I earned letters and honors all the years of my play.

So back to my original statement. I dont expect the “design community” to understand this video, much less the the fact that I taught Final Cut, After Effects, Cinema 4D, Photoshop, Illustrator, Analog Photography and Dark Room Production, HTML, CSS, JQuery, AS2 and 3, 3D Studio Max and Pro Tools to myself. I missed a lot of sleep becoming the designer and creator that I am today.

So I grasp this video fully.

Great post Shelby.


Joel Nealy says:

September 26, 2011 at 1:48 pm

Wow, was my comment to authentic for TV.

Ive actually email corresponded with Scott. This will be the first time I have been moderated. Everything I said was true and no bias was shown except truthful life experience.

This blog will lose a lot of credibility with me and those I refer it to after having that honest to goodness comment deleted.

For shame.


Shelby says:

September 26, 2011 at 2:13 pm

Hey Joel,

You might be seeing a caching issue. There is no way that I’d delete your comment. It was was great and informative. I really appreciate your insights.


G.Campos says:

October 25, 2011 at 9:13 pm

Evert, I beg to differ. You’re taking the video too literally. It’s obvious that when the speaker talks about hard work, his concept goes beyond the confinements of a brute-force approach.

The poorest people of the world are the hardest workers…builders, maids, miners, etc. Yes, but, you’re missing the point of the video entirely.

It’s not just hard work, but hard work AIMED towards success. The author is saying ‘hard work’ yourself to success, not just work hard where you currently are and hope you miraculously get where you want to be.

The maid, the miner, the builder, the taxi driver, etc. would all have to start thinking about who they really want to become and then ‘hard work’ it from there.

As for luck, I don’t believe in it. It’s just an excuse to cover up the ‘well aimed’ hard work of people who get opportunities to show up and then act on them. It thus comes as no surprise that success-oriented, hard working people happen to bump into what you’d call ‘luck’ so often while negative, non-hard-working people seldom if ever do, and when they do, they don’t act upon it.


David says:

October 30, 2011 at 9:00 pm

Working hard will grant you success. In the video near the end, the guru says “You won’t need that money cause you got it in here.” Success in their interpretation is doing what you need to do. Yes, there are people around the world who work harder then the person next to them for a less then convenient outcome. The whole thing is that those people working their asses off for low wages are being successful. They are working and getting necessities provided. So what if they don’t have more money than the business man who works eight hours a day compared to their twelve hours a day, they are successful. Success is not measured by the money you have. Success is about seeing something you need to do and doing it.


C says:

November 26, 2011 at 12:37 am

Great video..


I agree but I also think that mindset and outlook on the world have a lot to do with it as well:

Subject Knowledge
Peer Group (guru/people who have seen success in your field)
Positive Attitude
High Energy
Learn from mistakes

(apply these concepts to your life and be relentless about it. Whatever you desire will manifest from your work..But if you really want it.. it wont really feel like work anyway)

Although no related strictly related to success but recall “Think and Grow Rich”? first published in the 1890s I think..Napoleon Hill was asked to travel and interview all the top most successful people in the world at the time. And he found among many other things that they ALL had a fascination and interest with learning as well as how the mind works. Forever progressing themselves…


Danielle says:

December 14, 2011 at 8:18 pm

I think hard work will get you anywhere, but the factors that determine whether you make it or not are … (1) Attitude, (2) Enthusiasm, (3) Passion, (4) Belief.

If you have the right attitude, wake up everyday with the enthusiasm to do something great, maintain the passion for your dream, and keep believing in yourself, you can go anywhere when you work hard.

If you keep a good attitude, have enthusiasm and dedication, you’ll soon come to find people who like you and want to help you achieve your dream. There’s a saying of “six degrees of separation”. There are six people separating you from someone who can help to make your dream a reality.

Anyone can be great. Anyone can be successful.