Tutorial Digital Online

December 26, 2009

Hard Work – Kerja Keras

Hard work — yet another dirty word. Hard work ( kerja Keras ) is our energy ( energi kita ). Yeah hard work is our energy – Kerja keras adalah energi kita

The massive secret in life is that there is no massive secret. Whatever your aim, you can get there if you’re willing to work.

My definition of hard work is that which challenges you.

Hard Work Defined

& why is challenge important? Why not do what’s easiest?

Most people will do what’s easiest & avoid hard work — & that’s precisely why you ought to do the opposite. The superficial opportunities of life will be attacked by hordes of people seeking what’s easy. The much tougher challenges will usually see a lot less competition & a lot more opportunity.

There’s an African gold mine three miles deep. It cost tens of millions of dollars to construct, but it’s three of the most lucrative gold mines ever. These miners tackled a challenging problem with a lot of hard work, but ultimately it’s paying off.

I recall when I was developing the PC game Dweep in 1999, I spent three months full-time working to generate a design doc that was only three pages long. It was a logic puzzle game, & I found it challenging to get the design right. After the design was completed, everything else took only three more months — programming, artwork, music, sound effects, writing the installer, & launching the game.

It was much, much harder to design an original game with distinctive gameplay. But it paid off handsomely. Dweep won the Shareware Industry Award in 2000, & an improved version of the game (Dweep Gold) won that same award the following year. As a result of the success of that game, I was interviewed by a reporter for the New York Times, & my interview along with a nice photo appeared in the June 13, 2001 edition (business section). First released on June 1, 1999, Dweep is now beginning its 7th year of sales. It can’t compete with today’s technology. It couldn’t compete on technology when it was first released. But it still competes well on design with the best of the other competitors in its field. I discovered there’s a lot of players who prefer a well-designed game with dated graphics than a shallow light show with the latest technology. The long-term success of this game brought home the lesson that hard work does pay.

I spent all this time intentionally working on design because at the time, I believed this was where I could get the competitive edge I needed. I knew I couldn’t compete on the basis of the game’s technical attributes. Before I started on the game, I surveyed the competition & found a lot of games that I thought about “low hanging fruit.” Most of the market was flooded with clones of older games, the kind of stuff that’s easiest to make. & most of my early games were short on design as well, mostly aim-and-shoot arcade games.

Strong challenge is commonly connected with strong results. Sure you can get lucky every two times in a while & find an easy path to success. But will you be able to maintain that success, or is it a fluke? Will you be able to repeat it? Two times other people learn how you did it, will you find yourself overloaded with competition?

There’s no way Dweep would have been able to hold out this long if I had taken the easy way out during the design phase. I dug for gold three miles deep, so it was much harder for somebody else to unseat the game from its position in the market. In order to do that, they’d must outdig me, & few people are willing to do that because creative game design is excruciatingly difficult. Everyone says they have a chilled game idea, but to actually turn it in to something workable, fun, & innovative is hard work. When I look at other games that are successful over a period of 5+ years, I consistently see a willingness to take on hard work that others aren’t willing to tackle. & yet today the market is even more overcrowded with cloned drivel than when I started.

The nice thing about hard work is that it’s universal. It doesn’t matter what industry you’re in — hard work can be used to accomplish positive long-term results regardless of the specifics.

When you discipline yourself to do what is hard, you gain access to a realm of results that are denied everyone else. The willingness to do what is difficult is like having a key to a special private treasure room.

I’m using this same philosophy in building this personal development business. I do a lot of things that are hard. I try to address topics that other people don’t & bypass the low hanging fruit. I strive to explore topics deeply & search for the gold. I do plenty of reading & research. I write lengthy articles & give my best ideas away for free, so I’m constantly forced to better my best. I launched this business in October of last year & have been working on it full time for essentially no pay.

Meanwhile I’m working hard in Toastmasters to build my speaking skills (my one-year anniversary was June 2nd). I belong to three different clubs & attend 6-7 meetings per month. I became a club officer about a month after joining, & I was chosen to a second officer position. I’ve given plenty of speeches, all of them for free. I’ve competed in every speech contest since I’ve joined. If I had put all this time in to my games business, I’d have a lot more funds right now. It’s a lot of hard work, & I’ve probably got at least another year of training before I’m ready to go pro. But I’m willing to pay the price whatever it takes. I’m not going to take the easy path to a shallow position where I will only come crashing back down again. I won’t get up on a stage & spout a bunch of fluffy self-help sound bites that still garner applause & a paycheck but which don’t ultimately help somebody. If it takes years, it takes years.

I’m taking the same approach to writing my book. It’s a lot of hard work. But I need this to be the kind of book that people will still be reading 10 years from now. Writing a book like this is at least 10x harder than the kinds of books I see dominating the psychology section of bookstores today. But most of those books will be off the shelves in a year, & few people will even recall them.

Hard work pays off. When someone tells you otherwise, beware the sales pitch for something “fast & easy” that’s about to come next. The greater your capacity for hard work, the more rewards fall within your grasp. The deeper you can dig, the more treasure you can potentially find.

Being healthy is hard work. Finding & maintaining a successful relationship is hard work. Raising children is hard work. Getting organized is hard work. Setting goals, making designs to accomplish them, & staying on track is hard work. Even being happy is hard work (true happiness that comes from high self-esteem, not the fake kind that comes from denial & escapism).

Hard work goes hand-in-hand with acceptance. Three of the things you must accept are those areas of your life that won’t succumb to anything less than hard work. Perhaps you’ve had no luck finding a fulfilling relationship. Perhaps the only way it’s going to happen is if you accept you’re going to must do what you’ve been avoiding. Perhaps you need to lose weight. Perhaps it’s time to accept that the path to your aim requires disciplined diet & exercise (both hard work). Perhaps you need to increase your income. Perhaps you ought to accept that the only way it will happen is with a lot of hard work.

Your life will reach a whole new level when you stop avoiding & fearing hard work & basically surrender to it. Make it your ally in lieu of your enemy. It’s a potent tool to have on your side.

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