Hard Work: Few Examples Of Famous Personalities

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Hard Work: Few Examples Of Such Famous Personalities

There is no evidence of any personality who succeeded a great deal in life without experience or practice. Most of the accomplished people that we hear of today have spent years of their time working hard and making smart and calculated choices with clear objectives in mind. During one’s journey to success, people encounter more failures than they allow themselves to admit. There are many personalities whom we know from the past due to their achievements, and many whom adore and absolutely love. But what most people don’t know is that most of them have had a very rough past and have failed multiple times in their quest for accomplishment and a better life. And the reason they are known and famous now is because of their hard work and their will to try again and again, and not giving up in the face of their struggles. Below are a few examples of such famous personalities.

1) Oprah Winfrey

Oprah Winfrey is an American media executive, actress, talk show host, television producer and philanthropist. She is best known for her talk show “The Oprah Winfrey Show”, which was the highest rated television program of its kind in history. She was the richest African American of the 20th century and North America’s first black multi-billionaire.

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However her start was not the most glamorous. She was born to a teenage mother who lived in poverty with her grandmother until she was 14. After that she was sent to her father who put her in school, and due to her hard work, was accepted on a full scholarship to Tennessee State University, majoring in communications.

In high school and during the first two years of college, Oprah interned at a local radio station. But afterwards she was fired because the producer thought that she was unfit for television. Later she joined another station and started hosting a local talk show by the name of “People are Talking”. Later in 1983, she relocated to Chicago where she hosted a show called AM Chicago. Within months, it had gained high ratings and eventually became the top rated show at that time. Later the show was renamed to “The Oprah Winfrey Show”.

2) J.K. Rowling

J.K. Rowling is a author, film producer, television producer, screenwriter and philanthropist. She is best known for writing the Harry Potter series, which has won multiple awards and sold more than 500 million copies, becoming the best-selling book series in history. But before she reached stardom, she went through a lot of struggles and harsh situations.

Rowling first started writing in 1990, however later in the year, her mother died which set her aback. Two years later she moved to Portugal to teach, where she got married and had a daughter. The next year her marriage ended in a divorce and she moved to Edinburgh in Scotland. At that time she had only three chapters of Harry Potter done.

Rowling saw herself as a failure during this time. She was jobless, divorced, and had a child that depended on her. She fell into depression multiple times, and had to live off government-assisted welfare. It was the most difficult time in her life, but she pushed through and began to continue on her book.

After completing the book, she sent a copy to 12 major publishers. She had to type each script herself as she did not even have the money to get it copied. All the publishers rejected her script, and only until the next year, a small publisher by the name of Bloomsbury accepted it. After one year of being published, the book had already won multiple awards and accolades. Soon after, Rowling’s luck changed and is now one of the most famous authors in the world.

The story of project 523

During the time of the Vietnam War, there was an outspread of the disease Malaria. Many Vietnamese soldiers were being killed by this disease in jungles just as they were dying in the battle field. This became a huge problem for Vietnam, due to which they turned to their ally, China. Very soon the Chinese had started a secret research group by the name of Project 523, based in Beijing. Its main purpose was to develop medications to cure the symptoms of Malaria in affected Vietnamese soldiers.

They appointed a Chinese scientist by the name of Tu Youyou as the head of the group. Tu began her work by searching for clues anywhere she could find them. She read manuals about old folk remedies and searched through ancient texts that were hundreds or thousands of years old. She also traveled to remote regions in search of plants that might contain a cure. After multiple months of hard work, her team had collected over 600 plants and had compiled a list of over thousands of possible remedies. After thorough examination, Tu had narrowed down the list down to about 400 and started lab testing on mice.

She is reported to have said:

“This was the most challenging stage of the project. It was a very laborious and tedious job, in particular when you faced one failure after another.” (10)

Hundreds of test were run but none gave a considerable result. However one test, made using the extract of a certain species of wormwood plant, gave hope to the team. The only issue was that the plant would only occasionally produce the antimalarial medication.

Two years had elapsed in the efforts to finding the cure, and Tu and her team had not yet found any viable solution to the issue with the plant. She felt that they needed a fresh start, and so they set out to find anything that may give them a lead. Tu reviewed every single test that they had performed and re-read each book, looking for anything that she may have missed. Then coincidentally, she fell upon an ancient text, written 1500 years ago. She found that if you heated the extracted material at a high temperature, then the active ingredient would be destroyed.

Tu redesigned the experiment using solvents with a lower boiling point, and this allowed for the anti-malarial medication to be produced every time. It was a huge breakthrough, but the real work had just begun.

With a proven medication in hand, it was now time for human trials. Unfortunately, there were no centers in China performing trials for new drugs at the time. And due to the secrecy of the project, going to a facility outside of the country was not an option as it would compromise the project. They now had to face another problem.

That’s when Tu racked up her courage and volunteered to be the first human subject to try the medication. In one of the boldest moves in the history of medical science. Tu and two other members of Project 523 infected themselves with malaria and received the first doses of their new drug. It worked. Their courageous actions and hard work had paid off.

However, despite her discovery of a breakthrough medication and her willingness to put her own life on the line, Tu was prevented from sharing her findings with the outside world. The Chinese government had strict rules that blocked the publishing of any scientific information. Tu continued her research, and eventually learnt the chemical structure of the drug, and went on to develop a second antimalarial medication.

It was not until after a decade Tu began her research and three years after the Vietnam War had ended, that Tu’s work was finally released to the outside world. She would have to wait until the year 2000 before the World Health Organization would recommend the treatment as a defense against malaria. Today, the treatment has been administered over 1 billion times to malaria patients. It is believed to have saved millions of lives. Tu Youyou is the first female Chinese citizen to receive a Nobel Prize, and the first Chinese person to receive the Lasker Award for major contributions to medical science.

Tu Youyou did not succeed because she was very lucky. She had only an undergraduate degree, no previous research abroad and no connections with any of the Chinese national academies. The only reason for her success was hard work. With persistence, diligence, and dedication, she worked continuously for almost a decade and didn’t think of giving up, and as a result, ended up saving millions of lives. This goes to show that you needn’t be one of the smartest person in the world to succeed, but should work hard and persevere as Tu did to accomplish the greatest of achievements.


To sum up, hard work, in my opinion, is much more important than intelligence. Sure one’s intelligence will help him learn quicker, and help him get noticed and shine in a crowd, but that is only temporary. Nobody becomes great without doing hard work. Nothing spectacular comes without it. The best people in any field are those that work hard and devote hours of their life in order to develop their craft, and achieve the goals that they desire. There are no specifics in the type of industry where you can work hard and achieve long lasting success only, since we have seen people in any and every field in the world. So there aren’t any excuses not to work hard and succeed.

All the famous examples we have seen earlier have some things in common; almost all of them have had failures in their life and they all worked extremely hard without giving up to get where they are now. That is the reason for their success. The reason why most other people do not achieve their goals is because they think that work is already hard enough. They are not willing to endure the pains that the road to their dreams will bring upon them. Now it’s natural for human beings to avoid what is painful, but in doing so we miss out on some of the greatest achievements that we could have earned and some of the best life lessons that we could have learnt.

Instead of fighting it, learn to fall in love and to embrace hard work, and start enjoying the challenges that it presents to you. And once you learn to live with it, it becomes a lot easier to accept big challenges and to endure the hardships they sometimes requires. You will most truly succeed in reaching your goals if you stop avoiding and fearing hard work and surrendering to it. Hard work makes all the difference. Once you overcome the initial obstacle, you get stronger and the rest of the obstacles become easier to face. Eventually you become accustomed to spending more time outside of your comfort zone that you don’t let the pain bother you, and you become unstoppable.

Another reason why people don’t work hard is their fear of failure. Failure is sometimes a part of the journey to one’s success, but the biggest failure lies in not learning from them and giving up. A truly successful person will learn from his mistakes, then keep trying and keep struggling until he fixes it and reaches his goals without giving up. In the end of the day, it’s all about how hard you have worked on the thing that will get you closer to your goal.

Don’t wait for opportunities, create them yourself. People who wait for opportunities have a common thinking to go with the natural flow of life, in other words, don’t make an effort unless you have to. This philosophy has many downsides. One, you will never achieve your target; and two, you will have to settle with what life gives you, whether you like it or not. An analogy would be riding in a car. You can sit in the back seat and see where you end up, which is easy but the destination may not be where you would have wanted to go. The other side of this is to sit in the driver’s seat and control where you go, albeit it may be more challenging and requires some effort, but it is more rewarding.

Create a purpose for life, and work hard every day to fulfil it. Once you have a good purpose in mind, it will give you the drive to embrace hard work. You will automatically gain the habits necessary for success like good work ethic and positivity. You don’t let your failures or fear of pain stop you from trying, and you keep moving forward and overcome any resistance that life causes. Having no purpose will prevent anyone from reaching their goal and they will never succeed. But if you have chosen a significant purpose for your life, it’s going to require hard work to get there. Success isn’t only for a few chosen ones, but for all of us. Only if you are willing to work hard towards it, your efforts will pay off. 


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