Home » All Seeds » If You Work Really Hard, and You’re Kind, Amazing Things Will Happen – Conan O’Brien
If You Work Really Hard, and You're Kind, Amazing Things Will Happen – Conan O'Brien

If You Work Really Hard, and You’re Kind, Amazing Things Will Happen – Conan O’Brien

This sounds so straightforward and simple, but yet hard work and kindness are often overlooked on the road to success. They are passed over in favor of shortcuts, a “what’s in it for me?” attitude, and worst of all, entitlement. Somewhere on the journey, it is easy to forget the practices of graciousness, persistence, and humility. It is not because people aren’t good and kind. It is because in these days of instant gratification we want things to happen fast. We want them to happen NOW. And we don’t always care or think enough about how it happens and who we become in the process.

Hard work should be a given, but so often complacency supplants it. At its most caustic, entitlement creeps in and the feeling we deserve something eclipses the efforts necessary to earn our individual goals. Perhaps one starts to feel they have worked hard enough and long enough, and it is their turn at success. Unfortunately, there are no “turns” to be bestowed. It is true that we may not always achieve everything we set out to, no matter how focused or determined we are. But it is not failure if you were working honestly and intently. Most likely, other fruits of your labor – ones maybe you did not foresee – will be earned along the way.

Being kind might actually prove more challenging than hard work because so many of us see kindness as an opposing factor to success. People think if they are kind, they will be seen as a pushover. If they are considerate of others, they will never see their own rise to the top. However, at the heart of any accomplishment is the character of the person achieving it. Everyone on your journey deserves your graciousness and respect, no matter their place in your ultimate goal. And it’s true that difficult decisions, such as firing an employee for under-performing or walking away from a friendship that has turned toxic, are inevitable throughout life. Kindness does not mean always making everyone happy, but rather that your motivation and intentions for such decisions are out of a place of honesty and fairness instead of malice.

We were taught from an early age to pay attention, do the work, and play nice. These behaviors are not herculean tasks, yet the lack of them is constantly holding people back from the “amazing” things that could be happening in their lives (however that is defined by the individual). Of course there are other skills and traits necessary for particular successes, but none of it will matter without these two pillars standing strong. Next time you assess what you are doing to achieve your goals and live your best life, make sure these two basic principles are part of your master plan.

If You Work Really Hard, and You’re Kind, Amazing Things Will Happen – Conan O’Brien
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About Caryn Berardi

Caryn is an educator, counselor, wife and mother. The constant in all of her roles is the opportunity to encourage, challenge and motivate others to grow personally and professionally (though her toddler twin boys don’t always listen that well!). She is excited to reconnect with her love of writing through her blog www.journeytonapa.com


  1. I really needed to hear this from the universe! Thank you so much for a great post!

  2. In these times of everyone wanting a shortcut to success, we need to hear these words more often. Nice piece, Caryn.

  3. Your post rings true. I tell this to the young people I work with and they still don’t get that they have to work for what they want in life

  4. Wow, thank you! I thought I was the only one in this world working hard, honest and sometimes without immediate rewards 🙂

  5. Thank you all for reading and commenting! I know there are a lot of people out there working hard at their dreams. I think we all need these reminders from time to time.

  6. What an insightful post. Kindness can get a bad press these days but who doesn’t warm to an act of kindness. It costs nothing to give it away and can be priceless to the one receiving it. We may never know. The concept of entitlement is a really interesting one too. When did that creep in? But I suspect you are right. A feeling of entitlement is likely at the source of much of our distress. Thanks for sharing.

  7. Thanks all for reading and commenting! Corrine, I don’t think entitlement is always obvious or even a conscious behavior or feeling from an individual. But like you said, rather it is the source of underlying factor (myself included). I hope with concepts like “servant leadership” and the like gaining more traction, we will see kindness rise in respect and seen right along other skills and traits as key to success. Thanks for your thoughts!

  8. Unfortunately, I think kindness is often seen as a weakness in a world that I feel is too driven by competitiveness and not enough through cooperation, which I have addressed in previous posts as well. I don’t see it changing much in the future either because not enough people govern themselves based on values and integrity anymore.

  9. Thank you for the reminder today! I often wonder if my kindness is worth it when others don’t necessarily treat me with the same respect in return. Thank you for reminding everyone that kindness will pay off in the long run even if we don’t see the immediate results that we are expecting. 🙂

  10. This is very good. Hard work usually pays. Kindness pays. A combination of the two will do wonders.

  11. Kindness is love and love is a powerful source for living =)

  12. I love any post that encourages civility in our world. Kindness is too often neglected. Great post! Sharing this with others today. Thank you!

  13. Thank you @changeispossible — I’m glad you enjoyed it!

  14. I love this Caryn and couldn’t agree more. One of my favorite quotes is, “Be kinder than necessary, because everyone is fighting some kind of battle.”

  15. Thanks for popping over here and reading Allie! That is a great quote about kindness too and a message I have to sometimes remind myself when I start to get frustrated or impatient with someone or a particular situation (usually in traffic!).

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