When it comes to success, hard work and a tireless work ethic seem to be the deciding factors between those with talent who fail, and others who put that talent to work and excel.

As the saying goes:

“Hard work beats talent when talent doesn’t work hard 

Often times though, we fail to pursue our goals and dreams because of the fear that we aren’t naturally talented enough. We fear that we don’t have that innate ability or cannot simply teach ourselves to master a specific skill.

Thankfully this idea is false.

In fact, more and more research is available that actually proves the opposite is true. That success is more a combination of how hard one is willing to work or practice than the god given talents we are born with.  What’s also common is that we see this in a variety of industries from the business world to professional sports.

Malcolm Gladwell, in the novel “Outliers”, talks about the 10,000 hour rule and highlights how focusing on perfecting ones craft—through intense practice— is the biggest contributor to that persons success. In essence, hard working individuals with less talent can make up for it with approx. 10,000 hours of focused practice. And the greatest part about that is that it’s applicable in any industry.

In the case of Bill Gates, it was the ability to have access to a computer and log 10,000 hours of programming time. For The Beatles, it was playing 1200 1hr live shows to smaller audiences that would prepare them for stadium concerts and super stardom. Both are examples of very talented individuals. But the common theme is taking that talent and supporting it with a fierce and committed work ethic. And there are many more examples out there.

Whether you’re struggling to get started, or motivating yourself to keep going, this list will help you change that.

Below, are 40 of the most inspiring quotes about overcoming setbacks, and the value of a strong work ethic.  We hope these inspire you to achieve what once may have seemed impossible.

Hard Work Quotes: 40 Sayings To Strengthen Your Work Ethic

1) “Good things come to those who work their asses off and never give up.” – Unknown

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2) “Talent is cheaper than table salt. What separates the talented individual from the successful one is a lot of hard work.” – Stephen King


3) “It’s hard to beat a person who never gives up.” –  Babe Ruth


4) “The difference between try and triumph is just a little umph!” – Marvin Phillips


5) “I learned the value of hard work by working hard.” – Margaret Mead


6) “Always make a total effort, even when the odds are against you.” – Arnold Palmer


7) “Nothing worth having comes easy.” – Theodore Roosevelt

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8) “Nobody ever drowned in his own sweat.”  – Ann Landers


9) “In the middle of difficulty lies opportunity.” – Albert Einstein


10) “Many an opportunity is lost because a man is out looking for four-leaf clovers. “ – Anonymous


11) “The dictionary is the only place that success comes before work. work is the key to success, and hard work can help you accomplish anything.” –  Vince Lombardi


12) “I’m a greater believer in luck, and I find the harder I work the more I have of it” – Thomas Jefferson


13) “All roads that lead to success have to pass through hard work boulevard at some point.” – Eric Thomas

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14) “Satisfaction lies in the effort, not in the attainment. Full effort is full victory.” – Mohandas Gandhi


15) “The difference between the impossible and the possible lies in a person’s determination.” – Tommy Lasorda