11 Quotes About Struggling + Working Hard That Are So Relatable

'There's no such thing as overnight success.'
PHOTO: Scott Eisen/Getty Images

At some point in your career—and it could be right now—you will struggle and stumble at work. It's normal and it happens to the best of us. Here are wise words from names you may recognize on what it really means to be successful (and everything it takes to get there).

  1. "I do not know anyone who has got to the top without hard work. That is the recipe. It will not always get you to the top, but should get you pretty near." -Margaret Thatcher
  2. "I don't know anything about luck. I've never banked on it and I'm afraid of people who do. Luck to me is something else: Hard work—and realizing what is opportunity and what isn't." -Lucille Ball
  3. "One of the lessons that I grew up with was to always stay true to yourself and never let what somebody else says distract you from your goals. And so when I hear about negative and false attacks, I really don’t invest any energy in them, because I know who I am." -Michelle Obama
  4. "Whenever I feel bad, I use that feeling to motivate me to work harder. I only allow myself one day to feel sorry for myself. When I’m not feeling my best I ask myself, 'What are you gonna do about it?' I use the negativity to fuel the transformation into a better me." -Beyonce
  5. "You can only become truly accomplished at something you love. Don't make money your goal. Instead, pursue the things you love doing, and then do them so well that people can’t take their eyes off you." -Maya Angelou

  6. "There's no such thing as overnight success. That's my concern with a show like American Idol. It encourages the false belief that there's a kind of magic, that you can be 'discovered.' That may be the way television works, but it's not the way the world works. Rising to the top of any field requires an enormous amount of dedication, focus, drive, talent, and 99 factors that they don't show on television. It's not simply about being picked. Which, by the way, is why very few of the anointed winners on American Idol have gone on to true success. Most have flamed out and gone away. That should tell us something." -Malcolm Gladwell
  7. "When the Sony hack happened and I found out how much less I was being paid than the lucky people with dicks, I didn't get mad at Sony. I got mad at myself. I failed as a negotiator because I gave up early. But if I'm honest with myself, I would be lying if I didn't say there was an element of wanting to be liked that influenced my decision to close the deal without a real fight. I didn't want to seem 'difficult' or 'spoiled.' At the time, that seemed like a fine idea, until I saw the payroll on the Internet and realized every man I was working with definitely didn't worry about being 'difficult' or 'spoiled.'" -Jennifer Lawrence
  8. "The biggest wall you have to climb is the one you build in your mind: Never let your mind talk you out of your dreams, trick you into giving up. Never let your mind become the greatest obstacle to success. To get your mind on the right track, the rest will follow." -Roy T. Bennett
  9. "You can't connect the dots looking forward; you can only connect them looking backward. So you have to trust that the dots will somehow connect in your future. You have to trust in something—your gut, destiny, life, karma, whatever. This approach has never let me down, and it has made all the difference in my life." -Steve Jobs
  10. "An internal report at Hewlett-Packard revealed that women only apply for open jobs if they think they meet 100 percent of the criteria listed. Men apply if they think they meet 60 percent of the requirements. This difference has a huge ripple effect. Women need to shift from thinking 'I'm not ready to do that' to thinking 'I want to do that—and I'll learn by doing it.'" -Sheryl Sandberg
  11. "Maybe young women don't wonder whether they can have it all any longer, but in case of you are wondering, of course you can have it all. What are you going to do? Everything, is my guess. It will be a little messy, but embrace the mess. It will be complicated, but rejoice in the complications. It will not be anything like what you think it will be like, but surprises are good for you. And don't be frightened: You can always change your mind. I know: I've had four careers and three husbands." -Nora Ephron
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