Consistency: Once we have started an initiative, project, programme or a process that we are convinced of its impact on our lives, and it is certain to take us to our destiny, and becomes our legacy, we must perfect one particular aspect of our behaviour and that is consistency in the execution of our plans. This does not need to be formal and in writing. This is more in our mindset and attitude. If you have clearly defined and/or understood the logical steps toward the objective, there is no debate, argument, doubt, or self-betrayal about it. You must just go for it. Be unscrupulous on yourself. The results you have envisaged are so fundamental that you cannot imagine the opposite, namely failure. The universe will never disappoint you. It gives you back what you give it. So, do not give it ego poison, but ego food. It will take care of you. Be consistent in executing all the logical steps you have either identified or are given by practice for you to achieve the set goals. Be consistent at all times. Do not find yourself being caught in debating with yourself as to whether you must wake up or sleep longer, or wanting to delay implementation of the action to the following day. Do what is due today, for tomorrow has its own activities, and deserve your full capacity and full attention.
Repetition: as you pursue your life and/or professional goals, you will commit mistakes and disappoint yourself. This is how we learn in life. You must never be too critical to yourself to an extent that you are discouraged from trying again. I grew up in Jane Furse, in Sekhukhune Region, in Limpopo Province, South Africa. There is this football club at Ga-Sekwati Mampuru village, called Sekwati Try Again FC. I like them very much because their name is very motivational. Life is about repetition and trying again. If you fail in doing something, you must try again. You grow from your mistakes. All what you need is positive attitude and self drive to try again. I think it is Jimmy Cliff that sung the song, Second Time Around. There is always second time and many more times in life. We must take the opportunity to try again, and take second time opportunity. Sekwati Try Again FC was a very good football club. They never gave up. You win against them, they will be coming for you next time. They would have studied the previous game, identified your strength, and their weaknesses, and figured out how to approach the game second time around. This time round, they will beat you satisfactorily. So, repetition is the master of success.
Staying Power: success in life depends on your stamina, i.e. your staying power, tenacity and drive to hang on. Nothing come easy in life. You better get used to the practice of staying on course until the end of the journey. I have never heard of anyone that was killed by persistence. What kills people is the dislike of their work and problems that are caused by fellow human beings at the work places. It is also caused by our inability to deal with the complexity that is brought by fellow human beings, or our attitude toward it. So, you must have staying power. Never take problems personal. Otherwise, that is what will cause you stress and ultimately kill you. Be on the rational mind at all times. Do not be emotional about the challenges and problems brought to you by your colleagues, managers, leaders, and/or subordinates. Be aware of the language that your superiors are using when they are engaging with you. Respond to them using the same language they are using. If they are using the language of command or instructions get it right first time and respond accordingly. Do not respond with the language of emotions, for it will irritate them and they will view you as a cry baby and spoiled rat. If they are using the language of facts, make sure that yo get the facts and stick to them. If they use the language of reason, make sure that you get the rationale why they communicate the way they communicate with you. So, be always aligned with your leaders, colleagues and stakeholders language of communication. So, your staying power is not only physical, but emotional and mental as well. You can condition yourself accordingly.
Hard Work: at the end of all, it is about working hard. This does not suggest that your life must stop, no. You must just understand that every action requires a bit of a push if you want to be better than others. Nothing can beat hard work, especially if hard work is accompanied by creativity, innovation, and smartness. We must love what we do. We must condition ourselves to plough and invest first before we can harvest. Once we find ourselves wanting to harvest where we have not ploughed, we are on a dangerous road, that will lead to self-destruction. It is beautiful to reap the fruits of our sweat. You enjoy such fruits without any guilt.
So, work ethic according to the above input, is about consistency, repetition, stamina (staying power), and hard work. Nothing less, nothing more. You must develop work ethic to achieve success. That is the winning formula. Of course your natural talent come in handy at all times. But as John Maxwell wrote in his book: Talent is not Enough, indeed talent is not enough. It requires the right personality, attitude, hard work, determination, etc.