Shane Parrish

Shane Parrish quotes on hard work

Founder Farnam Street. Reader & writer. Student & teacher. Leader and follower.

Twitter wisdom in your inbox

Never miss the the top tweets from Shane Parrish with our email digest.


Things you control: Your effort. Your beliefs. Your identity. Your actions. Your attitude. Your integrity. Your thoughts. The food you eat. How kind you are. The media you read. How reflective you are. How thoughtful you are. The people you listen to. The type of friend you are.


You can't buy wisdom. You have to earn it. A conversation, tweet, or book isn't going to make you smarter. What makes you smarter is the lonely work of chewing on it, digesting it, and making it yours.


Trying and struggling looks like incompetence right up until the moment it looks like success.


To get better outcomes, learn to do the boring work no one wants to do when no one is watching.


Visible work gets paid linearly for output. Non-visible work gets paid exponentially for outcomes.


Visible talent is the result of years of effort applied in the same direction. It looks sexy at the outcome level, but it’s incredibly boring at the micro level.


It's better to start something and risk looking like an idiot than sit there and accomplish nothing.


Choosing the right problems to work on matters more than the effort you bring. Don't waste your energy on linear problems. The right problems offer embedded leverage.


While visible results get the attention, the invisible work deserves the credit. The seeds of exceptional results are planted when no one is watching.


If you want to preform when the world is watching, you have to do the work when no one is watching.


The most effective people have filtering mechanisms that allow them to quickly sift through the noise and zero in on what matters.


The harder you work the less competition you’ll find.


Hard work is necessary but not sufficient for success. You also need to work on the right things, which means saying no to the wrong things.


Write your goals on a sheet of paper. Circle the three most important. Avoid doing any work on anything that's not circled.


Results are the compound interest of: 1. Consistent effort in a focused direction 2. Constant incremental progress 3. A long period of time Consistency matters more than intensity.


Showing up is the first step. Every. Single. Day.


The interruptions and resulting small chunks of time are why you need to work 60 hour weeks to get 35 hours of actual work done.


If you don't challenge yourself, you won't fail. If never fail you'll lack the knowledge and motivation to deliver when it matters most. If you're not occasionally getting your ass kicked, you're not pushing hard enough.


A lot of people want the world to just hand them their dream. And when it doesn’t happen, we tell ourselves “it’s not fair,” “I’m just not lucky,” or “I couldn’t because ...” While you don’t control the outcome, you do control the effort.


If you desire to be effective and efficient, start with saying no. Nothing is more effective than saying no to things that don't matter. Nothing is more efficient than doing this quickly.


It often takes just as much work to go after a mediocre opportunity as it does a great one.


Understand what you can control and what you can't. Forget about the things you can't control and put that energy into the things you can control.


We strive to avoid hard things so we turn to shortcuts. When we run out of shortcuts, we're left with no choice but to do the hard thing we wanted to avoid in the first place. Much easier and faster to just stop avoiding hard things and face them.


The magnitude of your best work matters more than the frequency of good work. Keep the cost of failure low and aim to be REALLY right occasionally. People remember your best work not your average work.


Ordinary effort offers common results. Ordinary effort is easy and comfortable. Extraordinary effort is the limit of what you're capable of. You set your own bar for effort. The best have a higher bar, which is tough to do consistently. That's why they're the best.


Working longer/harder at routine jobs was a means to differentiate yourself and earn a middle class living. Yet these jobs are easily programmable. And ... You can’t compete on price or outwork computers. Difficult to automate skills are the future table stakes to middle class.


If you can't decide between two or more viable options, take the one that looks harder in the short term.


You can’t evaluate/be skeptical of everything. Follow Pascal’s philosophy and only put effort into things that can hurt you when you’re wrong.


It's easy to want to be better. It's the desire to do the work that improvement requires that's scarce.


Hard work, consistently applied in the right direction, takes you further than you could imagine.


Successful people go to great lengths to make success appear simple and obvious.


Talent puts you on a path but doesn’t get you to the destination. The longer the time frame, the more hard work and relentless improvement matter.


It is the "effort required" not the "difficulty" that causes most people to fall short of continuous learning.


Avoid getting too close to people who want results without putting in the work required. They are like a virus.


Legitimacy comes from doing the work, not coasting on the heels of others.

Get the top tweets via email

Never miss the the top tweets from Shane Parrish with our email digest.

Get the Shane Parrish email digest

Twitter wisdom in your inbox