Sleepless : Hard Work is Underrated and it Never Should Be

It’s 2.57AM on a Saturday. Well technically its Sunday isn’t it? It’s been a quite some time since the Red Bull I had on early afternoon wore off. This is not chemicals keeping me awake and working. This is pure urge and yearning. Yearning for a better life. A bright tomorrow.

If I look closely, I just can see the faint rays of lights over the horizon, reminding me…the sun IS rising…

Most of my relatives think I’m the smartest guy they know. Most of my work and educational accomplishments would agree with that. But that’s smack-dab incorrect. Don’t get me wrong I’m not a moron with a four leaf clover who happened to stumble upon the path I am today. I believe I have an above average intelligence, and I believe it helped me to get where I am today.

Helped how much? that’s the question though…

Life Goes On Unless…

Before A/Ls I was on auto pilot. It’s not because I thought I can figure things out better than most of others. I just never thought about trying too hard to achieve anything. This is a very very bad thing if you haven’t figured out already. You need positive as well as negative reinforcements to achieve your best.

Positive reinforcement nudges you to keep doing the right things you’re already doing. Negative reinforcement nudges you away from the things you’re doing wrong.

Because of the little bit intelligent given by random chance and genetics, I was never getting enough negative reinforcement to stop being a time wasting idiot and start working.

I passed my 5th grade scholarship exam well, and I passed my O/L exam excellent with just a measly amount of elbow grease. And I was on the same track for my A/L exam (if you don’t know, A/L stands for Advanced Level Exam, which is the selection exam for Sri Lankan universities; one of the most important exams of one’s life).

I was having a good time with my friends as a teenager. At least once a week we were on the beach drinking our arses off, and the rest of the days, we were sitting on boring classes, copying the blackboard to paper. I was on the fast lane towards a brick wall.

However, it was all about to change… Because something amazing happened to me 10 months before the A/L exams. I caught dengue fever.

My Fortunate Illness

It was a critical case. They had to transfuse platelets, 2 bags a day while my parent’s hopes of my recovery, fading. Fortunately I did recover, but for 3 months I was not able to even keep my head up without feeling extremely nauseated and light headed.

The amazing thing happened to me was not just the dengue, but while I was in bed, resting, the class syllabuses along with my friends had moved on. After 3 months, when I visited a boarding house of few of my close friends, I was the stupidest one there who didn’t even know what ‘organic chemistry’ is.

I envy those moments. Just then I knew that I had to take the manual control. Negative reinforcement in full effect…

Do you want to know the magic formula that worked for me to get 3 straight ‘A’s and be selected to The most prestigious university in Sri Lanka? Here it is.

My Magic Formula

  1. Woke sharp at 7.30 AM
  2. Sat down on my desk and opened the book
  3. Studied
  4. Slept sharp at 12.00 AM

It’s that simple. Most people forget the importance and relevance of Plain Old Hard Work. Just make up a pleasant place to work, divide your time sensibly if you have multiple tasks to do(having enough time to work uninterrupted on one task and without having too much time to forget other tasks), use any helping techniques at your disposal such as short notes, and then WORK HARD.

I got from definite failure to 3As in 6 months. Try and see where it will take you.


Working exhausted and sleepless today, pushing through with all the energy I have, I can understand why I’m motivated. Because I know what motivation, hard work, and little sprinkle of intelligence can do.

I’ve been there and done that. The work I’m doing now and the place I am today, is far beyond my auto pilot would have taken me.

If you also want to take manual control of your destiny, it’s this simple — You can’t do anything about your intelligence level now, but if you can read this post and understand what the hell I’m talking about, I think you’re intelligent enough. Now accumulate as much as knowledge in your field as you can, and add a butt ton of our secret ingredient — Plain Old “Hard Work”. You will be surprised what you’re capable of.

side effects — your relatives might think you were born with two brains, or some BS like that. But who cares if you won’t get appreciated for the soul crushing late hours you pulled to get there. Money will Speak for Itself.

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