How did you develop your insane work ethic?

what you really want to know is, "how can i develop a strong work ethic?"

for me, it starts by admitting i hate working. i really really hate it. the "stress," arbitrary deadlines, always-on urgency of a dozen email inboxes, politics with colleagues and partners...

but here's the thing. everyone feels that way.

what sets me apart is my reaction to it. i work as hard as i can so i can stop working as soon as possible. it's like being at the gym. you're on a treadmill, or tired after your 7th rep, but you planned to do 1 more mile or 3 more repetitions.

do you take a break, ultimately spending more time at the gym? or do you push through and get the hell out of there?

this is my approach to work, and the casual observer interprets it as "workaholic" or "insane work ethic."

as for specifics, i don't have any tricks. no particular genre of music i listen to while working (i rarely listen to music while working), no special chair or desk or computer. definitely no fancy web tools. no mentors. no inspirational quotes pinned on my wall.

i'm not even especially smart, i'm retarded [1, 2, 3].

so ask yourself, why don't you have an insane work ethic? what's holding you back? perhaps you look forward to 40+ years in front of a computer.

what decisions could you make today that would trim just 1 year of working from your life? next, what decisions might enable you to retire 10 years sooner? 25 years sooner? chase that and the ethic will follow.