I'm a big fan of Neil deGrasse Tyson, famed astrophysicist at the Hayden Planetarium and unofficial Earth ambassador for all things science. He's a fast thinking, fast talking genius.
And in a recent interview, he had this to say about hard work:
"In whatever you choose to do, do it because it's hard, not because it's easy. Math and physics and astrophysics are hard. For every hard thing you accomplish, fewer other people are out there doing the same thing as you. That's what doing something hard means. And in the limit of this, everyone beats a path to your door because you're the only one around who understands the impossible concept or who solves the unsolvable problem."
Well said, Dr. Tyson.
For us non-physicists, go ahead and replace "math and physics and astrophysics" with whatever line of work you're in — and you're left with a pretty good formula for a successful (and never boring) career.
More of that conversation with Neil deGrasse Tyson can be read here.