This proverb “No Pains, No Gains” means that we cannot achieve success in anything without effort and sacrifice. At first sight, this may seem to be not quite true; but we can also think of examples of people who have gained much without any trouble to themselves.
A man who happens to have been born the son of a millionaire will get great wealth on the death of his father, without an effort on his part; and people sometimes win a large sum of money in a lottery without the slightest effort.
But such cases of luck are exceptional, and cannot be counted on. For most people, it remains true that success can be won only at the cost of hard work. It is certainly true in education and scholarship. As the philosopher told the king, “There is no royal road to teaming.”
A student can never become a scholar unless he works hard, denies himself ease and pleasure, and devotes himself to books. No idler ever achieved fame as a scholar.
Some men are born with great artistic gifts. They have a natural genius for music, painting, poetry, literature, or acting. One would think there would be no need for such geniuses to work. But experience teaches that no natural genius has ever become the master of his art and achieved complete success, who has not cultivated and perfected his gift by untiring industry and constant practice.
In business life success certainly depends very largely on hard work — on taking pains. The man who goes to his office late and goes home early, who leaves the work to his subordinates and spends his time in amusements, will never be a successful businessman.
The men who have made fortunes have all been hard workers. “No pains, no gains“, is certainly true of business.
It is true, too, in a more important matter — in character-building. Few men are naturally good; and a fine, noble character is, as a rule, the result of effort and struggle.
It requires ceaseless moral effort to form good habits, to break bad habits, to resist temptation, to develop virtues. No one becomes good in his sleep.