GMAT : Analysis of An Issue

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An Issue

49. Ask most older people to identify the key to success and they are likely to reply HARD WORK. Yet, I would tell people starting off in a career that work in itself is not the key. In fact, you have to approach work cautiously - too much or too little can be self-defeating.


To what extent do you agree or disagree with this view of work? Develop your position by using reasons and / or examples from your reading, experience or observations.


There is no doubt that hard work contributes to success. Yet a person can work awfully hard and still achieve very little. In order to bring about success, hard work has to be directed by clear goals and the knowledge of how to reach them. Moreover, imagination, intelligence and persistence can be equally important to success.

Individual success is gauged by the extent to which one reaches important personal goals. And it takes careful planning to set goals and discover the best means of realizing them. Before hard work even begins, therefore, considerable time and effort should be spent on planning.

Intelligence and imagination play important roles in planning. Imagination helps one to envision new solutions to problems and new means by which to achieve goals. Intelligence helps one research and critically evaluate the possibilities that imagination has provided. Together imagination and intelligence can even help one avoid certain kinds of hard work by producing more efficient ways to accomplish goals.

Finally, persistence is crucial to success. Sometimes rewards do not come quickly-even when one has carefully set goals, creatively and intelligently planned ways to achieve them and worked hard according to plan. Tradition has it, for example, that Thomas Edison made thousands of attempts to create a light bulb before he was finally successful. In the face of countless failures, he refused to quit. In fact, he considered each failure a successful discovery of what not to do!

In conclusion, it is true that there is no substitute for hard work. But hard work is an ingredient of success and not the key. Hard work can produce real accomplishment only if it is directed by a plan involving some idea of one's goals and the means to them. And good plans as well as its successful implementation require imagination, intelligence and persistence.

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