An Open letter to Hard Work

Hard work

I used to hate you

I used to loathe your very name

You were to blame for my own shortcomings

You were the problem, not me, never me

The simple thought of you would send me into a downward slump

Reps and sets, routines and schedules, sweat and tears. Not something I wanted to go through

Running countless hours towards an end with no finish

Chasing something immeasurable and seemingly unachievable

You were my wall hard work. My own personal Demon

You tried to break me, to scare me, to drive me away

I just couldn’t see the point

What could you possibly give to me?

What the hell can I hope to achieve?

But still I devoted myself to you

I put faith in the fact that you could change me

The me that I was tired of seeing; that I was ashamed to be

The weak and pathetic me that I had let myself turn into

You were all that I had; all that I had left to cling onto

I would not run from you

I could not and would not be scared of you

I’ve heard the stories about how you operate

How you would break the strongest of men and leave them with nothing

Of how countless others have been reduced to tears because of you

But I’ve also heard the stories of what you can do

What people have achieved alongside of you

What I could become by believing in you

This is my open letter to you hard work

I will not be defeated, not by you, not by anyone

So come for me

I’m waiting for you to pay off

-Steven Truong


  1. zorgor

    Wow. So… resonant. Work… so many do it, yet so many overlook it as a ‘valid’ part of experience. This poem hits home. I think in work you’ve found a vast, fertile field for poetry, that will resonate well with many, many people.

    • IMStevenTruong

      Absolutely! Anything worth doing is worth doing 100%. It really scares me to look back in life and fear i didn’t give me absolute best when i could have. Thanks for the kind words!

      Steven Truong

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