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be a grafter

Some of the most successful people I know in the ordinary sense of being productive, happy and able to make something happen that earns praise and/or money- often money- describe themselves as 'grafters'. Not 'hard workers' which has overtones of Boxer in Animal farm, a hint of martyrdom, work for the sake of it- but grafters- people who do the work when the work is there to be done. They are often self-effacing to the point of putting themselves down about their intelligence, art and skill. Which may be no bad thing as thinking you're smart is usually the first step towards folly...but being a grafter is a more solid self image. You have to produce evidence of it. you have to live up to the image in a very obvious and public way. You can't really con yourself.

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