You Need These Two Things to Kick Butt in Life

Adrian S. Potter
3 min readJan 27, 2024

Effort + Compassion = Amazing Things

Photo by Conor Samuel on Unsplash

The Secondhand Inspiration Project begins with a motivational quote and ventures wherever the creative path meanders.

Conan O’Brien is an American comedian, writer, producer, and television host. He gained prominence as the host of the late-night talk show “Late Night with Conan O’Brien” from 1993 to 2009. O’Brien later hosted “The Tonight Show with Conan O’Brien” for a brief period in 2009–2010.

Known for his unique humor, tall stature, and red hair, O’Brien’s comedic style often involves self-deprecation and absurdity. After leaving NBC, he started hosting the TBS talk show “Conan” in 2010, where he continued entertaining audiences with witty interviews and comedic sketches. Beyond his hosting roles, O’Brien has been involved in various comedy writing and producing projects.

His enduring career and distinctive comedic voice have made him a beloved figure in the entertainment industry. But like many comedians, Conan O’Brien has a deep, philosophical side. Some claim his 2011 talk to Dartmouth graduates might be the greatest commencement speech ever. His insightful quote –

“Work hard, be kind, and amazing things will happen.”

-summarizes a philosophy that combines two key elements: effort (working hard) and compassion (being kind). Let’s break down the meaning behind each part and explore why these qualities often lead to beneficial outcomes.

Work Hard

This emphasizes the importance of effort, dedication, and diligence in one’s endeavors. Working hard is often associated with perseverance, discipline, and a commitment to achieving goals.

The idea is that sustained effort and a strong work ethic increase the likelihood of success and positive outcomes in various aspects of life, such as career, relationships, and personal development.

Photo by Mei-Ling Mirow on

Be Kind

The second part of the statement emphasizes the value of compassion and kindness towards others. Being…

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Adrian S. Potter

Antisocial Extrovert · Writer and Poet, Engineer, Consultant, Public Speaker · Writing about self-improvement, gratitude, and creativity · www.adrianspotter.com