It use to be that your time clock was the sun. You worked from daylight until dusk to produce a successful harvest. There was no understanding of working a “9 to 5”. No populist “need to be balanced” explanation for working less.
You weren’t smarter because you worked less. There was only one reason why you didn’t put in the effort required to be successful.
Because you were lazy.
But then we got sophisticated and learned that only dumb people need to work hard. If you could study hard and get your college degree, you could find a job where you didn’t have to work from dawn until sundown.
And with even more advanced education and specialized training you could work as a manager and receive even better perks.
Over the last few generations we’ve lost track of the real essence of achieving success.
We’ve become confused.
We’ve replaced success with a simple formula that says if you work smart you can live comfortably without working hard.
If you don’t want to sweat from sun up until sundown doing backbreaking tasks then you need a college degree or specialized training.
You still need to work hard. A degree will likely earn you a place in a cubicle instead of behind a plow. Book smarts might put you in the boardroom instead of the barn.
But it’s not by itself the secret to success.
It’s just a better way to work hard. You have more options. More understanding. More creativity.
Successful people don’t shy away from hard work. In fact, everything they’ve been taught is a reminder that audacious achievement is conceived simply through massive amounts of focused personal effort.
If there actually were a Holy Grail of working smarter, it might simply be the belief that the smartest thing you can do is to work hard.
You don’t work hard because you’re dumb and don’t have any other options. You work hard because it’s the fastest way to get to where you want to be.
Whether you’re behind a plow or in front of a white board, working harder is the smartest way to work.