There’s a popular quote people say a lot
‘Work smart, not hard’
I think I understand the quote however, it can be a bit misleading. Some people might think they don’t have to put in the hard work and they could look at what some ‘successful’ people have now and use that to support their claim.
‘Oh, look at Mr. Z, he only works 5 hours a day and mostly chills a lot, yet he’s racking up a lot of money. It’s because he has found a way to work smart and not hard and that’s the life I want’ says people who have the ‘work smart, not hard’ mentality.
I’d say, ‘work smart and work hard’.
I am of the opinion that every ‘successful’ person in this life (especially if they built from little), worked extremely hard. When I was younger, I’m not sure I felt that way, heck, even 5 to 10 years ago, I’m still not sure I felt that way.
However, as I grew older, and even now trying to run my freelancing business, I can see that successful people work extremely hard, only that we don’t see that part most times. We mostly see the ‘easy and chill’ part and their ‘cruise’ phase, forgetting that before the ‘cruise’ phase, they worked extremely hard to get to where they are now. You admire that and probably think that’s how life is.
If you don’t work hard, you won’t achieve high goals. You’ll just be there and if that’s what you want, that’s okay. However, if you want big things, know it comes with a lot of hard work.
I recently started watching the series, ‘The Queen’s Gambit’. Elizabeth seemed like a prodigy, if you didn’t get a peek into her life, you’d think she was just born a genius and knew how to play chess even from her mother’s womb.
Elizabeth was simply as anyone else. Yes, she might have had a higher IQ than the average kid but that’s not what got her winning chess championship. No.
Elizabeth was very hardworking, she was obsessed with chess, she studied it every time she got the chance to. After each game, she’d replay with herself to look for any weaknesses in the way she played. She read tons of chess books and memorized strategies. She was crazy about the game; she was obsessed and she did everything possible to make sure she could beat anyone.
It all got me thinking. Success, I’ve heard or read, is replicable. The truth is, are you willing to go the length?
How many chess players read lots of book about chess? How many chess players practice daily? How many chess players replay their games to look for weaknesses or things they could have done better?
What most might see is success but I saw the hard work Elizabeth put to be the best in the game.
Let’s come to real life examples. Look at successful athletes, do you know how hard they work?
Take Lebron James for instance. People can see the fame, money, influence and all that. Some people even want to be like him. However, did you know he works extremely hard to be able to play the way he does? Is he only working smart and not hard? It’s obvious he works hard.
Take a look at any successful individual and just go deeply into their lives you’d see that it’s not just ‘smart work’ and things were not left by chance but these people paid the price, they worked hard. Some of them don’t have to work as hard as in their early days because they are now reaping the fruit of that hard work and sometimes that’s what people see.
Look, if you want to be successful in anything, you have to put in the work. Let no one deceive you, making you think there’s an easy way to success. Don’t fool yourself. The earlier you get to work, the better.
I’m trying to get clients and set systems for my business. I’ve read some books and watched a lot of YouTube videos about people who are already where I want to be and I can tell you, these people might not have been the best in what they did, but they put in the work.
You can’t justify mediocrity. You have to work hard and improve as you go. You have to be excellent, you have to be diligent. It’s the only way to the success you want, there are no lasting short-cuts.
Choose to embrace hard work and really put in the work. It’ll pay. Success can be replicated. I’m a firm believer of that.
Going back to the quote ‘work smart, not hard’, I believe it’s saying you should choose your own hard work. Would you rather carry blocks for a building or learn a high-demand skill?
(Before anyone comes for me, there’s nothing wrong in being a laborer, it can help with your needs at the moment).
In the long-run, what hard work do you want? Choose your hard work.
It’s said that ‘hard work beats talent where talent refuses to work hard’. I believe that. What’s a smart and remarkable one is talent working hard. It’s a great combo.
As children of God, you have a great great advantage that helps you a lot and that’s the Holy Spirit. How wonderful!
Don’t be lazy or too lackadaisical. Put in the work!