The Truth About Hard Work

At some point, we’ve all been told that hard work is important. People commonly exclaim: “Wow! That person is a hard worker!” Because of this, it’s common for people to wear their hard work as a badge of honor and high praise. We see this in many areas such as corporate office culture and society’s fitness mindset.

If you are willing to sweat a little more or work later than others…people often see you as more successful.

But quite often we are blinded by our desire for effort and persistence and it limits our ability, learning, and long-term success.

Here’s a personal example. I’ve had many hard, physical jobs over the years. These include landscaping, working on a paving crew, construction, and demolition (not the explosives type). I can’t count how many times I busted my butt, drenched in sweat, aching from the fatigue of trying to get å job done (often on a sweltering summer day), only to have a more knowledgeable worker come over and show me a new way of doing the task that could have cut the time down by 90% if I had known earlier.

Whether it was using a specialized tool, a new technique for using an existing tool, or a completely different way of approaching the situation, the lesson was clearly evident.

Smart work is so much better than hard work!

The same is true with my fitness. For YEARS, I spent countless hours sweating my butt off in the gym and doing crazy long or intense workouts in an attempt to be a better athlete. It wasn’t until my university kinesiology studies, taking specialized courses, and working with other athletes as a strength and conditioning coach that I learned how to work SMARTER.

By applying this knowledge, almost overnight I was able to spend 50% less time training, and get double the performance results while having fewer injuries, aches, and pains. This was a game-changer for me and my athletes.

Now make no mistake…Hard work is still an important component of success. Success doesn’t just fall in your lap. I’ve yet to meet anyone that’s accomplished any degree of lasting success who didn’t work hard at it.

On a related note…I’ve never met a successful person who ENJOYS their life who simply worked hard without working smart. Think about that in your own life!

So how can you start working smart? Here are a few thoughts to help you:
  • Figure out what success looks like for you and develop a plan to get there. Then work on the plan.
  • Realize that BUSY is not the goal. Anyone can be busy. Strive to get more of the right stuff done each day!
  • That means learning what “The right stuff” actually is. You can try to figure it out on your own through years of trial and error, or you can get the help of experts who’ve been there and already figured it out! Hard work or smart work? You get to choose!
  • Determine your most important 2-3 tasks each day and get them done as early in the day as possible.
  • You have the time to do these things! What you spend time on demonstrates what you feel is important. Look at where you spend your time and ask yourself if these are the best things you could be doing to move towards your goals?
Abraham Lincoln said it well: “Give me six hours to chop down a tree and I will spend the first four sharpening the axe.”

Notice how he didn’t advocate working less time. He just said he would use the time in a different way…he would work smarter!

There you have it. A simple recipe for getting better results than you’ve currently been getting.

If you are ready to Ignite Your Potential and want to work smarter, let’s book a free coaching session. My team and I would love to help!

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