“Just work hard and you’ll get there…. Keep on grinding and eventually the results will show…Put in the hours and the money will start rolling in…

While there is truth in the statements mentioned here, we at The MDC may beg to differ. Let me explain.

The world is full of people that work hard, and even though many people that work hard get rich, most of them really don’t. Working hard has no correlation to success. That’s like saying brushing your teeth makes for rich people. Rich people brush their teeth, yes. People that are less financially prosperous brush their teeth too. People brush their teeth.

Working hard is an admirable virtue, that much is very true, however, it isn’t necessarily the best and only way to success. It is not a prerequisite for wealth. If that was true, a single parent that works, likely 5 times as hard as most people, and a mine worker in India, who practically works 7 days a week, in circumstances that aren’t comparable to those in the Western world, would be loaded with cash.     

And they aren’t.   

Now why is that? Why do we have adopted this collective belief that working hard is the way to wealth? Where does this conviction stem from?

People have been taught to go to school, get a job and make money. What we see everywhere around us is that education, securing a
well-paying job and stepping up the proverbial career ladder can all be achieved when you work hard, put in the hours and just hang in there.

The world is full of people that work hard, and even though many people that work hard get rich, most of them really don’t. Working hard has no correlation to success.

And it shows. People pay their mortgages with their ‘nine-to-fives’. They put their kids through college with the money they worked so hard for. They buy a new Volvo, go on family vacations once a year (if you work extra hard 2 times a year is a definite possibility) and splurge on Christmas presents to indulge their loved ones, affirming yet again the paradigm that working hard means bending over backwards to bring in the money.   

Here “success” is defined in the context of moving up in social class. Having a steady job, a good paying job, a job that you can brag about means you have worked hard and have shown grit, and deserve what you have worked for.  

Anything that doesn’t fit that bill is perceived as weak or less deserving. The message that working hard will help you go far resonates with the majority of people because in our primitive minds, working hard was how you survived.  If we look at it like this, we can see how such believes keep people from venturing out and trying out new things. Starting your own business for instance would equal giving up these securities. Understandably, entrepreneurship is not as highly sought for as securing the perfect job. 

The financially savvy however, in contrast to those who lack this understanding, define working hard as something different. Working hard means showing grit, as in persistence of motive and effort, but then being clever about the effort bit. What smart people do is try to minimize the effort. Again, working hard, making long hours if need be, are critical to success, but we need to include things like passion, creativity, freedom and fun. We need to change our perception about what working hard means. 

The message that working hard will help you go far resonates with the majority of people because in our primitive minds, working hard was how you survived. 

The goal is never to work harder. The goal is to work smarter. It’s not a badge of honour and we’re also not saying hard work can’t bring reward. There are seasons of life that require long hours to accomplish great things. We know. Without the hard work and sacrifice of others, there are many things that would not be experienced.

You don’t have to avoid hard work. What needs to be taught and understood is the difference between the two. Working hard should be used to help you get to the point where you can work smartnot replace it.

We need new perspectives, new ideas, new theories. Not to tell us what to do, and define what is the best way to get what you want. No, what we need is new learning and understanding. How to think. Not what.

To end with the words of Brian Tracy, “Your incredible brain can take you from rags to riches, from loneliness to popularity, and from depression to happiness and joy. If you use it properly”; working smarter requires creativity of the mind.  It will ask of you to stretch it. Go beyond what is safe and familiar, because if you want to have the things that you never had, you have to do something that you never did.

The real payoff is in working smarter. Not harder.

Sunshine,

The MDC team.