Work Smart, Not Hard

I watched a television show earlier this summer in which “Work Smart, Not Hard.” came up in the topic of the conversation.  I have to say, that phrase has stuck with me for a long time.

This apparently has been some kind of propaganda that originated decades ago to convince our youth that college is the right path.  Over time the statement has been transformed but the underlying message is still there.


This was a terrible thing to come up with.  Why? Because you have people out there who believe being smart, going to the right schools, and having a great education will get them everything they could want in life without working hard.  There are scores of graduates coming out of school hoping to land that $75,000 + a year job.  There are scores of graduates who believe that their degree is the single most qualifying thing that will land them that job.  I’m not saying those things aren’t important and they aren’t helpful.  They are.  It does take some amount of hard work to get through college.  This is not the issue.


The issue is that there are scores of other people out there telling impressionable souls (you can be any age for this) that you will have a great life and virtually anything you want if you go to college and work hard.  However, this is similar to a diet program that sounds similar to “Are you overweight? Tired? Afraid to go out in public because you’re just not happy with how you look in clothes? Well [insert name of diet program here] can give you your life back! Lose weight without ever having to diet and exercise again!”

What a load of shit.  Most things in life that come that easily are probably too good to be true.  Most things in life require a certain amount of hard work, dedication, persistence, and faith.  They require countless hours of time, money, and effort.  They require strength for every time something doesn’t work out so that discouragement doesn’t become a roadblock to success.  THEN, when one finally gets what they have spent so much time and effort trying to get, they usually have to put in even more time, money, effort, dedication, hard work, persistence, and faith.  This is the fine print.

Of course you tell someone they can do anything they set their mind to.  Of course you be supportive of their goals.  But be honest and realistic.  Make sure and explain the work that will be involved, the things they will have to learn, how they will need to grow and mature as a person, and where to go for help and information.  Do not do someone the injustice of saying “you can do anything you want to do with a little hard work.” That’s vague and unhelpful.  Most people set out to do things and fail out of fear.  Fear that the hard work will not pay off, fear of success itself, or fear that it wasn’t really what they wanted.  I’m sure everyone, at least once in their life, had wished someone would have given them a piece of information.  If you have ever caught yourself thinking, “I wish I would have known that,” or “I wish someone would have told me that earlier,” then you know exactly what I am talking about.




~ by huskiepawz07 on September 4, 2013.

One Response to “Work Smart, Not Hard”

  1. Another excellent post. Yes, and ever so true.

    To teach that life will be a challenge, and to embrace it, I think is far better. Aye, it is not going to be so simple as a degree and one is thus “set for life”. There will be many life challenges beyond that that are likely to “screw up” that perfect picture in one’s head. It shan’t be so simple and expected.

    One must, I think, prepare for multiple scenarios. Sometimes it does really all fit together perfectly, and that is grand, but often it does not, and the person is completely unprepared for the blow, bolstered up with an inflated attitude of entitlement that has been fostered by such advisors. Not only that, but what breeds ultimate despair is the extreme emotional attachment to that perfect, smooth ride one imagines- perfect job, easily attained, with the perfect salary and the smooth coasting that follows. I wouldn’t want that life, meself, but I know that is what so many have blaring in their minds when they are possession of that degree.

    Because of that emotional attachment, and that entitled feeling, these people are so easily crushed, and it is so sad…lapsing into the victim mentality, not really knowing how to see challenges as opportunities, or how to manipulate a negative situation into something brilliant- they are therefore stunting their own mental and spiritual growth in the process. They become stuck. Like an unborn child refusing to be born…

    The person keeps grappling for that utopia that has been etched so vividly in the mind…but we are not expected to live that way, not as living things…not in reality. There will always be challenges and change, pain and hardship, with multiple factors- and also profound beauty and peace and love, if one is open and detached with no emotional investment in just one psychic scenario in the mind to blot out reality.

    I find it sad that so many crave things to be easy…what is “easy” anyhow? To me, it is easy to love and embrace the challenge. It’s easy to accept pain and to let it blossom into something marvelous. To accept failure, and to learn from it, and use that to propel one forward. It’s easy to love life, for what it is, all the good and the bad. To be excited, knowing that one will face many changes and cannot say for certain what is coming. To plot out multiple scenarios, but not emotionally invest into any of them. It’s easy to be in the moment, but still plan, and to find beauty in everything, and to be ready to make mistakes and to forgive one’s self. I would not admire myself if I was the sort that wanted things to be simple…what are we here for? Where is the flavour in that? What kind of despair does that really lead to in moments of stillness?

    No…one should be ready and willing to meet the challenges. If there is a goal, one must be willing to fight for it, and realistically understand all that will go into making that goal happen, and to not be so bloody afraid of “failure”!

    Understanding that it will indeed be a tortuous and demanding pursuit, with many obstacles, and many twists and turns that are unexpected, and should be embraced and viewed as sudden opportunities to use, and there will be hardships and difficulty and one shall need to use one’s brain, as it will not be an “easy” coast- but it is so worth it, because I think one finds real peace and beauty in those still moments, one is not stunted, left immature and root-bound, withering away, a mind caged in a world of endless kvetching and pettiness and emptiness…

    Life should be about pursuing what kindles the flame within, I think- what makes us into the person we would most look up to and respect, what sets us aglow- and knowing that in pursuit of that passion, there will be many challenges, and they are completely worth it.

    I cannot really govern thoughts beyond this terribly disjointed ramble here, so I just say, what a fabulous post! Cheers,

    Autumn Jade

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