How to shift hard work to smart work?

Updated: Jun 14, 2019

You have probably heard this a hundred times, “You have to work smart not hard, to succeed”.


How do you define working smart though? Would working smart mean less work and not working hard to be smart? If we work hard does that have nothing to do with working smart? Do smart people not work hard? Or do hard workers not work smartly? Confusing right! Let’s take a deeper look.

Earlier, working hard was considered to be the cornerstone of achievement. You work hard at something, burn calories, sweat and outrun everyone else around you to reach your goal. Whether it is school, graduate school or looking for a job, it could be a new skill or improving an existing one for that matter.


It is well known, said a hundred thousand times and drilled into our heads - “If you want to succeed, work hard”, “You have to burn the midnight oil”, “Life is not easy, you have to work very hard to achieve something “. I am completely a fan of this thought, yet many of us fail miserably at achieving our goal even after working hard. We sometimes fall short just by inches, left to bite the dust. I have personally tasted this failure, even though I worked very hard, I just did not succeed.

What was wrong? Was I not working hard? I was working very hard! So what was wrong! Oh no, was it about being smart?


Being smart is about making smart choices at the right time. It is about making the right decision, the right step or the right choice. Smart people move up the ladder fast. They are also the ones who have great cars, lots of money and everything else the rest of us desire, right? These are people who played smart and succeeded. Seems so easy, but does that also mean they did not work hard to be where they are. Consider some very famous people, your idols and your heroes. Did they just work smart and not hard? My honest opinion - they worked very hard. They worked so hard that we cannot even imagine what they went though. People who are successful in business, life, work or profession typically go through hard times before they can reap the rewards of success.

Working hard and working smart cannot be separated from each other. Even when working hard you have to make smart choices. You cannot just wake up one day and tell yourself “Today I will make smart choices”. No, you should be telling yourself that every day and working “hard” for it.


Give anything your best shot and work towards your goals like there is no tomorrow. Be strong willed and work hard to get what you want, because the desire to achieve something is only as strong as the smallest distraction that can take you away from it. Be smart about setting your goals and planning how to achieve your goals. Be smart about making choices in life and then work on making these choices bring you good things. Work hard in making smart choices and work even harder to learn how to make smart choices. Make mistakes but be smart enough to learn from them.


Try to be smart in making your choices in life and work hard towards fulfilling your dreams!

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