By Anubhav Srivastava ( Register for his Workshop – Build Super Confidence For Super Success!)
Hard Work is Important. It is very Important, but we need to stop glorifying it for the sake of it. Here’s why!
We have been told that Hard Work leads to progress. But first let’s take a look at what progress means. Progress basically means going ahead as compared to where you were previously.
There are many ways to progress. If one has to progress in terms of travelling a physical distance, you can either crawl, you can walk, you can run or you can just take a car, a train or a plane for big distances.
The speed at which progress is directly proportional to the method you use. Now just because you work the hardest doesn’t necessarily mean you will make the fastest progress. For example, no matter how long and you run (where your working hard is at its maximum), there is no way you can beat someone on a motorbike or a car or even a bicycle when it comes to longer distances. You can’t match their speed and sooner or later your energy will run out.
The way to the fastest progress is leverage. In other words, you have to utilize a system that is much better than what you currently use that can give you the maximum output for the lowest input.
Hard work is a crucial ingredient for progress, but it doesn’t always have to be your hard work. The goal of an auto manufacturer is not to show off how hard the engine works. If anything, the goal is to build engines that give the maximum output whilst using the lowest amount of fuel. Their hard work goes into building something that would make the engine work less hard.
Hard work only rewards you when it goes into building systems that once build, require you to work less hard but give greater results!
The people who have achieved the most success in life realize that hard work maybe required to achieve success, but the goal is not to work hard! Hard work is a means to the end, it is not the end! The ultimate goal is to achieve the results you desire, not to show off how hard you work.
We need to stop the glorification of hard work for the sake of working hard, because it is misleading and can even destroy lives.
The top one percent of the population earns more than the bottom 95 percent of the population combined. There are 24 hours in a day, even if the top one percent of people worked 24 hours a day, there is no way they could outwork 95 percent of the population even if they worked one hour a day only.
Let’s take a look at the figures. Let us assume there are 1000 people in this world and the top one percent (10) makes more than the bottom 95 percent (950 people).
Let’s assume that those 10 people work 24 hours a day. How many hours of work can they cumulatively get done in one day? It is 240 hours.
The bottom 95 percent, even by working only one hour a day produces a cumulative output of 950 hours of work done in a single day, which is almost 4 times the work done by the top ten people. Yet the bottom 95 percent is poorer.
This is if we go by the argument that the top one percent of people are successful because they work longer hours than the bottom 95 percent , but it is clear that their cumulative work hours are much more and they are still poor. If they worked 24 hours a day, their total output in a day would be 950 * 24 = 22800 hours. And they would still be poorer compared to the people who worked a total of 240 hours.
The truth is many poor people work just as hard. The rich guy might spend 18 hours a day at his office, but the poor guy is spending 18 hours at a factory for much less results. It’s just that they are both working hard on different things. One is working hard for the sake of working hard and feeding their family. The other is working hard to build systems that would ultimately free up his time. That extra time can again be devoted to building another system or scaling the same system so that it produces greater results or it can be used to relax on the beach depending on one’s level of ambition. However, either way, the ones who become financially free or build an empire are the ones who value their time more than money and the ones who focus their hard work on building systems.
Abraham Lincoln himself said that if he were given 8 hours to chop a tree, he would spend 6 of them sharpening his axe. 6 hours of sharpening is still hard work but it is working hard on building a system that would then make it very easy to accomplish the desired result.
The way to faster progress is simple. Use a system that leads to faster results. There are two ways to use a system. If you have the money, you can leverage the system. That’s why it makes sense to book plane tickets. If you have more money, you can buy out the system. That’s why bigger companies often buy out smaller companies that have already created something of value as they can immediately buy out the system.
The final method is to build the system yourself. This by far is the most time consuming and costs the most money in the long term. But if you have no other choice, this is what you need to do. This is what most successful first generation entrepreneurs have done, at least for their first business.
The second thing you can do to sharpen your axe even if you are not looking to build a system is to still constantly seek out ways to improve, because the better you get at something, the more money you can command for it.
So, suppose you are working at a job or running a business. You can either build/leverage a system on the side that makes you more money or you can invest in things that will help you take your career to the next level. Devote at least 20 percent of your time into things that help you improve and get to the next level. It can be networking, it can be reading books related to your work, it can be getting coaching, attending in person or online workshops or consuming anything that gives you more knowledge related to your work.
Then once you have gained the information you need, apply it to your day to day work. If you have used the right information, you will now see it takes lesser hours to get the same thing done. Devote the extra time you have gotten to either increasing the day to day hustle (more results in the short term) or investing that time into learning even more so that it you can again accomplish more in less time.
Warren Buffett perfected this strategy to such a great degree that now he just spends the majority of his day to reading books. Obviously it took him 70 years to get to this stage and other people may have to do a lot more “hustling” to cover living expenses. Either way though, some amount of time at least has to be spent on activities that help you grow and take your business or career at the next level.
The key takeways from this article are.
We need to stop glorifying hard work as the ultimate answer for everything.
Hard work is only rewarding when you invest that hard work into creating a system that helps you work less hard.
You also need to devote at least 20 percent of your time into things that may not give immediate results but things help you sharpen your axe. Once your axe is sharpened, you can cut down the entire tree with just a few precise strikes!
About the Author
The author of this article, Anubhav Srivastava is an author, motivational speaker and the director of Carve Your Destiny, a first of its kind inspirational documentary featuring some of the most famous personalities from diverse fields, who teach the viewers how they too can make all of their dreams come true. The movie itself has been seen on Youtube by almost 1.5 Million people. Anubhav has also been featured in numerous International and India Media outlets such as BBC , The Times of India, Hindustan Times, Rediff.com, Leicester Mercury and many others.
Email Anubhav Srivastava for coaching, consulting or motivational speaking queries at firstname.lastname@example.org. Facebook Profile: http://facebook.com/anubhav981
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