The ‘Hard Work Pays Off’ Myth

I want to talk about the myth of hard work

Wait. That doesn’t sound right. Hard work is real. The myth is the idea that working hard – specifically if you work hard enough you will succeed. This is treated with the certainty of mathematical principles.

It’s even framed in simplistic turns of phrase, “All you need to do…” is one that comes up often. This is the sort of pablum that gets touted as “self-help.” As if it were remotely helpful!

Show me an example of someone pulling themselves up from their bootstraps and I’ll show you a confirmation bias. No one wants to put it down to luck, and to be fair, hard work is an important part of the equation.

What does it mean?

Edison said, “Opportunity is missed by most people because it shows up dressed in overalls, looking like hard work.” Of course it does. But it’s not a guarantee.

People often look at hard work as if it’s a contract they enter in with the universe. If I work hard enough, I will reap the rewards. Now, maybe that’s a useful thing to believe and maybe it’s not, but regardless, you must admit you don’t have as much so much as a handshake to document the validity of this agreement.

I’m not saying you shouldn’t work hard

This is not to say you shouldn’t work hard. This is just to say that hard work doesn’t guarantee you shit. It’s the best chance you have, but it’s not a guarantee.

There’s an oft repeated meme that, on their deathbed, nobody ever wishes they’d spent more time at the office.

So if you’re killing yourself, deep-sixing your relationships, working every hour god sends, keep in mind: You’ve got no guarantee.

Working longer hours doesn’t make success get here any faster.

Pushing yourself ever-harder won’t make you exponentially more successful.

And ‘paying your dues’ doesn’t buy you stardom.

Is  the hard work myth holding you back and causing you to play small in your career?

We’ve been told all of our life that the harder you work, the better your career. But working yourself to the bone with no self-care is not the path to success!

Do you work and work and work with the same results?
→ Never moving up the ladder?
→ Never getting that pay raise?

STOP trying so hard for too little return. Stop wasting your gifts and talents in work that crushes your soul.
START paying attention to what will make you grow and save your energy for what really matters!

Stop working and take your life back

Then comes a simple question of logic: is it logical to work hard for 50 or 60 hours a week for 40-odd years of your youth, so you may eventually enjoy yourself at some point in the future, when you are in your 60s?

One of the greatest dangers of the workaholic lifestyle is the risk that you sacrifice present-day happiness for much of your life, only to die just before you’re able to retire and enjoy the fruits of your labour.

Unfortunately, that’s more common than you’d think.

Don’t be a martyr. Don’t give your life away to work. You don’t know what’s coming next. Live today.

The hard work myth has been holding you back for far too long. Release yourself from the myth and step into your full power!

One Comment Add yours

  1. Leo & bee says:

    Thank you for writing this blog. Maybe I needed to hear this!

    Liked by 1 person

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