“Work smart, not hard!” – Random guru.
Succeeding in many things isn’t an absolute thing – it’s a relative thing.
Meaning that if “success” is standing up in an auditorium for a better view, and everyone else stands up, you’re back to square one. Therefore, it’s not about working smart if everyone else is working hard AND working smart – now it just means you’ve got to try even harder.
Working smart is worthless if your competitors are working smart AND working hard. – Truth Cake
Secondly, working smart is usually some seductive disguise for trying to not work as hard, which sounds great. “Succeed and be lazy!” is what people actually hear, which is exactly what most all people want to hear is possible. They would feel too stupid to agree with some charlatan that says you can be lazy and get richer, but when it’s dressed up with the “hard vs smart” cliché, it sounds reasonable to believe but also feels great.
Beware of clichés that feel good to believe. They’re probably wrong, and often said by someone wanting to sell you something.
The reality is that working smart does of course exist, since the work from doing the right things is more valuable than the work from doing the wrong things. However, it may be that in general, the ‘secret’ to accomplishing something may be harder to find than you think.
For example, how many workout plans have you read online or seen in a course that advocate 7 day a week workouts, extremely strict dieting, grueling 4 hour training sessions and how to inject your steroids? My guess is you’ve seen zero. But this is exactly what it takes to become Mr Olympia.
This is the hard work no one wants to do, and thinks that a course showing some magic diet and 20 minute workout will get them the results they want.
The reality is now the reality of the ‘hard work’ is becoming the secret that you can’t find anywhere for sale, because no one wants to invest the time and effort to get the results. Marketers can’t sell this beacuse why would you buy “70 minute abs” when you can buy “7 minute abs?”
Sometimes you can tell what the real solution is inside of the marketing headline where the template is “Get X result without Y hassle.” So something like, “Get the body of your dreams, without having to give up all the foods you love,” is a great headline to sell something. But it also gives you a hint on what you actually need to do, which is “give up all the foods you love.”
Since it’s rare to find a course on the grueling truth on how much work you need to do, the “obvious” truth becomes a secret, but you can sometimes look at the headlines to get a hint if you have no clue.
Stop looking for ways to take shortcuts and work smart, and instead try to focus on the working hard aspect of it and you’ll likely achieve your outcome much faster than from wading through all the crap from marketers telling you there’s an “easier way!”
What things have you spent more time trying to avoid the work vs how much time it would have taken you if you just did the work?