Hard work is a lie

Hello, peeps! This is Alice.

A short trawl through the quotesphere turns up a ton of sayings praising persistence. You know the type: Never give up. Work hard and success will follow. According to internet, if you just “stick to it”, you can achieve anything.

Well, guess what, peeps? Alice calls BS. If we’re talking ’bout success, hard work is not the way.

What is, then? Well, recently I read an interview of Kari Enqvist. She named the two main ingredients of the success soup. The first is networking. In short, knowing people gets you places. Being buddies with the boss. Drinking with the good ol’ boys. Makes sense, right? Humans work in herds, because the herd is a power multiplier.

The second is luck. People may not want to admit it, but life is pretty random. We live in an age of unprecedented order, so it’s easy to think there are clear rules in life. It is not so. Scratch the shining surface of orderliness, and beneath you’ll find the scintillating colours of chaos. That’s life. Luck rules.

Oh, there’s a third factor, too, pointed out to me when I read another interview, this time of a Swedish nobleman. Yes, you guessed it. Success is inherited. It’s easier to be rich if mama was rich. It’s easier to be famous if papa was famous. It’s, get this, even easier to be smart if mama was smart! The nobility lives, folks. Equal opportunity for all is a big ol’ lie.

So, to sum it up: You wanna succeed? Easy. One, be born rich. Two, know people. Three, get lucky.

Hard work gets the fourth place. Maybe.

All right! Depressing part ends here. There’s a silver lining, and I wanna look at it, too.

First, if you like doing something, like being an artist, but don’t like working hard, this is great news for you! You can flip the bird at all the anxiety-inducing persistence mantras. Instead, let yourself be a lazy loafer.

I know being lazy isn’t fashionable in our super-charged, by-the-minute scheduled world, but you know what, kids? Creativity is born right there, in idleness.

Second, if you wanna get good, hard work is totally your medicine. If I work hard twelve hours a day, can I become a master at spinning flaming poi, painting watercolour landscapes, or dealing with mentally unstable humans? Yes, I can! (Just recognise that being skillful and being successful are not synonymous.)

Third, hard work can be a pleasure all on its own. The same goes for, say, training. The best reason to work hard or to train hard is just that: because you love the work, or because you love to train.

Do it for love, peeps. Love the work that you do. When the chips are down, that’s the only real reason to do anything.

(Okay so I was kinda lying when I said hard work is a lie… but it is a lie the way people link it with success. So there. Imma stop my frothing now.)

2 thoughts on “Hard work is a lie”

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