Work hard or work smart? That is the question. Kidding aside, we sometimes ask ourselves or we may have been asked which of these do we prefer to do. Both options can be rewarding and have their benefits. Different people have different opinions and preferences. Some may choose to work hard, others may choose to work smart. Some say working hard doesn’t come with working smart, while working smart has nothing to do with working hard. And so which is which? How shall we go about and choose between the two? Do we really have to choose or can we do them both altogether?

Usually, hard work is considered to be the keystone of achievement. Reaching your goal means you work hard at something, burn the midnight oil, toil and shed blood sweat and tears and outrun everyone else around you. We work hard for the most part of our lives: whether at home, in school, looking for a job or keeping a job. Learning a manual labor or a skill also needs hard work; even improving the skills we already have can mean we have to work hard to do so.

Majority of us who belong to the working class family are familiar with the following advice or we ourselves may have thought: “If you want to succeed, work hard”; “You have to burn the midnight oil to reach your goal” or “You have to work hard to achieve something”. There may be a considerable number of people who advocate working hard to achieve their goals, and yet we have to admit that many of us have also failed at achieving our goal even after working so hard at it. We are sometimes inspired or mislead of rags-to-riches stories that were allegedly made possible through hard work.

Failures and disappointments even if we worked so hard can lead us to ask: What went wrong? Did I not work hard enough? Before we answer this question, we go the other side of the coin: working smart.

We know that being smart is about making sound and practical choices. Smart people have this indispensable resource to help them move up the success ladder fast. Most people who have great cars, lots of money, and success in life can be described as smart people, don’t you think?

These people who have made it big in life are smart people. Do you think they easily got there? Were they really lucky? Do you think they did not work hard to be where they are? To put it bluntly, did they just work smart and not hard? You know what I think? They worked very hard. Successful people worked so hard that we’ll learn to admire them cannot even imagine what they went though. People who made it big in business, work, or their profession typically went through unimaginable hardships before they reaped the rewards of success.

Examples of big gainers are performers, artists and professionals. They spend a significant portion of their days honing their skills and training, without taking any shortcuts to perfect their art and to stay at the top. When you go closer to the height of success, you are also nearing the perfection of your craft. As you gain more experience, you make less errors, which results in saving you a lot of time, effort and energy. You have now become smart. You now make smart choices. You now play smart!

As we go farther along, we learn that working hard and working smart cannot be separated from each other. To answer the questions on why we sometimes fail even if we work hard, it’s because we weren’t doing the work smartly. Even when you work hard you have to make smart choices. These two should go hand in hand if we want to succeed at something. Be smart in making important choices in life that serve as your compass and work hard towards the direction of your smart choices and fulfill your dreams!