Sometimes standing outside ourselves, stepping back and looking dispassionately at our lives, our work, our day-to-day activities can be interestingly difficult. Momentum is powerful, inertia is strong, habits are compelling. That which is most common becomes invisible, no longer seen/noticed: “fish discover water last.” Gaining perspective, acquiring insight takes time and effort.

Stephen Covey tells the story of the leader of a group hacking their way through a jungle. Upon climbing a tree to scout the way, she calls down “Wrong direction!” only to get the frustrated reply “So what? We are making great progress.”

Most of us are task-oriented, goal-driven people who take pride in our ability to work hard, to achieve and produce. All well and good and I’m definitely a driven person. At the same time, the goal must be worthy of the effort, the achievement deserving of our time and energy. That is where working smart comes in. Not only should our work be efficiently done (one kind of smart) it should also be aligned with our life purpose (another kind of smart).

It has been said that “thinking is the hardest work there is, that is why so few do it”. To that can be added introspection/self-examination, true, in-depth self-knowledge.

While we are on the subject of work, it has been said work smart, not hard. False! Or only if you wish to sacrifice your gift! To become your greatest self, activate your highest potential, you must work both hard and smart for it is by hard work that you best learn how to work smart.

Closing Quotes:

“Smart work is also important but is not replacement for hard work.” – P. Thirumalai

“Working hard and working smart sometimes can be two different things.” – Byron Dorgan

“I was lucky. I grew up knowing that hard work and smart work has a greater impact upon results than being passionate about something.” – Mark Cuban

As always, I share what I most want and need to learn. – Nathan S. Collier