You must have been worried about the difference between working hard and working smart, and whether the latter is better than the former. Let us read through these 2 stories and it will be easy for us to decipher the very little but important difference.

Story No.1 (What makes the Difference?)

Once upon a time, there was a tiny village. It was a wonderful place to live – except for one problem – the village had no water unless it rained. The villagers needed water, so they asked Bob and John, two of their own, to solve the problem, and the one who solved it would become the village’s Monopolist and Minister.

Bob immediately grabbed some buckets. He ran to the lake, filled his buckets and started carrying backwater. When he returned to the village, he emptied his buckets in the village reservoir and ran back to the lake. He worked very hard, doing this day after day and did so for three months until the reservoir is filled up. No doubt Bob was really hardworking.

John on the other hand did absolutely nothing. At least, that’s what the other villagers thought initially because he didn’t have any buckets and no one ever saw him carrying water. In fact, most of the villagers assumed he had given up. But John was working too. He’d spent the vast majority of his first 2 months strategizing and planning. While Bob was hauling buckets back and forth, John was planning how to build and construct an underground pipeline to bring water to the village from the lake and neighborhood river. Simply what we call Pro-activeness and Creativity!

I’ll bet you know how this story ends. John built a system. He used a few simple ingredients and little of physical efforts to create a better, more reliable and more efficient product. He created his pipeline and eventually, Bob was thrown out of business. Both Bob and John had worked hard but the difference is that John had added ‘SMARTNESS’ or perhaps what you call STRATEGY into his hard work.

Story No.2 (Where to Tap)

Ever heard the story of the giant ship engine that failed? The ship’s owners tried one expert after another, but none of them could figure how to fix the engine. Each of the expert both old and young had rigorously checked with no clue for solution.

Then the ship owners brought in one old man who had been fixing ships since he was a youngster. He carried a large bag of tools with him, and when he arrived, he immediately went to work. He inspected the engine very carefully, top to bottom. Two of the ship’s owners were there, watching this man, wondering what magic he would perform where many other experts had failed. After looking things over, the old man reached into his bag and pulled out a small hammer. He gently tapped something. Instantly, the engine lurched into life. He carefully put his hammer away. The engine was fixed!

A week later, the owners received a bill from the old man for ten thousand dollars. “What?!” the owners exclaimed. “He hardly did anything!” So they wrote the old man a note saying, “Please send us an itemized bill.” The man then sent a bill that read:

·       Tapping with a hammer ……………………  $ 2.00

·       Knowing where to tap ………………………. $ 9998.00  

By now, we should have seen what makes the difference between Hard work and Smart work. And I know you will want to ask me – Is hard work better than Smart work? Or is it that hard work is not important? No! Not at all. Both are important. Because there is no way you will get to the point of smart working without having worked or labored hard one way or the other in the past. However the learning point to note is that to merely rely on hard work or boasting on your many years of experience will not lift your mastery in the game. What proves your adept-ship is simply the ability to learn, rely on your knowledge or experience  to deploy innovative solutions.

So it could in most cases be true that Hard work is for suckers while Smart work is for flyers. In most cases. Smart work is not immediately visible, but it is justified at last by efficiency and productivity, and not merely by number of years of hard work, eye-service efforts, or even by number of years of experience. In the modern corporate world that is fast competitive, the smart workers will always be the top flyers, not the hard workers.

Copy from HR.

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